A-Z of Action Movies: The Inevitable and The Alternative. B for…

BatmiteThe Inevitable – B for Batman

In a dark alley somewhere in Gotham City a tall, shadowy figure descends upon a terrified hoodlum. "Who are you" he shrieks. "Well," comes the considered reply, "who are we all if not mere grains of sand suspended in time and space?"  Lucky for us Batman is no existentialist. He’s a man that looks a bit like a bat so he tells it like it is. "I’m Batman", he says. But of course you are, dear…

Frequently the appeal of Batman (stuff) is put down to his being just a
normal man who happens to be pushed over the edge by a tragic event.
People, supposedly, relate to him. This is slightly unnerving. He’s
not a normal man, in fact he’s quite clearly unhinged, and it’s maybe this
aspect which appeals to the majority of the movie-going public.

Everybody loves a mentalist.  Whether they’re eating dog-ends and
having arguments with cash registers or dressing up like a bat to fight
crime, there is always good entertainment value to be had at the
expense of an individual operating on the edge of sanity. But relate
to him? Is everybody a mental?

That may be, because numerous reviews of Batman Begins
have described the film as being "gritty" and "realistic".  No question
it’s an excellent film but how accurate is that description exactly?
How many cars have you seen flying over rooftops recently? Exactly.
And if it were realistic to dress up in S&M gear to fight crime,
and have people accept and embrace that, then why is it wrong for a ten
year-old incarnation of a hecklerspray writer to sellotape knitting
needles to his woolly gloves and call himself Wolverine? They called us a cunt. Why?

The Alternative – B for Brian Bosworth

One_tough_bastardAs far as descriptive film titles go Batman is well up there
alongside Deep Blue Sea and Alien. You know what you’re going to
get as soon as you see the name of the film. However, one Brian
Bosworth (DVDs)
-starrer tops them all. In it he’s tough, a bit of a bastard,
and there’s one of him. The name of the film? One Tough Bastard.

If only such transparent naming systems were evident in all aspects
of life. We’d have Shit-Spread instead of Marmite, Reformed Generic Meat product probably including testicles in a patty shape instead of
Economy Burgers and no-one would ever have dared taste a salt lassi.

The plot of the film itself is beside the point. It may or may not
involve Brian’s daughter being kidnapped/killed and his going on a
rampage to retrieve said daughter/avenge her death. See it for the
name alone – you won’t be disappointed. Unless you’re expecting a love
story in which case you’re an idiot given the title and the fact that
you must have just read the last paragraph.

Bosworth himself was a successful American footballer before
becoming a "movie star". In many ways you could consider him a
slightly paler version of O J Simpson, but with wackier hair (his
trademark as an athlete), and with fewer alleged killings and police
chase involvement outside the realm of make-believe.

Who knows what he’s up to now. Possibly eating dog ends, possibly not. Whatever, hecklerspray wishes him well.

[story by Matt Cook]