THE BEST BAD GUY IN MOVIE HISTORY
If someone were to ask a bunch of movie critics to name the best bad guy in the movies, chances are they’re going to name vile villains such as Anton Chigurh, the “unstoppable evil” with the bad bowl cut from NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Or some might say the milk shake coveting Daniel Plainview from THERE WILL BE BLOOD. Still others may insist it’s the STAR WARS baddie in black Darth Vader.
The simple fact is they’d be wrong. The see-you-wouldn’t-want-to-be-you kind of wrong. Just so woefully wrong and pitiful you’d be almost be tempted to forgive them for calling themselves critics. Almost.
Yeah, sure the aforementioned trio bring brio to the bad guy game. But take away the bowling pin, the captive bolt stunner, and the light saber (and use of the Force) then see who the real bad guy is. Who’s the one that’s toughest. Most crucially, who’s the one who can rock a red tank top.
The answer is: none of them. Know who can? Of course you don’t. That’s why you’re here. It’s a very wise decision. Shows you got smarts. Not just using your head for a hatrack.
If we’re talking best bad guy in movie history, and we better be otherwise someone’s getting fired for fucking up on the title here, the baddest of the bad is none other than scene stealing, hooked on a feeling for being mean and looking like Mr. Clean, it’s part-time high school bully bodyguard Mike.
Teens coming of age in the dawn of the 80’s decade may have forgotten the face, even higher odds on the name, but upon sight, will undoubtably recognize this guy from MY BODYGUARD. In addition for being known as the era when movies were forever altered by pop culture landscape reshaper MTV, the best high school themed movies belong to the 80’s. Comedies ruled the roost, however the occasional hybrid of comedy-drama put points up on the board.
In a mischievous twist on the movie’s premise, Mike makes an appearance when the brilliantly named bully Melvin Moody (young Matt Dillon relishing the role) introduces Mike as his bodyguard to good guy bodyguard Ricky Linderman (Adam Baldwin making his movie debut). The moment actor Hank Salas makes his way into the picture with the smoothness of a Kowalski-era Brando mixed with the underlying menace and haircut of APOCALYPSE NOW Brando, the stage is set for these two titans to tussle.
One might categorize Mike’s obsession with “tough” as mildly pathological. Others may see it as the catalyst for a drinking game where booze is consumed every time Mike says “tough.” Either way, there isn’t a movie bad guy who comes close to Mike’s almost Zen-like approach to all things around him and how tough they are.
The character is described as a body builder, yet Mike’s menace isn’t in his muscles or lack of a built body. It’s in that haircut. Possibly the bad choice in tank tops and cowboy boots. It may be in the way he chides Linderman for beating up high school kids while he himself beats up Linderman, a high school kid. Mike doesn’t have time to let self reflective irony stop his search for all things tough the way he can stop a moving motorcycle with his bare hands.
Alight, granted Mike’s obsession for all things tough begins to lean into the realm of acutely psychotic, coming off as the sad inadequacy of a man that just needs a hug rather than a bad guy so devoid of morals, he’ll take money for intimidating and punching a high school student in broad daylight. Hard to argue that point. However, name another movie bad guy that beat up a motorcycle.
While mostly making mention of Mike’s qualities on the clearly sociopathic side, it’s important to reflect on the positive. Like Mike’s strong – dare say, tough – work ethic. When he’s paid to punch out a high school kid while possibly traumatizing a dozen eye-witnesses, Mike wants to be able to give a honest day’s work.
Go back and check out the way after making the declaration, Mike just sort of saunters off the screen in an aimless, melancholy way very few – if any – bad guys do. Where does he go? What does he do?
Too tough to tell.