Five Movie Characters Who Deserved More Screen Time, Part III
Time and time again, minor characters in movies float through a scene and fade away as quickly as they arrive. Whether it be a kung-fu preacher, a gang of mini-Bruce Campbells, or a hulking, blade-armored mutant ninja master, these inconsequential entities are far too interesting to be written off so quickly. It's difficult arguing that each of the following Five Movie Characters Who Deserved More Screen Time aren't entitled to a bigger chunk of their respective film's running time.
Lawrence, Office Space
If you've ever lived in an apartment building, chances are that you've encountered a next-door neighbor whose antics are audible through your shared wall. Luckily for Peter (Ron Livingston), this usually irritating experience is soothed by the comforting benevolence of Lawrence, played by the always entertaining Diedrich Bader. A construction worker by day and a functioning drunker by night, Lawrence is literally a few feet away from Peter at all times, always ready to pop over and offer some rather thoughtful advice at a moment's notice.
Why he deserved more screen time: Lawrence just seems like one of those guys you'd like to go out with for a beer after a long, shitty day of work. When Peter voices concern that he's going to be asked to work that weekend, Lawrence gives him the idea to skip out early Friday so he can't get cornered by his overbearing boss Lumbergh on his way out (a plan that almost works). This is just one nugget of advice that Lawrence gives Peter during the movie when he's not busy doing the drywall at the new McDonald's.
Lawrence is such a cool guy to be around that Peter eventually gets a construction job with him after Initech burns to the ground. Lawrence is just a common man, you see, working hard with his hands. If you can look past that fantastic hair and that majestic mustache, you might recognize Diedrich Bader from his roles as Rex from Napoleon Dynamite and Oswald on The Drew Carey Show. His small yet hilarious bit part as Lawrence in Office Space remains one of his most memorable ones even with such an expansive and assorted list of film and television credits.
Matthew Patel, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World was an under-the-radar smash when it was released in 2010, another highly enjoyable addition to the British director's sterling resume (Shaun Of the Dead, Hot Fuzz). Based on the wildly imaginative comic book series, the movie stars Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim, the bassist of local band Sex Bob-omb who must defeat his beloved Ramona's "seven evil exes" in order to gain her exclusive courtship. Although he was Scott's first and easiest opponent to defeat, Matthew Patel stands as one of the most amusing characters in the entire film.
Why he deserved more screen time: All things considered, Matthew had the tools to position himself as the final boss of this fantasy world. The Indian sensation is saddled with the responsibility of kicking the plot into gear, bursting onto the scene during Sex Bob-omb's set at The Rockit to confront Scott with his mystical superpowers. The levitating, fireball-flinging Patel is still sore from his seventh grade dumping at the hands of Ramona, who claims that she only liked him because he was the lone "non-jock non-white in town," and now the lunatic seeks his vengeance.
The insanely jealous Matthew is initially floored as Scott lays into him with an uppercut, a roundhouse kick and a 64-hit punching combo, but the flamboyant fighter dusts himself off and retaliates with one of the most outlandish comeback strategies ever witnessed. Even after employing a team of "demon hipster chicks" to distract Scott with a lively dance number right in the middle of their battle, Patel ultimately falls in defeat. Too bad, as he is truly one of Scott's most unique adversaries throughout the movie. I mean, who else issues challenges via e-mail?
Movie Clip: Scott vs. Matthew Patel
Milt, Bachelor Party
If you wish to become involved in the always-thriving prostitution industry as a master of the pimp-odial arts, it's a good idea to be able to take care of yourself physically in case an unruly customer decides to take liberties with the terms of your business agreement. And if you're not comfortable with fighting your own battles, you'd better employ someone capable of handling your dirty work. So is the case in the 1984 comedy Bachelor Party of ho-runner Rajah, whose intimidating bodyguard Milt enjoys shattering windows with his skull just to prove his unflinching might.
Why he deserved more screen time: During their transaction, Rajah warns Gary, "Girls back in 45 minutes or Milt cuts your balls off," a feat that could probably be just as easily accomplished with the beast's bare hands. Dressed in a dozen square feet of denim and a slick fedora, Milt is a man of few words, imposing his massive stature in nearly total silence on anyone who breaks Rajah's guidelines. One of his only lines in the picture, "You girls is dah hookahs, right?", assures the viewer that whatever Milt might lack in verbal articulation is compensated with endless feral strength.
Milt was played by John Bloom, who appeared in countless low budget flicks throughout the 70s and 80s, always playing some sort of indestructible behemoth. Aside from the burly Milt in Bachelor Party, Bloom was recognizable as an alien terror who tangles with William Shatner in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Sadly, the 7-foot-4-inch Bloom passed in 1999 due to complications involving an enlarged heart. 'Tis a shame; Bloom could've transcended the realm of acting and found himself welcomed in the world of pro wrestling, maybe even squaring off against...
Hulk Hogan, Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Whatcha gonna do when a "new batch" of Gremlins runs wild on you? Enlist the assistance of WWE Hall Of Famer Hulk Hogan, that's what. Gremlins 2 is undoubtedly more light-hearted than its predecessor, its comedic overtones an exercise in self-lampoonary. Case in point -- in one of the most ludicrous cameo appearances in movie history, the "Immortal One" flexes his 24-inch pythons when the creatures overrun a projection booth inside a movie theater. This results in Hogan delivering a threat aimed at the gremlins, a completely surreal scene in an already offbeat film.
Why he deserved more screen time: Besides being the most celebrated figure in all of professional wrestling, Hulk Hogan exuded a kind of natural charisma that earned him several movie roles during the heydey of "Hulkamania" from the mid-80s all through the 90s. Gremlins 2 was released in June 1990 while Hogan took a short break from in-ring action, "suffering" from a storylined rib injury just a month prior at the hands of the 470-pound Earthquake on WWE television. In the end, how much of the film's $40 million gross that can be attributed to Hogan's involvement is anyone's guess.
Hogan asks the gremlins "Do I have to come up there?" before ripping his shirt off in trademark fashion. The plan works, amazingly enough, as the abominations restart the movie for the audience in the theater. Just imagine how wrestling fans would've flipped had the dispute come to blows -- Hulk Hogan booting and leg-dropping gremlins is just too rich of a concept to not include in this zany sequel. Interestingly enough, director Joe Dante went on to say that the 43-second clip involving Hogan was one of the most highly praised scenes of the entire picture amongst fans.
Movie Clip: Hulk Hogan cuts a promo
Admiral Ackbar, Return Of the Jedi
For a character whose expertise was rather integral to the Rebels' destruction of the Death Star II at the end of Jedi, Admiral Ackbar's appearance in the original trilogy's finale seemed unfairly abbreviated. The military commander representing the Mon Calamari species with his glossy fish eyes, bulbous cranium and webbed hands stood quietly by as the Alliance crushed Darth Vader's sanctuary for a second time in three movies. It's easy to support the claim that, with a backstory as exciting as Ackbar's, the amphibious individual should've been further explored in Episode VI.
Why he deserved more screen time: Before the events of Jedi, Ackbar was chillaxing as the leader of the peaceful town of Coral Depths City until the Empire took over, enslaving its inhabitants and stealing their technology. Ackbar eventually escaped his captors, hooking up with the Rebels and sharing with them important information regarding the Empire's military tactics which he discovered while unwillingly serving as an interpreter for the interstellar bullies. His invaluable knowledge of the enemy would go on to establish Ackbar near the top of the Rebel Alliance's chain of command.
It's hard to believe that George Lucas wasn't a fan of Admiral Ackbar's appearance in the movie. Ackbar took on life as a man in a suit in some scenes and a remote-controlled puppet in others, and regardless of Lucas's assessments, Ackbar remains as one of the most cherished minor characters in the entire Star Wars galaxy. Thankfully, his involvement was expanded upon in the numerous novels, comics and television shows that would follow in Jedi's wake, and his much-revered quote in the following video has since become a staple of nerdish Internet parody.
Movie Clip: "It's a trap!"