Picking at the bloated carcass of geek culture...occasionally!!!

Monday’s “That Guy:” Ewen Bremner

In Movies, That Guys on January 19, 2010 at 1:28 am

Ah, Monday again.  When picking someone to write about, I usually look for someone I have seen recently on TV or a movie who has reminded me of his or her existence.  Usually, this works well for me, due to the large number of random films, flicks, and movies I tend to take in on a regular basis.  Recently, however, this has not been the case.  Why?  Working hard, maybe?  Getting a lot of reading done?  Finally getting to work around the house?  Screenplay that’s been sitting on a shelf for half a decade?  Um…no.  How about a combination of video games and British spy thriller TV shows (or show, actually).  My replaying of Dragon Age and viewing of MI-5 have been my source of entertainment for a couple weeks now and that doesn’t give me much access to random “that guys” to write about.  Then, upon watching a new episode of MI-5, I recognized this Monday’s “That Guy,” Ewen Bremmer, and I knew I was in luck.

Ewen Bremner entered my consciousness, along with a lot of other people’s, in Trainspotting as the one of the main characters, Spud.  The first thing you will notice about this dude is that he majorly Scottish.  Not one of those Scottish, LOTR dwarfesque, parodies of Scottish accents accents, but the real kind where you rarely have any idea of what he is saying and almost believe he doesn’t either.  Bremner’s accent is so spectacular to listen to, even if I tend to have a difficult time understanding what is being said from time to time.  What can I say?  I’m American and have a particularly bad ear for language, even when I’m listening to the language I speak.  The other great thing about Bremner is that he has an amazingly, one-of-a-kind faces.  The dimensions of his grill are off-the-chart nutty.  I’m not sure you could recreate it with all the sliders from Fallout 3, Elder Scrolls IV:Oblivion, and Mass Effect combined.  I could call him ugly, but ugliness still exists on the human plane of experience.  His face is outright otherworldly.  So weird it kind of becomes good looking again.

I never knew heads came in that shape. God Bless the United Kingdom for constantly redefining facial characteristic expectations.

I then started seeing Ewen Bremner a lot during the end of last decade and in the early ’00’s.  He became a common face (if such a thing were possible for him) in military movies, appearing in the Pearl Harbor and Blackhawk Down, both times playing the likeable and sweetly goofy “aw shucks” American soldier in both movies.  He was also in the completely underrated and extremely entertaining action movie, The Rundown. He played Declan, one of my favorite movie stereotypes of all time: the wild, plays-by-his-own rules, pilot whom flies the protagonist to wild locations in a beat-up, outdated airplane.  I have NEVER run into one of these people in real-life, but they are a growth industry in the movies.

As of today, Bremner is still getting tons of work.  He was in AVP: Alien vs. Predator, the movie with the most honest tagline ever: Whoever wins, we lose.  I lost time from my life and the suffered the loss of not one, but two beloved franchises.  He was  in Match Point, which has been a splendid movie for seeing many of my favorite new British actors.  He has been in tons of TV, both British and American.  But he has not been in as movies as I was expecting him to be in based on his early appearances, and that is a problem.

Why?  Because in addition to his modern-art-masterpiece mug, he is extremely charismatic.  He always has me rooting for him, hoping things will go his way.  He seems like a fun guy; a good guy to hang out with.  This is his value as a “that guy.”  He doesn’t need a lot of backstory or exposition to get the audience to go along with him.  He can do a lot with a little, whether it be screen time or script.  Ewen Bremner is an excellent “that guy” that I hope we continue to see excellent work from.

  1. I loved Rundown.

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