Saturday, July 03, 2010

Red White and BAD: Top 5 Misguided Patriots

What makes a great villain? Oftentimes the best villains are the ones that think they are actually heroes. These anti-heroes are always tripped up by the boy scout who has to be even more good, or weak, depending who you are talking to, sending these guys sulking and griping about how the greater good has been sullied and innocents will now surely die in large numbers. Well today on this Fourth of July we salute these misguided patriots. Sure their methods are despicable and slightly underhanded, but they care damnit! They are Americans and they will put a boot in your ass! So from all of us here at the bucket have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

5. President Charles Logan (Gregory Itzin) "24" - "This Whole Thing was meant to make our country safe, stronger. To protect our interests." -Sketch by Dezi Sienty

President Charles Logan always seemed to be an asshole even before you knew about his whole season 5 cover up conspiracy regarding the nerve gas. This guy is the worst kind of patriot he drapes himself in the flag as much as possible especially when he's up to no good. It's for the greater good he tells himself and his disbelieving wife. His spiral of bad intentions happens because of his own inability to man up and make the tough decisions on his own. To top that off the guy has a knack for trusting the wrong kind of people like his Chief of Staff Walt Cummings. After Jack puts the smack down on the former President he weakly begins to admit his culpability for the crime and becomes a born again Christian over the affair. It's unclear if he truly has learned his lesson, but that didn't stop him from being one of the most frustrating big bad's on 24. Gregory Itzin plays this guy to perfection, oozing contempt and weakness all at the same time.

4. Adrien Veidt aka. Ozymandias (Matthew Goode) "Watchmen" - "I've made myself feel every death...See every innocent face I've murdered to save humanity." - Sketch by Ori Ayalon

So you may be asking why him? Sure he's not a military man and he has a whiff of a British accent, how does he rank as a patriot gone bad? Well for starters Ozzy is an American, it's just Matthew Goode wasn't so adept at hiding his accent. Ozzy is thought to be the smartest man in the world and the combination of his smarts and fighting style make him a deadly adversary. He was once an acclaimed hero who is now totally obsessed with world peace. And if you've seen Watchmen then you know he'll do whatever it takes to get this peace even if it means murdering millions of people. Now I did consider putting the Comedian, Edward Blake, on the list. He of course represents the Ultra-Conservative hero to Ozzy's ultra-Liberal. This is the guy who wraps himself in the flag. The reason Blake ends up on the cutting room floor, he just ain't bad enough. As terrible as the Comedian is by the time the story is over we learn that he was actually trying to stop the crazy peace-nik from doing what he monologued he would do. Of all the villains on this list this guy is the only one to succeed in his dastardly plan. In the end Ozzy becomes the liberal stereotype, smug elitist asshole who looks down on humanity for it's perceived sins. With one exception, Ozzy ain't no pussy.

3. Brigadier General Francis X. Hummel, USMC (Ed Harris) "The Rock" - "You've made a terrible mistake, and more of our brothers have died in vain. Damn you for forcing me into this position." - Sketch by Corey Breen

General Frank Hummel, decorated war hero beloved by his men, betrayed by derelict politicos who were more interested in saving a buck than giving him support. He takes on a desperate mission to teach them a lesson about honor and duty and patriotism, unfortunately it kinda blows up in his face. It was always hard to think of this guy as a straight up villain and it is a little sad when they take him out, but at least he goes out on the side of righteousness. But his very bad ass break in to get the toxic nerve gas and later his assault on Alcatraz with a calculated strike team was pretty damn impressive. The man has brass ones that is for sure.

2. Captain Frank Ramsey (Gene Hackman) "Crimson Tide" -

"All I ask is that you keep up with me. If you can't then that strange sensation you'll be feeling in the seat of your pants will be my boot in your ass!" - Sketch by Ian Glaubinger

Crimson Tide is by far one of the most underrated Blockbusters in history. This flick gets no recognition. Script doctored by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Tony Scott. Yes, this would be implausible on a Nuclear Submarine but the disagreement is a good one to have with the public. Captain Ramsey is a good commander, he's arrogant and sarcastic but he follows the rules by the book. If he's told to launch Nuclear Missiles your damn sure he's going to do it without hesitation. His X-O Hunter, played by Denzel Washington is smarter and he understands full well the cause and effect of nuclear war. And he ain't budging from his point of view either. Their clash is almost biblical, but even though Ramsey is on the wrong side of history with this debate he surely demands your respect when he takes responsibility when he's wrong and owns up. Sure he's a bit of a bastard but he's a true American war hero.

1. Colonel Nathan R. Jessup (Jack Nicholson) "A Few Good Men" - "...I'm gonna rip the eyeballs out of your head and piss in your dead skull! You fucked with the wrong Marine!...You fuckin' have no idea how to defend a nation. All you did was weaken a country today. You put people's lives in danger. Sweet dreams son."

Nothing and no one can top Jack Nicholson in this Oscar winning role as Colonel Nathan Jessup. It's truly hard to hate this guy, sure he's full of himself, he's a sexist SOB dripping with contempt. But highly quotable. It took me at least two hours mulling over quotes before I decided on the one above. There are so many, most are just funny as hell, all are biting and reveal a man of many layers. As his defense quickly shatters at the end of the movie, when wimpy sniveling Daniel Kaffe (Tom Cruise), appears to have finally snagged his white whale, the Colonel hits him with the ultimate guilt trip. He doesn't look away he stares at the young man with daggers in his eyes and he believes without a shadow of a doubt that his actions, while certainly immoral, somehow saved lives. He represents a cautionary tale to all those who serve in a war zone that Commanders must always remember who they are fighting and what they are fighting for.

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