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MFF Special: Advice I Would Give To Cinematic Henchmen

December 29, 2015

Hello all. Mark here.

The cinematic world is rife with henchman who meet untimely deaths. Their choice of work has sealed their fates and many men and women have fallen prey to the good guys. The following post gives advice to potential henchmen in hopes that they choose their minion jobs wisely.

Here are 10 piece of advice I would give to cinematic henchmen.If you are interested we recorded a podcast about this topic. Give it a listen! 

  1. Don’t be afraid to run away. 

There is a moment in Kung Pow: Enter the Fist that I love. Some henchmen are looking for the hero and one of the bad guys does something very smart. He says “You go that way, I’ll go home.”

The bad guy goes home and lives to fight another day. Also, not many people notice this but in the Lord of the Ring’s: The Two Towers battle of Helm’s Deep scene some Uruk-hai run away from the battle. They were the product of an AI simulation called Massive and every creation had their own personality. What did they do? They went home!

2. Don’t wear a cumbersome helmet. 

This is what happens when you wear a helmet.

Helmets may look cool but they prevent you from seeing properly. This poor stormtrooper had his vision impaired by the helmet and he walked into a blast door. In Star Wars the stormtroopers couldn’t hit the broad side of an AT-AT.

Also, when you watch Spaceballs you need to wonder if the cumbersome helmets were part of the reason that the henchman said “We ain’t found shit!” They have no peripheral vision which greatly inhibits their search.


3. Never fight on top of a moving vehicle

I love that there are henchman who are willing to fight atop moving vehicles. They are almost always guaranteed to lose but they give it the old college try. For instance, the German soldiers in Raiders of the Lost Ark do a great job but ultimately end up as human road rash.


Another instance of Henchman meeting a terrible death atop moving vehicles is in The Wolverine. Some very brave Yakuza climb atop a moving train and attempt to battle Wolverine. They are brave but dumb.


4. If you are a human in a world full of superheroes don’t even apply for the job.

What is the point? You have zero chance stopping The Hulk or Iron Man so don’t even put yourself in a spot where you would have to battle them. A great example of a henchman having no chance is in The Incredibles. A henchman is doing his rounds when he is hit by a perfectly thrown rock. Where did the rock comes from? Mr. Incredible throws the rock from like 200 yards out! Why even attempt to keep a secret lair safe when Superheroes are around?



5. If a British spy tells you to lie down…. lie down

When a murderous British spy tells you to lay down you should just lay down. There is no point doing anything and your lack of a name tag doesn’t help either. Many henchman could live if they assessed the situation and listened to the good guy.


6. Be attentive

Several henchman in the 2015 spy films met their demise when they failed to be attentive. In Spy,  the henchman who is tasked with watching Rose Byrne’s drinks fails and almost gets his boss killed. What happens? He gets shot in the head.


Don’t play candy crush or daydream when watching your bosses drink.

In The Dark Knight Rises a moment of not paying attention cost a man his life. Gary Oldman was captured and the henchman lets him get away when he doesn’t anticipate the dive into the sewer. One little lapse gets him killed without remorse.


Another example of when being aloof goes wrong is in The Return of the Jedi. Boba Fett is too busy focusing on Luke and he gets embarrassingly killed by Han Solo. You need to know who is around you at all times!


7. Never volunteer and always stay under the radar.

In the film 300: Rise of an Empire General Kashani makes a big mistake. He volunteers to crush the Spartans.


What happens when you volunteer? General Kashani ends up meeting an incredibly bloody demise that features him losing his limbs! He was brave but dumb.


A perfect example of why you should  stay under the radar is in Mom and Dad Save the World. In the film two henchman are told to kill themselves when they suggest Jon Lovitz wear mutton chops or a goatee. Don’t put yourself in a situation where this could happen.


8. Never work at a secret lair/space station and pick your jobs wisely. 

Secret lairs and space stations always blow up. Try getting yourself stationed at a remote location or a small star ship. Your chances of survival will be much higher if you simply stay away from the main bad guy locations.

Death star exploding


Once you’ve been stationed somewhere other than a Death Star or secret lair find yourself a relatively safe job. Learn from the orcs from Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. There is a orc that has a terrible job in FOTR and I wondered why he got stuck with the gig. He has to free the Uruk-hai from a gelatinous goo and it gets him killed. Pick your jobs carefully!


9. Realize that your gun doesn’t shoot straight and adjust accordingly. 

When watching Commando, Eraser, Rambo, Missing in Action, Death Wish and many other movies involving lots of gun play you will notice a trend. Bad guys are terrible at killing the heroes. They are supposedly well-trained minions but they can’t hit anything. Thus, I’m assuming their weapons are black market rejects that were bought at cost. So, figure out the intricacies of your weapon  and you might be able to kill the good guy. Don’t be like the people in Commando.


10. Realize that your bosses don’t have your best interests in mind

You are playing a small part in a massive plan and your bosses don’t care about you. For instance, in the film Spy a bad guy hides a nuclear weapon then kills everyone who knows where it is. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve worked for the bad guy because you can die at any moment.

Also, in American Ultra the poor hit men were driven mad by their bosses and are used as disposable killers that are eventually killed. One of these killers is Laugher. The poor guy was tortured, locked up and eventually killed. Nobody cared about him.

Walton Goggins American Ultra laugher


The best example of a boss not caring about his minions is The Joker in The Dark Knight. He literally throws his associates at Batman so he can land a few punches. He is also willing to blow up his crew (prison bomb guy) and murder them all after a robbery. Don’t work for The Joker!


2 Comments leave one →
  1. John Leavengood permalink
    September 1, 2016 1:37 pm

    “Mutton Chops?”
    “No, shoot yourself in the head.”
    Insanely stupid, yet I adore that movie anyway.


  1. MFF Podcast #43: Advice for Cinematic Henchmen | Movies, Films & Flix

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