Thanks for joining me once again everyone for another addition of “Best Of / Worst Of Character Moments”, the series where we investigate whether our protagonists are really the heroes the writers think that they’re presenting.
Today’s subject is a little film called “The Deadly Mantis”. I immediately grin maniacally, because I just love – love giant monsters running loose. Alas, this particular giant bug movie left me a bit underwhelmed thanks to a tremendous amount of radar dish porn eating up running time. But this posting isn’t to rehash the review; it’s to take a close look at our main character’s shining moments and those actions for which we must frown.
Our players today are:
Col. Joe Parkman: A new commander at the Red Eagle One base. His job is to manage the early warning radar stations in case those darned reds decide to launch an arsenal up over the pole. I don’t imagine that he thought he’d be dealing with a giant mantis problem. In a really odd development, Joe will be our part-time main protagonist.
Dr. Ned Jackson: Paleontologist and soon to be giant-monster hunter. In a really odd development, Ned will be our other part-time main protagonist.
Marge Blaine: Expert in marketing and publicity for the institute that also employs Ned, and who also knows how to play office politics and can get herself assigned to an interesting case up north.
General Mark Ford: Our Pentagon liaison is in charge of finding out just what happened to Parkman’s command and putting a stop to it.
Our Characters Are Awesome!
Joe- Well, Parkman did force the mantis to the ground to huddle in a subway tunnel where it could finally be killed. But, he did it by ramming his plane into it rather unnecessarily. I’ll give him credit for bringing the monster down, but only with a Half-KUDO.
Ned- Ned does a lot of the heavy lifting as far as figuring out what they’re dealing with and advising the military, but he doesn’t actual do anything kudo-worthy.
Marge- Marge really gets credit for broaching the giant mantis idea in the first place, but again, she doesn’t actually do anything proactive that I can issue kudos for.
Mark- Ford is certainly the man in charge. But… there just isn’t anything outstanding to give him kudos for.
Our Characters Suck!
Parkman: As a commander who is responsible for men’s lives, Joe seems horribly unprepared to deal with an arctic crisis. I cannot let go of the fact that he takes an inspection tour of an outpost that has been reported damaged and with the men there not responding to radio calls without also ordering any type of search and rescue response… at all. DEMERIT!
Jackson: Ned really only annoyed me by being a bit curt and snide when his preposterous freeze-dried bug story wasn’t immediately accepted, and that little bit of ass-ish-ness doesn’t earn a demerit. Especially, since against all odds he’s actually correct.
Blaine: Marge doesn’t do anything stupid, like tripping and falling at just the wrong moment or deliberately putting herself in harm’s way by wandering off in giant-bug territory so I’ll not be issuing her any demerits. She does tend to think she’s a bit more cutesy-clever than she actually is, though.
Ford: As a commander in charge of investigating a series of unexplained disappearances related to an unknown object, the General seems particularly ill equipped to manage scientific resources. He’s constantly forcing Science! to take place in a conference room with no lab equipment whatsoever. DEMERIT for obstinate stupidity.
I’m issuing a special DEMERIT for the cowardly Greenland Eskimos who take off when the Deadly Mantis attacks their village. Not because running away isn’t the exact right thing to do, but because the stock-footage indigenous people fleeing are all men! That’s right… the warriors left the women and children behind to get nommed on!
Oh, I also I feel like I need to give myself a Half-Demerit for my sloppy spelling errors in this particular review. I really need to clean this one up sometime from home where editing is much easier. I apologize for all of the misspelled words and typos going on.