Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Movie Henchman's Guide To Survival...

This is not a list. A list reminds people of rules and regulations, which most don't like. But since some lives depend on what I'm about to throw down, I'll just call it 'a couple of things you'd like to know/do if you intend to pursue a career as a movie henchman'.

For starters, a henchman is a person (usually male, for the gender sensitive, because offing female minions is still frowned upon) who works for the bad guy (or girl, whatever). Could be the bodyguard, the guy that carries the wallet and pays for stuff, the guy that wards off the unwanted attentions, the guy that opens doors (did I just describe an ideal boyfriend?). Or it could be the random guy watering the flowers, or the driver, or the bartender. You know what, it could be anyone that works for the bad guy. We're not taking any chances. More often than not, a movie plot will require the hero to storm the premises of the bad guy, with serious intent of dispatching all those that stand in the way. Even statues, doors, windows, TVs, plates, tables, curtains, and sometimes dogs, are not exempt from this serious intent. These guys are not entitled any dialogue time, except to say something which will eventually turn out to be cruel irony. So, to avoid all that, try to do/not do the following:

Tip #1: Do not talk to the hero. This usually only serves to distract you from something that's supposed to happen. You're just a small piece of the grand plan. If you can't stop him yourself, go find your supervisor. He's highly paid. He should earn his salt.

 Tip #2: If it looks wrong, it is wrong. If a guy swipes a card and the machine rejects it, cuff him immediately. You can ascertain his true identity later. Being late for a meeting should be the least of his worries at that point. A tourist holding a map inside a warehouse looking for a restaurant is obviously up to no good. Dispatch him immediately. If there's any complaints (if the guy miraculously survived being dispatched), refer him to your supervisor.

Tip #3: There's no such thing as a henchman 'corporate ladder'. There's not even job security. In fact, it's probably the most insecure job in Movie-ville, next to being the bad guy, or a market vendor in a curiously conducive location for a car chase. You're not going to get promoted. You'll sooner die than see a pay raise. And the circumstances under which you'll be offered a raise will not be in your favour. When the hero raids the bad guy's villa and tries to get him to surrender, the bad guy will say no and tell his henchmen that he'll offer a huge sum of money to whoever brings him the head of said hero, and then scamper off to 'safety', leaving you with the insurmountable task of dispatching a hero filled with serious intent.

Tip #4: Never, ever, kidnap someone who means the world to the hero. That will not end well, and you'll not even get a chance to spend the down payment of the ransom.

Tip #5: Initiative never pays. You're paid to do, not to think. Your boss will not welcome any suggestions you might have. Even if those suggestions would have saved him, it is his destiny to be vanquished. How dare you try to interfere with your boss' destiny, eh?

Tip#6: Endeavour not to be present during rituals, scientific experiments, and the like. Those are well above your pay grade. Let's just say that things you probably don't understand are always out to prove their point to the bad guy using the less fortunate. That means people like you.

Tip #7: Never be the bearer of bad news. This is even more important if your boss is a raging, psychotic... Er, actually, regardless of the nature of your boss, just don't be the one delivering bad news. It's bad for your health.

Tip #8: Be a coward. This involves basic maths skills, like counting. If the hero shows up, with or without backup, recognize that the odds are already stacked up against you and run for your life. Then you can go and snitch on your boss or whatever. Chances are that by the time the movie ends, you'll be blissfully sipping on a mojito somewhere serene, with witness security and everything, You'll survive and thrive, and you'll have a gift most henchmen never have... Peaceful retirement.

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