AN ODE TO: The Passenger Guy from The Dark Knight
Lot’s of movies have cliché in them. Let’s face it, almost all movies contain a bit of it in some way or another. Most of them just make me cringe like the action movie staple, “I didn’t sign up for this.” Incidentally, the dude to whom I’m presenting an ode is the one who utters this phrase in the otherwise original and kick-ass Dark Knight. What’s great about Passenger Guy is that instead of conversing normally with trite phrases thrown here and there, he talks like an NPC in Call of Duty before the series got awesome.
In case you haven’t seen The Dark Knight, what’s your problem? Go see it now. If you’re stubborn, I’ll warn you anyway that there are some minor spoilers ahead and throughout this little ode. Anyway, Passenger Guy, or as he is identified on IMDb, “Convoy Leader.” This is an ironic title, since the entirety of his existence in this film is sitting on his lazy bum chatting it up with Lt. Gordon, who appears to be channeling my good buddy Gordon Freeman in that, for this section, he never talks.
This is one reason why Passenger Guy reminds me so much of a video game NPC. He constantly talks at Gordon without taking the slightest offense that he is being completely ignored. Nevertheless, he keeps running his hilarious little mouth, asking stupid questions and telling Gordon things that even a Jonas Brothers fan could figure out. “That’s not good,” he says as a helicopter crashes and explodes in front of them.
Some of his other genius quotations for your sampling…
“Lower fifth? We’ll be like turkeys on Thanksgiving down there!”
“What the hell was that?”
“What is that, a bazooka?”
“We gotta get topside, we need air support now!“
“That’s what I’m talking about!”
“You can’t stop here, we’re like sitting ducks!”
Sitting ducks. Yes, sitting ducks. Compare these with your standard friendly AI quips in video games like Halo, Medal of Honor, and other games where the voice actors sound like they were just handed their script and all it said was “Generic cop/military dialog.” Nevertheless, PG is probably my seventh or eighth favorite character in the film. Compared to Little Son of Gordon, who also embodies cliché, PG reminds me of hilarious video game NPC’s rather than poorly written straight-to-video movies about dolphins and ponies and divorce. It’s hilariously to imagine PG’s sequence as a video game and the rest of the film as bookending cinematics.
So that’s Passenger Guy, a shining example of a useless idiot with a mouthful who you can’t help but love anyway.