Cinema’s Ultimate Jerks is a celebration of the characters we love to hate in the movies we love to love. They’re not always the main villains – and sometimes they’re not even villains at all – but they’re definitely jerks. So let’s take a look at this week’s jerk-off, and why they find themselves forever enshrined here in the hall of shame. Since this week we’re talking about Draco Malfoy, this is your spoiler warning for the all of the Harry Potter movies.
POTTER! If there’s one thing worth celebrating about Draco Malfoy it’s that he somehow perfected the fine art of turning someone’s surname into a slur through nothing more than the sheer venom in which he enunciates it. POTTER! He really spits the name every time he says it, and in many ways it’s impressive that he could furnish so much hatred into two innocuous syllables that, spoken by anyone else, are a form of identification and little more. But it’s also part of the reason why we’re talking about him today, because Draco Malfoy is a bully and we can’t abide bullies here. He’s a cockgoblin of the highest order, and someone needs to bring him down a peg.
Harry Potter is a ten year old boy who one day finds out that he’s a wizard, and he’s cordially invited to attend Hogwarts wizarding school to hone his craft with other wizards, and giants, and shapeshifting cats, and all kinds of mad shit – mostly in the form of rubbish early 2000s CGI. His invitation to Hogwarts is a life-saver, because Harry Potter is an orphan who lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin and they’re an absolute shower of bastards. Awful people the lot of them. The uncle is played by that gay old dude from Withnail & I, I think. Anyway, all Harry wants to do is go to wizarding school, do all of his homework, study hard, pass his wizarding A Levels, and then get a soul-crushing middle management job for which he’s marginally overqualified and equally underpaid, but not by enough to do anything about it. That’s life, kids, and having a magic owl or, you know, saving the wizarding world from the greatest evil it has ever faced isn’t going to change that fact. Better grow up and accept it.
Anyway, Harry Potter, as it happens, is some kind of legendary kid because back when he was a baby, Lord Voldemort – who is basically magic Hitler – tried to murder him in his bed after icing his mum and dad, but somehow the baby survived the attack – spoilers, it was magic – and now everyone reckons he’s the key to stopping the aforementioned Big Daddy V and his minions of evil. While that makes him popular among some students, it also makes him the target of bullies, because that’s how it is at school. Honestly, I remember the time a kid at our school got some new shoes that were different to everyone else’s, and man, that was some dark shit that went down. It was like the end of fucking Platoon – people throwing shit about at him and all sorts. School is a warzone. You’ve got to play it smart, and Harry makes a bum decision when he makes friends with Ron Weasley who is not only ginger, but poor too. Double whammy. Hey, I have nothing against redheads, but let’s face facts, aligning yourself with one at school is fucking suicide because even cool gingers get tortured.
So the ringleader of the bullies at school is Draco Malfoy, whose mum and dad are rich and well-to-do, and he’s from a distinguished line of pure blood wizards. That’s important, apparently, because some wizards aren’t down with the whole wizards and humans gittin’ it on thing, which, you know, seems a bit uncool to me. Maybe it’s an allegory for something. Who knows? Since he’s rich and everything, he thinks that gives him free reign to do whatever he wants, and whatever he wants to do is pick on young Harry Potter every chance he gets. He’s basically every stereotypical rich prick bully you’ve ever seen in a movie, all rolled into one vile, white haired, smug little shit that you just know would end up abusing his power in his job at the zoo if he didn’t come from wealth. But he’s rich so in reality he’d probably go on to join the Conservative Party, putting some sort of mad slogan like, “£300 million a week for the NHS if you all punch yourself in the kidneys” on the side of a bus. He’d probably end up as Prime Minister, too, the jumped up little cu
Anyway, so he’s a prick, and everyone knows it, and for the next eight movies, literally all he does is bully Harry Potter in slightly different ways. Most of it involves saying, “POTTER!” with a ferocity usually reserved for usage of the words on George Carlin’s list of things you can’t say on TV, but he also does some other shit, like mocking Harry’s dead parents, and joining a cult and agreeing to murder the kindly old headmaster of the school. Actually, that last one is probably a bit much, but then he never actually goes through with it. He’s a coward, you see. All bullies are cowards, or so the old adage goes. He runs his mouth, and he talks a big game, but really he’s just a scared little boy, pushed into a life of villainy that he’s ill-prepared for by his ruthless, overbearing father. He’s still a twat though.
Jerk-off Quote: “No one asked your opinion, you filthy little mudblood!” – Draco Malfoy, basically being a magic racist.
Comeuppance: He doesn’t really get any, which totally annoys me. I’m still not over it, actually. It pisses me off. He’s a rotten egg, and he picks on everyone for seven years of school, then he joins the Death Eaters and tries to kill Dumbledore, and then he has a big fight with Harry and Co. in which one of his friends actually gets burnt alive and dies, and nothing happens. He just gets to live his life. Doesn’t even get grounded, probably. Honestly, if I was Harry I’d have let him burn, but no, Harry rescues Draco from certain death and lets him go despite all of his shenanigans. Ultimately, it’s this that saves Harry’s life, as Draco’s mum helps him in exchange for information regarding the fate of her son, so I guess it all works out, but The Deathly Hallows Part 2 would be like 14% better if someone just shivved Draco in the back at some point with a filed down tootbrush.
Jerk-off Rating: If you had a dose of polyjuice potion you’d neck it, transform into Draco Malfoy, and then immediately punch yourself in the John Thomas.
Tune in next week – same jerk time, same jerk channel – to find out who’s next in our celebration of cinema’s ultimate jerks. And if you’ve not quite had your fill of cinematic jerk-offs, check out #18 Rene Belloq (Raiders of the Lost Ark), #8 Simon (True Lies), or #4 Glenn Guglia (The Wedding Singer).