5 cult film heroes who beat the boss
In the words of our own Verne Troyer, “no one beats the Boss”. And if cinema history is anything to go by, he might have a point. The big screen is full of workplace villains and office tyrants who almost always gain the upper hand. But we take a look at five film heroes who beat the boss, living out every employee’s secret fantasy.
1.Darth Vader, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Sure, no one was rooting for Darth Vader during the Empire Strikes Back but by the end of Return of the Jedi we’d definitely developed a soft spot for him. After falling to the dark side of the force, Vader becomes the right hand man to Emperor Palpatine, evil ruler of the Galactic Empire. The Dark Lord carries out his master’s orders with gusto, freezing Han in carbonite and, *spoiler alert for anyone that hasn’t left the house since the seventies*, severing Luke’s right hand. Great father material, huh? But Darth Vader finally redeems himself when the Emperor tries to kill Luke. Unable to watch his son’s agony, Vader picks up the evil lord and throws him down the Death Star reactor shaft. Nice.
Best quote: “Luke, I am your father.”
2.Peter Gibbons, Office Space (1999)
Although it was never a box office success, Office Space soon became a cult classic thanks to its brilliant satire of working life. The film’s hero is Peter Gibbons, a disgruntled employee who’s fed up with the tedium of his soul-destroying job. If spending his days “staring at his desk” wasn’t bad enough, Peter has to put up with his snide, jerk of a boss, Bill Lumbergh.
But when a trip to the hypnotist turns Peter into a new man, he coolly ignores his boss’s orders, gaining the unlikely admiration from upper management. At the end of the film, Peter swap his nine to five for a fulfilling construction job, forever free from Lumbergh’s irritating catchphrase “Mmmm…yeah.”
Best quote: “Mother…shitter…son of a…ass! You…I just!”
3.Andrea Sachs, The Devil Wears Prada (2003)
Miranda Priestley is the employer from hell in this hit comedy film starring Meryl Streep as the editor of Runway fashion magazine. Based on queen of mean, Anna Wintour, Priestley delivers a string of soft-spoken insults to her new assistant, Andy. But despite the impossible tasks she sets, Andy still manages to impress her boss. And when our heroine realises she’s becoming just as cut-throat as her mentor, she abandons Priestley at one of Paris’ biggest shows. As she steps out of the cab, Andy turns her back on her boss and the bitchy world of fashion she’s come to embody.
Best quote: “By all means move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me.”
4.Kevin Lomax, The Devil’s Advocate (1997)
There are bosses from hell and then there’s John Milton, Partner at top New York City law firm Milton, Chadwick & Waters. Played by the one and only Al Pacino, Milton is literally the devil incarnate who succeeds in luring Kevin (played by Keanu Reeves) to his firm. Kevin’s life slowly falls apart as he’s taken under Satan’s wing. After raping Kevin’s wife and then encouraging him to impregnate his half-sister, Milton cements his status as cinema’s worst employer. But our hero has the last laugh (sort of) by firing a bullet into his own head (yes, we were slightly confused too). Milton’s schemes are blown up in smoke and Kevin is taken back to where it all started.
Best quote: “[God] is a tight-ass! He's a SADIST! He's an absentee landlord! Worship that? NEVER!”
5.Bud Fox, Wall Street (1987)
Michael Douglas plays the legendary Gordon Gekko in this cult film classic that gave birth to the greed-is-good mantra of the next three decades. Charlie Sheen, plays the role of Bud Fox, a young stockbroker, who’s willing to do whatever it takes to get in with Gekko and learn about corporate raiding. The high-powered Wall Street player eventually gives Bud a chance. So Bud gives his mentor insider information on Blue Star Airlines, not realising he is being used by Gekko to make millions. But when the penny finally drops, Bud musters a plan to bring Gekko down, landing them both with jail sentences in the process.
Best quote: “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good… And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.”
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