For movie fans, the big thing this week might have been the release of Hacksaw Ridge, the Oscar-nominated war movie directed by Mel Gibson. I’ve already mentioned in a recent article how much I liked it and how good the movie is. If you haven’t seen it yet, hindi na kita pipilitin dahil buhay mo yan at matanda ka na. But like I said in my review, I really think you should see it. But great as the movie is, it still had the same clichés that every war movie suffers from. Watching Hacksaw Ridge made me realize that you always see the same guys in every war movie. With the help of my buddy and action-movie aficionado Nicco (Ladies, single siya and disease-free. Gentlemen, experimental naman siya kung interesado kayo.) we made a list of these guys. Here are just some of them:
1. The Guy Who Gets Shot in the Head
Sometimes getting shot in the head is unavoidable like that clip above from Saving Private Ryan. Hindi ka pa nakakababa ng bangka, nabaril ka na sa ulo e ano namang magagawa mo di ba? But there are cases wherein minsan tanga lang talaga yung sundalo. Alam mo yung eksena na sisilip siya kasi akala niya wala nang kalaban? Tapos maririnig mo *ping* tapos biglang manlalaki yung mata niya at tatalsik yung helmet niya kasi nabaril na pala siya sa ulo. The guy that gets shot in the head is probably the one thing that all war movies have in common. It’s that one thing that tells audiences that this shit is real and anyone can die any second.
Examples: Literally all modern war movies.
2. The Coward You’d Like to See Die
Another cliché character in every war movie is the “coward”. He’s the guy on the squad that’s really a liability and the one you’d actually like to see die a painful death. Yung tipong matetetano ng kinakalawang na pako tapos masasagasaan pa ng tangke. But let’s be real for a minute, the coward is who we’ll probably be if and when China decides na hindi masyadong maganda mag sunbathing sa Scarborough Shoal at parang mas maganda atang invade ang Palawan. Hindi ka si Rambo, hindi ka papatay ng 12,534 na tao ng hindi masusugatan. Malamang ikaw si Upham sa Saving Private Ryan. Ikaw yung iiyak sa isang tabi at tinatawag ang lahat ng santo na naalala mo mula pagkabata.
Examples: “Hollywood” from Hacksaw Ridge, Upham from Saving Private Ryan, Logan Lerman in Fury
3. The Asshole that Turns Into a Good Guy During Battle
In Hacksaw Ridge, that guy was Smitty. As you can see from the video above, he’s an asshole to Andrew Garfield’s character in the movie but eventually becomes a good guy when they are finally in the battlefield. (Sabi ko sayo panuorin mo na e!) The asshole is usually a racist or someone who thinks they’re better than everyone in his platoon. But he’s also usually a good soldier. Although there are instances wherein he’s just an asshole like that hillbilly in the movie Jarhead.
Examples: The racist from Windtalkers, Bill Guarnere from Band of Brothers, Smitty from Hacksaw Ridge.
4. The Guy Who Calls Out for His Mama Just Before Dying
Another war movie staple is that guy who calls out for his mother and/or his god of choice. Most of the time they call out for Jesus in the movies. But when you’re all covered in dirt and blood at putol na yung mga braso at hita mo tapos kita mong lumalabas na yung mga isaw mo sa katawan siguro kahit sino tatawagin mo na kahit pa si Nora Aunor.
Examples: All war movies regardless of era. Kahit Game of Thrones at Lord of the Rings ata ginamit na to.
5. The Funny Asshole Drill Sargeant
My favorite part in any war movie is always the boot camp scenes, simply because I find it funny how the drill sargaent bullies the new recruits. The gold standard for that scene in my opinion is the one from the movie Full Metal Jacket. Threatening someone that you’ll gouge out his eyeballs and “skull-fuck” him whatever the hell that means is probably one of the best ways to intimidate someone. It’s like something Baron Geisler would say when he’s in a good mood.
6. The Exploding Flamethrower Guy
When you see a guy carrying a flamethrower on his back in war movies, you don’t have to wait too long to see that guy get barbecued. Alam mo yung order mong isaw na naiwan nung taga-ihaw ni Mang Larry nung nag CR siya kaya nasunog? Parang ganun. May literal na tangke ng gasul ka sa likod mo sa gitna ng barilan so the chances of your survival are really slim to begin with. But cinematically speaking, it’s almost a guarantee because all the big explosions and images of soldiers burning alive has to come from somewhere, right? E nagkataon may tangke ka ng gasul sa likod mo. Patay ka!
Examples: Random LPG guys from Hacksaw Ridge, Saving Private Ryan, The Pacific, and Windtalkers.
7. The Guy That’s Silent But Deadly
Usually when we use the terms “silent but deadly” we refer to farts. Alam niyo yun, yung nasa loob kayo ng kotse tapos walang tunog pero maaamoy na lang ng lahat. Hindi mo maamin kasi ang violent na ng mga reactions ng mga tao may mga nagmumura na at nananakot ng karahasan sa nagpakawala. Pero may part sayo na gustong umamin out of pride na nakagawa ka ng something na ganun katindi. Yung tipong pang Ripley’s Believe it or Not ang guhit sa ilong! But in war movies, there’s always that one guy who keeps to himself most of the time but when push comes to shove, saves everyone’s ass. In Black Hawk Down, that guy was Eric Bana in what would be his breakout role. He’s that calm presence when everything is going to hell.
Examples: Eric Bana in Black Hawk Down, the sniper in Saving Private Ryan, Col. Spiers in Band of Brothers, Sgt. Basilone in The Pacific, Brad Pitt in Fury.
Honorable mentions: The Pacifist, The Suicidal Japanese Soldier, The Dishonored Japanese Commander, The Kind-Hearted Nazi, The Say-Goodbye-To-My-Girlfriend-For-Me Soldier, The Take-This-Letter-To-My-Parents Soldier, The Religious Guy, The Italian Guy, The Jewish Guy, The Guy from Brooklyn.
What do you guys think? Did we miss anyone?