5 Fictional Politicians We Could Use Today
Without trying to be too political (ain’t nobody got time for that!), I think there are very important things movies can tell us about politics. While there are plenty of political movies I haven’t seen, I’ve seen enough to justify a fun little list of politicians we deserve today. With White House Down coming out this weekend (and Olympus Has Fallen releasing earlier this year), I thought it’d be pretty relevant, too.
At first, I thought this would be an easy list…until I realized I wasn’t going to include TV shows. Therefore, favorites like 24’s David Palmer and Battlestar Galactica’s Laura Roslin were left off.
As for other rules, I decided to make them all fictional characters (sorry Abraham Lincoln). Enjoy…
Not only was this the precedent for kick-ass Presidents, but it was the number one movie that came to mind when I thought “fictional politicians.” When Air Force One gets hijacked, President James Marshall (played by Harrison Ford) decided to take matters into his own hands. Not only does he have to deal with international terrorists, but Marshall also becomes the last line of defense for his family. Air Force One may not be the most critically acclaimed action movie, but as far as fictional Presidents go: I can’t think of someone I’d rather have as Commander in Chief.
Morgan Freeman notoriously has played the widest range of characters. He has the voice of a god (incidentally, he played God in one film), leading him to be one of the most recognizable actors. His body of work includes everything from a pimp (Street Smart) to an inmate (The Shawshank Redemption) to a South African President (Invictus) and, of course, the United States President (Deep Impact). In a time of crisis, who else would you rather have guiding your nation to safety? In one of the best political speeches I can remember, President Tom Beck calms the entire nation in a moving prayer. Elect him today!
There isn’t enough love for women politicians. I mentioned Battlestar Galactica earlier (and 24 even has a decent female President, too). However, the one leader with two X chromosomes that came to mind was Mon Mothma of The Star Wars movies. She’s barely in it (especially in relation to the total runtime), but she played a very important role in the Rebel Alliance. You might not know this unless you paid attention to deleted scenes and book tie-ins, but believe me when I say she had a strong voice that carried sufficient weight.
Okay, so this is a more obscure pick. I was a little tired of Presidents and wanted to spread the wealth. I tried thinking of Governors, but nothing came to mind. Then I remembered a film I recently revisited: Thank You For Smoking. William H. Macy plays Senator Finistirre – the man at the forefront of taking down the smoking industry. Although Aaron Eckhart’s Nick Naylor ultimately is a better rhetorician than him, Finistirre still stands up against one of the biggest cancers in modern society. His mission is admirable to say the least.
This one obviously comes with an asterisk…well a couple actually. I had to find a way to include my favorite movie – a movie that does have interesting social commentary – which gives this asterisk #1. #2 obviously comes with that fact that Harvey (played by Aaron Eckhart, who is incidentally the President in Olympus Has Fallen) eventually turns into a psychotic killer. I’m talking about “The White Knight” that puts his life on the line to fight crime in Gotham. The District Attorney that doesn’t need a mask to bring down the scum of Gotham. He’s a hero Gotham needs. But no, we don’t need “Two-Face” as our politician.
I had a few honorable mentions, the most notable being Governor Menelaus “Pappy” O’Daniel (O Brother, Where Art Thou?). Who else did I miss? Weigh in below!
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