On Monday, I took the afternoon off and went to see a movie with my husband. We go to the movies about twice a year. I could list a whole hosts of reasons why this is so, but that's another blog sometime. What I found interesting about this movie was the shift in our perception of the bad guys.
We went to see Live Free or Die Hard. Actually, I've seen all of them so this was an interesting comparison as it were to the whole spectrum. In the first one we had a mad Russian that refused to quit. In the second one was a different team of foreigners. In the third was yet another Soviet/Germanic type. And then we get to this movie. It could have been subtitled the Revenge of the Geeks.
I in no way want to imply that I didn't enjoy the movie. I did. It had everything. Bad guys and girls. Good guys and girls. Car crashes. Explosions. Shoot outs. Truck crashes. Explosions. Oh, yeah, I mentioned that one. I got my money's worth in entertainment.
All of this centered around a guy who tried to tell our government that we were ripe for online infiltration. When they didn't snap to and listen up, he decided to uh, take the country down and then ask for big bucks to fix it. Snappy idea, right? Of course, a few people got in his way and he had to "eliminate" them, but a lot of eliminating was done via the computer like a video game. So the question comes up, were they real people if you just knocked them off with the push of a button?
In a scary, weird series of events, the underground computer hacker/geniuses had a war. And the real, walking around people got in their way. We've come full circle. There were no foreign terrorists of any persuasion. These were homegrown computer geeks without conscience who decided one day to shut down the country via computer. Interesting.
The other interesting point was the persistance in having an Asian chick as the bad girl. What no blondes? No red heads? No tall built black chick? And for crying out loud, why do they all know kung fu, or some other crap where they kick and yell a lot. What happened to the chick that beats the other guy up with her Manolo Blahniks? Huh?
Maybe I was just ahead of the trend when I penned Dancer's Delight. The bad guy is the head of an entire undercover agency. Cool. I'm with the in crowd for once in my life. No foreign terrorists--just good old Big Brother government. Perhaps this is going to be a new trend across the board. Why pick on other countries for our bad guys when we have so many of our own to choose from?
There you go. The new bad guy. For a new take on the bad guys, I've posted a short excerpt from Dancer's Delight. Please enjoy.
“He did what!” the angry voice exclaimed, echoing in the small conference room. Free Llewellyn had arctic blue eyes and a grim mouth. The tight lines radiating out from his flared nostrils declared that someone was going to pay for pissing him off in the very near future.
“He’s dropped out of sight,” Marcus replied calmly. The other men in the room had never seen Marcus in any mode other than calm and contained. Some speculated that it could be fatal to be around if he was in any other mode. After all, one did not get to be the commander of the Waterloo Group by being timid or squeamish—or hot-headed.
“Report,” the Director demanded curtly.
“He left the stage after his main performance, changed to street clothes, returned to the stage and performed a totally new composition entitled Dancer’s Delight. Then he exited the stage and no one’s seen him since. No one saw him leave the building. No one recalls seeing him inside or outside. My office received a small package by messenger this morning. It was an envelope containing a business card with ‘Assassin for Hire’ printed on it with an anonymous phone number. Angelo checked it out. The card was self-printed on a standard ink-jet printer and when he called the phone number it rolled to a voice mail message that informed the caller that the individual was no longer accepting assignments as he had retired. The background music was Dancer’s Delight,” Marcus added with sour humor. He shrugged. “Trackers couldn’t find any trace of him. With the exception of the Traveller, he’s the best we have. We won’t find him until he wants us to, Mr. Llewellyn.”
The Director stared at him for several long moments before reluctantly asking, “Where is the Traveller?”
“Asia…as far as we know. He hasn’t been seen in the last week. If you’re thinking that he’ll help, you’re dead wrong. You know they’re a team.” Tilting his head in thought, Marcus added, “The title of the encore and change from his normal cover was a deliberate gauntlet thrown down in public. He’s challenging us to prevent him from retiring. And he’s threatening us with substantial disclosure if we succeed.”
“Find him. Neutralize him. And locate the Traveller,” the Director said without inflection. “Make sure he’s contained until you locate his brother.”
“Dead or alive?” Marcus clarified fearlessly. It took brass balls to face down the relentlessly bitter old man who refused to retire, though retirement age was long past. There was considerable speculation that Marcus would take his place if he ever retired. More likely he would drop dead from sheer meanness. “You know the chance of bringing either of them in alive is slim to none.”
“Do what you have to do.” Passing sentence with no apparent remorse, the Director left the room without another word.