Blind Fury ★★★½

Today was always going to be a bad day what with the coronation of a clown and his cabinet of cunts, and the oppressive heat too. But then it got a whole lot worse when it was announced that Rutger Hauer had died.

I loved Rutger Hauer. He starred in some incredible movies, and he also starred in a lot of dreck. But it didn't matter, because the one constant in all of those movies, good and bad, was his sheer magnetic screen presence. An inventive and original performer, Hauer always looked like he was having great fun and that - combined with his innate and somewhat mercurial charm - was pretty infectious for audiences, to the point that it really didn't matter if you were watching him in a classic or a dud. You were watching him and that's what mattered.

Blind Fury, which I put on tonight in tribute, is a great example of Hauer having a lot of fun. Whilst no one could ever argue that this film was ever meant to be a gritty, deeply serious action thriller (despite its drug dealing and high body count, it's very tongue-in-cheek) Hauer, like Roger Moore in the James Bond films, seems to have a way that tips the wink to the audience, indicating that he knows this is all rather silly, that he's having fun with it and he wants you to do the same too. He knows he's unlikely casting for an American Vietnam vet but, if you come along for the ride, he assures you that you'll enjoy yourself. As the blind vigilante out to rescue his former 'Nam buddy and his son from the clutches of a gang of drug dealers, the physicality of his performance is exemplary, reminiscent almost of the great comedians from the silent era as he mixes liberal doses of comedy with the action.

It's fair to say that there won't ever be another Rutger Hauer. I can't imagine anyone like him coming up in movies today. He seemed genuinely and refreshingly down to earth and just happy to work and he always gave 100% commitment to it all; how else would you explain his decision to make a series of now classic Guinness adverts at the height of his Hollywood fame? Or how, when Batman Begins was released. he was also lending his voice to adverts for Lurpak butter? Who else would unexpectedly appear as a regular in Porters, a sitcom on Dave, basing his whole character on Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp? Only Rutger Hauer, a true one of a kind. Bless him.


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