I’ve dropped the link a couple of times (http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/note.php?note_id=107193757256), but MJ has crafted a test of true masculinity based largely on movies such as Gladiator and Australia. I think it’s about time it was put through its paces.
For those non-Whedonites out there, Mal Reynolds is the captain of Serenity the firefly-class starship in Joss Whedon’s criminally cancelled Firefly and the feature-film conclusion, Serenity. Mal is a self centred smuggler with a heart of gold that happened to be crushed along with his faith and most of his compatriots in a galactic civil war leaving the Alliance in charge of most habitable planets. If anyone is a real man, it must be Malcolm Reynolds. I decided to see if MJ’s test would be accurate. This may not make much sense to the non-browncoats out there
The Australian Test
1. Stubble needs to remain at a constant level. It must seem as though the person hasn’t shaved in a few days, but not too long. Sort of like Jason Stratham (“Transporter” trilogy); a mid-way point between Tom Hanks from “Castaway” and Freddy Highmore in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.
Not the best start, Mal is generally clean shaven, but I’m sure if he wanted to grow a beard he could, it’s just kinda more a Jayne thing. 0/1
2. He must do manly things like chop down trees, drive dangerous transportation devices, be able to kill cows with his bare hands, and watch scary movies and appear calm and relaxed.
Mal has crazy man skills: He can fly a spaceship and is pretty quick on the draw with his space-pistols. And he can ride a horse. 1/2
3. His job requires courage and determination. He must own a weapon of some sort and be extremely good at using it. Bullets/ swords should not scare him and he should be able to maintain banter during dangerous battle scenes. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid do this, and make jokes and stuff as they’re being shot at. Another good example would be any James Bond movie.
Mal is a smuggler. It requires plenty of courage and determination to move shipments of illegal cattle under the noses of those pesky Alliance troops. That’s without even taking into account insane, flesh-eating Reavers, Russian mobsters with a penchant for torture, Jayne constantly trying to kill him and take command and the small matter of doctor and his loony sister who just happen to be two of the most wanted individuals in the ‘verse. And while Mal is dealing with all this, he manages to whip out more comic lines than someone whose job it is to make comic lines. Like a comic or something. He really should get bonus points for this one. 2/3
4. He needs to have leadership and courage, and make empowering speeches like “they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!”
Mal’s not a man for flowery words, but he’s the captain and when the time comes to get the troops riled up before heading off on another criminal mission all that really needs to be said “Do the job. Get paid. Keep flying” 3/4 “We’re going to make it. Do you know why? We’re just too darn handsome for God to let us die.”
5. An Australian man needs to have lost a wife or girlfriend who was really close, and then struggle to find anyone who can compare to her before finding a woman who needs saving and then he must fall in love with her.
While we never find out if Mal used to have a little lady waiting for him at home, after the Battle of Serenity Valley he’d pretty much lost everything that he ever believed in, including his faith. That all means that when he meets the lovely Inara all he can do is make sarcastic comments and avoid talking about his feelings: Now that’s a real man. 4/5
6. The Australian man needs to be rugged and must struggle to connect to the upper class or ruling government. He can however overcome this problem for the fore mentioned lady who needs saving.
Easy points for Captain Tight-Pants here; Mal doesn’t roll with the hoighty-toighty upperclass. There was a whole episode about it (“Shindig”). 5/6
7. He needs to be smart and have cool tricks. Basically he needs skills. Think about Zorro’s ability to jump from horse to horse, or Xena’s ability to kill people behind her back (oh wait she’s a woman)
Cool skills? Like executing a “Crazy Ivan”? Okay, that was Wash, but Mal told him to do it. Anyway, Mal has all the smarts required to outwit the Alliance episode after episode. Another win for the captain. 6/7
8. An Australian man also needs to be able to handle his liquor. He must drink either beer or a whiskey/bourbon (or any drink that forces normal people to suck in there breath and clutch their chest and say “ahhh…you can feel it going all the way into your stomach” or something which isn’t very hardcore).
Malcolm doesn’t often plunge himself into the drink (although there was that time he got so drunk that he ended up married), but every year come U-Day he’ll find himself in an Alliance friendly bar trying to have a quiet drink. 7/8
9. He must eat apples using a knife. This is added because in “The Patriot” Mel Gibson cuts this apple using a knife and then eats it ruggedly. I thought that was hardcore and did it a few times to try and impress people.
Once upon a time in the war, there was a lull in the fighting for days and as their rations dwindled, the enemy threw a load of apples into the trenches. As the young recruits hungrily grappled for the fruit, the truth dawned on Malcolm, but before he could stop them they had bitten into the apples and the small low-grade explosives buried in the fruit let off a small pop, killing each young recruit with a dull pop. And that’s why he eats apples with a knife. 8/9
10. Finally an Australian man must wear cool, hardcore clothes/ helmets/ army suits that make him look cool, and attractive for the ladies, but also give him authority. A good example would be Russell Crowe in “Gladiator”, with his cool armour and hardcore helmet.
That’s a very manly 9/10 and don’t think he couldn’t grow some serious space stubble and bump it up to a perfect ten. Malcolm Reynolds is Australian.