This blog celebrates the art of waking up with your enemy's blood on your face by pitching fictional characters against each other to decide once and for all who is supreme. There are fifty FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!s present for your consumption and education. Go nuts.
Monday, 25 February 2013
FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! #20
This week's FIGHT is written by Chris Pollard.
For years, critical consensus has categorised it in the field of low art.
But, of course, there is an art of war.
And there is an art to the art of making low art look like high art.
Those who master it will forever be held up as legendary figures, their transgressions overlooked.
For this takes something more than gravitas in the field of playing dead blokes from history and a rigorous dedication to describing some middle class people's breakdown.
One day, their bodies will die.
But the sight of them bludgeoning someone to death with a piece of household masonry before making a tasteless joke and sauntering off as if they have the world's biggest erection...
That will never die.
COLONEL JOHN MATRIX
The Eighties, it was a different time. A better time. A time when men
were men and best friends with rippling muscles could lift weights,
rock out to Van Halen and penetrate each other without a hint of
irony or homosexuality. Let’s go back and meet the greatest of
these men, John Matrix; a one man army whose hobbies include killing
evil mercenaries and explaining to an unsuspecting world that Boy
George is a girly-man. A retired colonel and a devoted father, John
Matrix is the purest distillation of everything that action films
used to be, a raw untamed force of nature with an ability to reduce
any murder to a glib quip.
appeared in the film Commando,
which didn’t need any sequels or spin-offs because it was perfect.
The Eighties, it was a different time. A time when pop was electronic and
cars could explode without a team of hairless albinos programming the
visuals. The (lazily titled) Unnamed Driver yearns for this era,
which is why he is accompanied by a constant retro soundtrack and
initially frowns at anything that might induce a change in his
lifestyle. A stunt driver, he is prone to being blackmailed by the
mob in an escalating series of set pieces, like all his kind. Still,
underneath some throwback ultra-violence, he has a lovely face. Maybe
the right woman could make him stop stomping on peoples skulls till
he has bits of brain all over his handsome boots? Maybe then he could
be a devoted father to that single mother’s spunky kid? Yes,
unnamed driver is an action film protagonist, but with a Modern
appeared in the film Drive,
which you can take you girlfriend to even though there is guts
PACKING MUCH HEAT?
Matrix has lots of guns. Automatics, semi-automatics, carbines, sawn
off shotguns, whiz bangers, boomsticks and pop weasels. Really,
everything that a surrogate American could want to keep the British
from invading. Rest assured that if you locked this man in a prison
cell unarmed, in seconds he would jump through the wall with chips of
rubble dripping from an unfeasibly large rocket launcher (Or, as we
called them in the eighties, bazookas).
the unlikely event that the Colonel runs out of ammo, he has a good
line in improvising with the plumbing that can be torn from the walls
of all good super villain bases.
Unnamed Driver begins each level with a car that he can drive real good. When
he isn’t running you down he can sucker punch you then kick your
face. He might even hammer a bullet directly into your mug, perhaps
implying that real men don’t always need guns to shoot people.
Nonetheless, he knows his way around a New York handshake, and he
will use a gun when he needs to, like out of the window of the car
that he perpetually drives, or in a 'Do you have a gun?' competition.
is also protected by a pretty face, taciturn under the weight of a
great unspecified sadness. Perhaps he actually hates cars? We can
only project our own career hatred and assume. Unlike us, the
greatest weapon in his arsenal is A Good Heart, with a latent need to
do The Right Thing.
BACK: WHO HAS IT?
John Matrix gives off a potent pheromone that ensures loyalty from
women with perms. One such lady is Cindy, a flight attendant who can
fly a stolen plane or pick up a gun and shoot it around for a bit
(Real patriots don’t suffer from recoil). She is liable to get a
snog after Matrix is done killing, because nothing helps you forget
the light going out in the eyes of the men you just murdered like the
compassionate embrace of someone who has just been through this
nightmare by your side, and shares a responsibility for the grieving
of the war dead.
Driver has decided to protect single mother Irene, because we all get
lonely sometimes and need protecting from the hired goons that
murdered our husband after he got out of jail at the end of the first
act. Irene is the sort to show repulsion at spontaneous acts of
homicide rather than grabbing a five iron and jumping into the fray,
but if these murders are committed with her own best interests in
mind then she will remain by Unnamed’s side, satisfied that one day
they will go and live on a farm and the only things to be killed will
be the livestock that he kicks in the face and stabs in the side to
feed her son.
Matrix’s would do anything for his pre-teen daughter, Jenny. A
single father, we can assume that Jenny is a precocious war orphan
that John adopted after she followed him around a desecrated battle
zone emulating his post battle quips with an adorable lisp. Perhaps
he chiselled her from a spare abdominal muscle and she was brought to
life by a tear of sweat from his glistening forehead. Regardless of
the circumstances of her conception, Matrix is devoted to his
daughter and if anyone comes within fifty feet of her then he will
charge them like a mother hippo.
Driver learned to smile again by emulating the emotional spectrum of
benign half orphan Benicio. After this any threats of violence
against the child result in the driver scaling buildings in a single
stunt flip to protect the integrity of Benicio’s soft, child-like
skull. Whilst having a blood-rendering guardian angel is all very
well, sometimes even an unstoppable killing machine needs the
moderation of a child’s love to complete them. Meanwhile Irene
gazes on, and imagines how nice it would be if the psychopath she has
only just met were to teach her son to ride a bicycle.
an hilarious mix up, classmates and fast friends Benicio and Jenny
have been picked up from school by the wrong parent or guardians.
Colonel John Matrix frowns at the wrong child in the passenger side
of his humvee, whilst Unnamed Driver stifles a rare moment of emotion
at the loss of Benicio’s smile from his life. As the Colonel and
the Driver assume that their counterpart kidnapped their respective
moppet for Nefarious Reasons, they rush to meet for a showdown that
is sure to be more manly than a beer-barrel of cocks at a Bon Jovi
both parties arrive at an abandoned industrial park to fix this plot
contrivance with old fashioned stunt work, a big bag of blood squibs
and a refreshing absence of bad CGI. The scene is set as the sun goes
down over a ramshackle complex blessed by twisty roads and poorly
John Matrix is the first on the scene, accompanied by an outdated
synth soundtrack. He cocks (manly) a gun of some description and
looks around, with a brow furrow that could be misconstrued as
acting, but only if you were a studio executive that had eaten a
pound of cocaine for lunch, then washed it down with a particularly
exciting address by Ronald Reagan. The driver is nowhere to be seen,
so Matrix has a quick chat with Benicio to make sure that he didn’t
sire him with the help.
is your daddy and what does he do?’
daddy is dead.’ The loveable urchin replies, ‘but when Unnamed
Driver gets here, you are D.E.A.D.’
look at me, I am so scared.’ Pouts Matrix. ‘Hah, I was being
sarcastic, asshole.’ He grins because he has bested this small
child in a game of wits. Just then, he notices a strange apparition
at the window.
is that you?’ he asks, somewhat confused.
the figure doesn’t respond. Matrix lowers his gun and approaches
the apparition, as it opens the door and walks in, face firm and
you seen that asshole driver?’ Matrix asks.
figure nods, then stabs the Colonel with a concealed knife. The
Colonel clutches a palm to his new wound to stem the bleeding. With
his other hand he tears the mask from the grim apparitions face, to
be confronted by none other than Unnamed Driver!
should have known it was you when you stabbed me.’
Driver nods and emits a feeble ‘Yes’, an utterance surprisingly
meek for a man that goes around stabbing people. Yet this word is
enough for Matrix, who can now retort with a trademark quip.
don’t you pipe down!’ booms Matrix, as he rips a stray legth of
the pipe asunder from the wall, then introduces it to the driver’s
head and upper torso in a series of careless but powerful blows, not
unlike a bear swatting flies in the woods. Unnamed stumbles back,
blood spurting from his neck in a manner consistent with the
application of an ADHD effects genius who misses the old days. He
turns, and runs from the room.
Matrix empties a machine gun clip at the retreating figure, but he
knows that this will not be enough. He jumps out of a window onto
some convenient crates of melons, then reloads, ready to finish the
job. He stands tall, proud, the very embodiment of the American
dream. Maybe, just maybe, trickle down economics isn’t an
inherently flawed concept, and the eighties can save us all. Then,
as Colonel John Matrix looks into the wind, he is run down by a fast
stuntcar, which proceeds to reverse over his corpse to grind his
bones into the pavement. As the car pulls away and glides off into
the distance, a California license plate fall from the back bumper,
to find a final resting place on the fresh corpse of Colonel Matrix,
Driver took some serious injuries in the fight, and may not survive
the night. We will never know for sure if he receives medical
attention in time, but this is the dull ambiguity of edgy modern
cinema. Until the crunch, Unnamed Driver will continue to bleed to an
electronic beat, but this is a refreshing retro sound with more
consideration for our ears than that which accompanied the Colonel
earlier in this section.
seems likely that Benicio and Jenny will survive unscathed. Killing
children is still a terrible way to end an action film. One can hope
that Cindy and Irene can provide each other with mutual counselling
for the succession of violent acts that they have both survived. And
what have we learned? Perhaps the implication that an action hero’s
real strength lies in recognising and remedying their lack of
emotions, or maybe just that the old and outdated must be torn apart
by a hungry new generation of rabid dogs.
THE WINNER IS...
FIGHT! FIGHT! will return in:
"CONTAINS SCENES OF SEXY VIOLENCE"
you have any suggestions for who you'd like to see square go each
other in future FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! articles, please mention them