Rupert Grint A Plucky Sidekick?
What do Jackie Chan films, Harry Potter films, National Treasure and Sahara movie have in common? they all have their plucky sidekicks.
In the action comedy genre of movies we have the suave hero. the main star who can woo all the women with the most charm, fight the evil villains with Bruce Lee tactics. a gentleman's gentleman who also can shoot any weapon with precise accuracy and drive, fly, operate any piece of equipment with the skill of a thirty year veteran.
Sometimes these suave characters are a little too serious. Too much action, not enough comedy and that is where the plucky sidekick comes in. This sidekick gives the proper chemistry to make the story work. He is always there just at that serious moment with his goofy one liners. Always on cue.
Compared to the hero, the lowly sidekick is not as handsome, not as smart and a little on the clumsy side but without him the flick would be just another action movie. also, let us not forget how many times this plucky sidekick has saved the hero from a horrible death.
Going through the archives of the cinematic world I came across a few really good movies with a plucky sidekick character. Movies like this first one, taken out of the Jackie Chan films file.
Around the World In Eighty Days – 2004
London 1872, an English nobleman, inventor, genius Phileas Fogg makes a bet with the head members of an elite gentlemen's club that he can make it around the world in eighty days. mr. Fogg's new assistant, by fluke, is a Chinese thief who is on the lam from the English bobbies. He stole a jade Buddha from the Bank of England, which belonged to his village in remote China. mr. Fogg hires Lau Xing whom he called Passepartout and took him on an adventurous worldly journey with lots of humor, wit and great Jackie Chan fight scenes.
Usually Jackie Chan films have plucky sidekicks bumbling along with him. Not in this movie. His comical and Kung Foo fighting talent prevailed here as the bumbling sidekick.
Jackie Chan- real name is Chan Kong-sang. Born April 7, 1954 in Hong Kong.
Credits- Since 1960's, in over one hundred movies. He started out as a stuntman in Bruce Lee movies. some the other movies he made were, Snake In the Eagles Shadow, Cannonball Run, Police Story(1-4), Rush Hour(1-3), Shanghai Knights, Karate Kid(the new one).
When you think about it, long before Jackie Chan films and Harry Potter films, plucky sidekicks have been around in movies for awhile now. Abbott and Costello, Bud Abbott is much more serious than the spirited Lou Costello. the same can be said about Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. These two comedy teams have to be mentioned. On with the next movie.
National Treasure – 2004
Benjamin Gates is a historian searching for lost treasure with his ever so faithful assistant and computer expert Riley Poole. Vast treasure once protected by the Knights Templar is what Ben and Riley are seeking by solving all sorts of adventurous, historical clues.
Justin Bartha portrays the plucky sidekick and Nicolas Cage plays Ben Gates. also starring: Diane Kruger, Sean Bean, Jon Voight.
Justin Bartha born July 21, 1978 in Michigan, USA.
Credits- Hangover(1&2), dark Horse, Holy Rollers, Rebound, Tag, Gigli, Trust the Man and new York I love you.
Harry Potter Films – All the titles start with 'Harry Potter And the….'
Philosopher's Stone – 2001
Chamber of Secrets – 2002
Prisoner of Azkaban – 2004
Goblet of Fire – 2005
Order of Phoenix – 2007
Half Blood Prince – 2009
Deathly Hallows – 2010 (new) part One
Deathly Hallows – 2011 (July 15) part Two
Through out all the Harry Potter films, the young wizard always has his two friends. one was his faithful friend and companion, the perfect definition of a plucky sidekick, Ron Weasley. Together they encountered all sorts of mysteries, spells, creatures and evil teachers. Ron, frightened of everything, a little clumsy, but shows his true grit in any situation as best friend to Harry Potter.
Rupert Grint born August 24, 1988 in Harlow, Essex.
Credits- besides the Harry Potter films, Rupert only did theater at the Top Hat Stage School.
Sahara – 2007
Master explorer Dirk Pitt and his war chum, companion, partner in crime Al Giordino look for secret cargo from a lost Confederacy warship from 1865. Dirk and Al with permission from their boss (and commandeer his speed boat anyways) go on an adventurous treasure hunt which eventually ends up in the Sahara Dessert. Lots of 'blow things up' action and great comedy. Steve Zahn is the plucky sidekick Al Giordino and Matthew McConaughey plays the suave hero Dirk Pitt. also starring Penelope Cruz and William H. Macy.
Steve Zahn born November 13, 1967 in Marshal, Minnesota.
Credits- that Thing You do, National Security, Daddy Daycare, Riding In Cars with Boys, Comanche Moon (TV mini-series), one of Phoebe's husbands on 'Friends', Voice in 'Chicken Little'.
Many more plucky sidekick movies out in the cinematic world. some examples are: Judge Dredd(1995), Rob Schneider as Herman Ferguson; Scorpion King(2002), Grant Heslov as Arpid; Ferris Bueller's Day Off(1986), Alan Ruck as Cameron Frye.
The kings of the plucky sidekick characters are Ron Weasely of the Harry Potter Films, Riley Poole from National Treasure, the Sahara movie has Al Giordino and one of the best Jackie Chan films Around the World In Eighty Days has Passepartout. I definitely recommend watching all four movies.