Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rigorous application of logic Episode II

 In this new series I will dedicate a whole post to a flawed character, concept or story, as compared to real life.

 The trope of the cop who always gets his man is one we've come to respect, regardless of how
irrealistic it is.You admire begrudgingly admire Tommy Lee Jones for being a hardass in
trying to catch Harrison Ford. "Here's a determined cop who we wish really existed." you might think. But
when filtered through the angle of real life, these characters are flawed.

Like tonight's subject, Javert.
You best bring me two more hoagies\ and 3 large ice cream cones . And you better make it hasty\ or I'll hit you with a phooone! 

Inspector Javert is a 17th century French Judge Dredd, up to and including declaring himself
the law. Thematically, he represents the kind of impersonal "justice" that Jean Valjean feels
that took him 19 years of his life.He accepts no bargains, no please, and has no mercy. When told that a person stole because a child was starving, is response is "You'll starve again!" When told that a child  will die if he arrests a woman, he quickly declares goes "Tell it to the judge". Javert just don't care.

So naturally, when  a parolee on his care, the aformentioned Jean Val Jean, runs the hell
away, he's on the case. He hunts the guy for 8 years, eventually finding him under a false
identity as the mayor of the town. Long sung story short, he chases the guy across France
for 20 years.When the guy disproves his chief operating theory that "criminals all suck", he
jumps into a river to his death.

Now discuss: Is Javert just the most badass detective ever? I mean, he chased a man for 20
years because he stole a loaf of breeeeead. Sure, he might have earned himself some "false
identity" and "fraud" and "assaulting a officer" along the way, but for the first 8 years,
this was the extent of his crime.

Now, how many criminals do you think Javert was supposed  to actually arrest. How many
parole breakers? How many rapists and thieves and Lindsay Lohan's where there to arrests in
the 17th century? Probably many, right? And here old Javert spends 8 years of his life
investigating  a parolee for a minor infraction.Can you imagine reporting back that you spent damn near a decade looking for some old man who stole some bread once?

However, outside of Public Enemy 24601, Javert just doesn't seem to be very effective. His attempt to  infiltrate the Revolutionaries failed utterly. Upon finding the subject of his obsession, Javert completely failed to stop the old man, like 3 times, even when having the advantage of a weapon. Even more heinously, when Valjean was almost robbed by the real deal criminals, the Thernadiers, he let them go as soon as he realized Valjean had been there. He's litterally letting real criminals go to pursue this dumb chase.
You know, this could be any other movie they're in.
Javert ain't no badass. He's just an ineffective, obsessive nut.