Friday, February 19, 2010

Why Michael Douglas is a badass...

Ok, so this might come as a surprise for a lot of you, but Michael Douglas has played some seriously badass roles. "Romancing the Stone" comes to mind.

Ok, ok, so he plays a rebel that gets tamed (slightly) by a hotty in trouble while simultaneously teaching her a little bit of badass. That's a well worked story line in Hollywood. But he did a good job of it.

However, the movie I'm currently considering is "The Ghost and the Darkness." Ostensibly a Val Kilmer flick, to those of us that are generally too young to really remember Michael Douglas, although even Val Kilmer is stretching a bit for some of us, but this is the (partially) true story of a bridge that needed built in Africa. Two lions are terrorizing the camp, killing workers and generally raising havoc for the British Empire, circa late 19th century.

Of note is how much I give a s*&t about the British Empire. We were part of its construction, and elected to better ourselves (at the time, I'm not really sure how we are faring currently).

However, Val Kilmer plays an Irish engineer (at one point, in the movie at least, he quips "I'm beyond conversion. My mother is a Roman Catholic and my father is a Protestant.") in charge of designing and building a bridge in East Africa. Given that he has trouble subduing the rampaging lions, a professional hunter is recruited, named Remington (as far as I know, no relation to the Illion, NY, Remingtons, although I could be wrong), played by Michael Douglas.

At one point in the movie, he is leaving a campfire, occupied by Patterson (Val Kilmer's engineer), Samuel (the lead guy that keeps the crew together, not sure who plays him), and the resident doctor (also don't know who plays him, though he looks familiar). Remington is going to join his friends, the Masai (a fascinating people) around a different bonfire, in a ritual dance. As he is leaving, the following exchange takes place:

Remington: I'm gonna join them now, and maybe convince each other that we're brave...

Doctor: I wouldn't think bravery was problem for you.

Remington: You hope each time, that it won't be... but you never really know...

I think, in any situation, that is one of the most genuinely true lines in Hollywood history, in ANY situation. The delivery, however, cements Michael Douglas in the Badass realm. Hands down.

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