It’s been a miserable 24 hours, so to cheer up a bit, but only a bit, I started thinking about which movie character best represents Trump. I mean, sure, there’s this guy from a 1930s German film…
But he’s not a character, exactly.
Who to pick? Who to pick? I think whoever it is has to meet several criteria. This character must be vain, boorish, asinine, prone to saying howling stupid/awful things, and utterly immune to criticism. This leaves out whole classes of movie villains, including almost all of the ones from the Star Trek, Batman, Star Wars, and James Bond franchises.
Let’s see. There’s Lex Luthor from the 1978 Superman.
He’s got the look right. He’s also ostensibly rich, bald (though with a more convincing rug), obsessed with real estate, and eager to destroy all things good in the world. But I have to ask myself: could Donald Trump devise and execute a plan to redirect two nuclear missiles to destroy California and Hackensack, NJ and have it come within a Kryptonian superhero of working? Even if Donald Trump dreamed up such a scheme, he’d somehow botch it so bad that both missiles end up destroying him. I certainly don’t believe Trump has the brain power to figure out what kryptonite is or how to locate the Fortress of Solitude. So, no. Next.
Gordon Gekko from Wall Street (and the sequel which nobody needed).
Okay. Our case. He’s rich. He’s a New Yorker. He’s ruthless. He says horrible things and people still, for some reason, like him. But he’s got the same problem as Luthor. Gekko’s much smarter than Donald Trump. My guess is that if Gordon Gekko invested in casinos, he’d make money. (Honestly, Donald Trump and Bugsy Siegel are pretty much the only guys who found ways to be The House and lose. Ah, well, at least The Donald’s eyes are, to date, bullet free.) Also, since Gekko trades in inside information, there’s no way his investments would underperform their indices by 48%. Moving on.
Patrick Bateman from American Psycho.
Okay. The case is strong. He’s got money, most of which he inherited but some of which he gets from a job that seems to require little of him. He hates women, the poor, and immigrants. He went to Harvard, but he shows few signs of being especially bright. He is the very personification of entitlement and greed. Yet I still can’t choose him. Why not? Because he does feel obliged to express concern, however insincere, about the social problems of his time, and he does tell a table mate at lunch too cool it with his antisemitic remarks. Trump would’ve egged him on. Forward ho!
Prince Humperdinck from The Princess Bride.
Hmm. Yes. He’s rich, entitled, hateful, willing to sacrifice his bride to start a war, happy to torture, and he says out loud and without irony that he’s never wrong. This wouldn’t be a bad choice, honestly. But there is one I like better.
Otto from A Fish Called Wanda.
Otto has all of the negative qualities these other characters (except the being a serial killer one). He’s arrogant, greedy, cruel, entitled. He’s not rich, but he does have three qualities that, on top of all the others, are essential for a Trump comparison: he’s galactically stupid, believes himself to be brilliant, and is utterly unable to stop himself from saying and doing disastrous things. All of the other characters I’ve mentioned have a modicum of self control, but not Otto. In any situation, he will–nay, he must–make an ass of himself. Witness this famous clip:
Otto, in this clip, is Trump to me. I’ll bet if you ask him, he will say that The London Underground is a political movement. Go ahead. Ask him. Just have my money when you come back.
If you think Trump is a different movie character, make your case in comments.