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Eight Classic Cinematic Verbal Beatdowns

 

Mitch Speaks - Waiting

I haven't actually seen Waiting in its entirety, but I have to respect a character who insults Justin Long, Ryan Reynolds, and Dane Cook in the same breath right before giving them "the goat". The only bad thing about this verbal beatdown is that he doesn't end the whole thing by murdering Dane Cook. For real.

 

Whammy Burger - Falling Down

Calling this scene a "verbal beatdown" may admittedly be sort of a cheat -- the Whammy Burger employees don't start listening to D-FENS until he pulls out a gun -- but the honest sick-and-tiredness of Michael Douglas's fast food rant still makes this monologue awfully damn memorable. Even more hilarious than D-FENS's complaints ("I feel comfortable calling you Rick now, after all we've been through") is the fact that, after two minutes of ranting and gunfire, the Whammy breakfast the manager fought so hard to keep from D-FENS was literally two feet away, sitting innocuously in a warming tray.

 

"This is such a crock of SHIT!" - Scent of a Woman 

Al Pacino is most certainly a man  known for his verbal beatdowns: whether we're talking  Scarface, Heat, or The Devil's Advocate, the man knows how to destroy people with the force (and volume) of his words. That said, this final beatdown from Scent of a Woman may very well be his best. Not only does he reduce Philip Seymour Hoffman into a quivering ball of moist fat (not a particularly difficult thing to do at that point in his career, granted), but he manages to make Chris O'Donnell actually look respectable. That, and the fact that he curses about two dozen times, brings the entire room to its feet, and threatens to take a flamethrower to an institute of higher learning (things you can only get away with if you are, in fact, Al Pacino). There's also some inspirational stuff about leadership and dignity, but hell with that; this beatdown is all about F-words and flamethrowers, baby.

 

ABC - Glengarry Glen Ross

Alec Baldwin sure knows how to play an asshole. He may spend his weekdays as the charmingly insane Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock, but there was a time when the guy was spewing out Mamet like he was raised on it. As if we didn't feel sorry enough for the aging, lonely estate agents in Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin comes in and proceeds to spend the next three minutes shitting on every single character in the room. With motivational pearls of wisdom like "good father? Fuck you -- go home and play with your kids," Blake depresses and disheartens the estate agents to the point where they spend the rest of the film cheating and stealing to save their own asses. This is a beatdown which actually inspires illegal conduct -- it's that hardcore.

 

How do you like them apples - Good Will Hunting

I have absolutely no idea what Matt Damon is talking about in this scene, but I know it's awesome. When Minnie Driver gets approached by the single douchebaggiest human being on the planet and begins mocking Ben Affleck (which, oddly enough, would score him some points today), Matt Damon's Will Hunting decides to spout off the views of roughly eighteen different Revolutionary War historians, thus silencing Douchebag McFuckhead and getting Minnie Driver's number in the process. Every person who has ever taken a college course with a guy like Asshole McShitforbrains (and everyone has taken a class with a guy like him) has probably replayed this scene over and over and over, praying for the opportunity to tweak and use it in everyday conversation. The entire scene is basically the most brutal case of intellectual anal rape ever caught on film.

 

Vince Vaughn hates dating - Wedding Crashers

Scroll to 4:13 and you'll get there. When Vince Vaughn's (I'm not going to bother writing down the character's name -- it's Vince Vaughn playing Vince Vaughn) secretary offers to set him up with a female co-worker, he gets understandably irritated and offers one of the best anti-dating monologues ever spoken aloud in the history of the English language, ever. Once he's done, his secretary doesn't even seem all that upset -- the true victim of the beatdown is the concept of dating itself. Vince Vaughn's argument is so airtight, so incredibly honest, that it makes you wonder why we bother dating in the first place. Granted, the film turns into a bullshit "monogamous, socially acceptable relationships are awesome, promiscuity isn't" morality tale, but the first act , this beatdown especially, are the stuff of male legend.

 

Jon Favreau beats himself down via answering machine - Swingers

This is the most painful  three minutes and forty seconds in film history. I literally cannot write about it without wanting to kill myself, so we'll move right on to:

 

Anything Gunnery Sgt. Hartman says at any point in the entire movie – Full Metal Jacket

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman's opening affects the audience in three distinct, unique emotional stages. First, it's really weird: why is he shouting so loud and being so mean? Secondly, it's really funny: hey, he just called that guy a queer. Thirdly, it's really fucking scary. Despite the fact that Hartman gets killed halfway through the film (fuck you, I'm not putting "spoiler" tags around a 20 year old movie), Hartman's lines are almost always the things primarily quoted or mentioned whenever anybody talks about Full Metal Jacket.

 


Steve attanasie

Double Viking

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