Why Shooter McGavin is the Best Comedy Villain of All-Time

My hat’s off to Allison Shoemaker of Cos for nailing the gist of Happy Gilmore on the head since the movie was indeed well before Adam Sandler started to overdo his manchild that needs to grow up act, and it had one of the most perfect villains, EVER. Some movies give you villains that have a reason for being bad or being mean, this one gave you Shooter McGavin, a pro golfer that had every chance to be a decent person and encourage his fellow golfers to do their best. In true cinema fashion he was just a piece of work as he had NO redeeming qualities other than the fact that he was a good golfer. As a human being he was a failure since he treated other people like garbage and couldn’t even acknowledge when someone might have been better than he was. To be honest Shooter is that garbage human being that in real life you try to avoid since just talking to them is about as useful as talking to a Whoopee cushion that’s being deflated, but when it comes to being featured in a comedy he’s perfect since he gives the antagonist the perfect enemy to work against.

It might sound funny but it does seem to indicate how into his own character he was that Christopher McDonald, according to Conner Schwerdtfeger of Cinema Blend, tried to get out of a DUI by telling the officers on the scene who he was and what part he’d played. Throughout the movie you can easily see just how he got into his character time and again, but to think that he tried to use that in the real world is even funnier despite the circumstances since it would appear that he had a bit of a lapse and forgot where he was and even WHO he was at the moment. Of course that’s not entirely accurate since he was trying to bank on that past fame to the best of his ability. But all in all it’s funny that he would bring it up since most people that watched the movie would be hard-pressed to forget who he was. Maybe he was trying to remember.

This is the kind of guy that likes to have fun at his own pace and doesn’t care for the loose and happy-go-lucky style that Happy brings to the game. In other words he likes his ivory towers and snooty ways since that’s what makes him feel superior to others and therefore allows him to sit at the top of his game. Shooter is that guy that worked hard to get where he was, paid his dues, and somehow missed the whole point of remaining humble at the same time. A lot of villains that have been seen in comedies, dramas, horror movies, so on and so forth, had some redeemable part of their character that could have made them seem a little more human and easy to take, but Shooter was unique in a way that made him perfect for this movie. He had no inclination to be a nice guy, or even show a hint that he might be a decent loser at the end.

The shock being beaten in such a way, especially when he’d been working so hard for the gold jacket, was a bit of fuel that Shooter-lovers might have used to justify how losing to Happy was actually pretty tragic. But the act of taking the jacket and trying to run with it seems to kind of erase that whole justification since Shooter was such a poor loser that he had to suffer a breakdown and simply start running. Of course the mob chased after him and got Happy’s jacket back, which in some ways isn’t exactly right when you think about it since mob justice is hard to justify unless it has something to do with not being oppressed by a tyrant or fighting back against someone that thinks they have people under their thumb and has the forces to back it up. This time it was more of an all-around beating that Shooter had to take in order to get the point across that he’d finally ticked off the wrong people.

Anyone feeling sorry for Shooter at the end of the movie might not have watched the whole thing or they might be the type that claim to be ’empathetic’ and therefore feel other peoples’ pain when no one else will. In his own way Shooter is a great example of how far someone can go if they work hard and earn their way up the ranks since he was situated at the top of his game. But he’s also a great example of how comedy doesn’t really take that into account if your character is kind of a jerk.


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