Thursday, July 16, 2009

Danny DeVito's Otiose "Penguin"

I've been out all day - meeting with people, studying Matthew 25:1-13 (which I'll preach on this coming Sunday), doing some administrative things, a little but of lawn work on this stunning summer day, played two games of softball in Monroe's city league, and just got home.

I microwave a Dearborn hot dog and put it on multigrain bread - my dinner. I turn on the TV to see if the Tigers are playing. The channel comes on. It's a movie: "Batman Returns."
I saw this movie at the theatre a long time ago. The villain appears. I feel sickness... it's Danny DeVito as the Penguin. This is the WORST "villain" in all movie-dom. "Worst" = revolting. Not revolting because the thing is so frightening, but revulsive and disgusting to watch because of hyper-overacting, horrific makeup that is difficult to look at with that little beak and rotting teeth, dangerous not as a movie villain but as simply something to watch. This smarmy little creature disengages me from the movie and makes one think "I don't like watching this bird." It's as if it is not actually in the movie but appears like a hairy centipede physically crawling on a poorly done painting of which it is not a part. DeVito-Penguin makes me want to go brush and floss my teeth, then take a shower as a purification ritual. Is there, in the entire movie corpus, a greater malapropism than this?

On my list of ten lousiest movie villains #1 is Danny DeVito's interpretation of "The Penguin." Got a lousier villain? Let me know.