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Film: Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man
So much macho, it might make you sick.

Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man is a 1991 action film, starring Mickey Rourke and Don Johnson. The film was written by Don Michael Paul and directed by Simon Wincer.

Set in the then-future of 1996, Harley Davidson meets a life long friend, a cowboy who is nicknamed The Marlboro Man and they later plan a bank robbery to help save their friend's bar from being foreclosed and replaced with a skyscraper. However, after they rob a bank's armored car, they discover the cargo they stole is the designer drug Crystal Dream, not money. Chance Wilder, who is a bank president involved in drug dealing, demands the return of the drugs. A series of increasingly deadly encounters ensue as heavily-armed assassins hunt for Harley and Marlboro, and the film continues to details their attempts to escape with their lives.

Tropes associated with this work:

  • Badass
  • Berserk Button: Harley insulting Marlboro's dead father out of frustration merely annoys him. Chance insulting Marlboro's father for real is grounds for a No Holds Barred Beat Down
  • The Chanteuse: Lulu Daniels.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Marlboro's duct-taped cowboy boots. Harley calls him out on this, saying he should get a new pair. Later, one of the assassins holds to Marlboro's boots when they're both hanging from a ledge and... whoops.
  • Cool Old Guy: The owner of the Rock n' Roll Bar, who also acts as a surrogate father figure for Harley, Marlboro, Jack and Jose.
  • Cool Shades: Harley constantly sports a pair.
  • Fantastic Drug: The hallucinogenic neurotoxin "Crystal Dream", which is taken through the eyes.
  • Fair Cop: Virginia Slim.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Chance is seen having a video conference with Japanese business partners. Roughly half of his dialogue is made unintelligible by a combination of his accent and speaking way too fast.
  • Hand Cannon: Both of the main characters are armed with biiiig guns; Harley Davidson has a custom Ruger Super Blackhawk in .454 Casull, and Marlboro packs a .44 Magnum Desert Eagle.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Subversion. Tom the chopper pilot decides to help our heroes out in the climax despite being in the employ of the villains, but it's more because his bosses were assholes to him and because the heroes paid him than anything else.
  • Honor Before Reason: Despite being an outlaw, Marlboro adheres to a strict code of honor. He rejects Harley's idea to run away when they're being hunted by the assassins, and later refuses to shoot an unarmed Chance despite everything Chance had done, both times because "It ain't right."
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Harley is apparently a graduate. According to Marlboro, it's because he first learned how to shoot with an overly-powerful gun, and thus never mastered the finer points of marksmanship.
  • Instant Marksman Just Squeeze Trigger: The Marlboro Man says "Squeeze the trigger, Harley. Don't yank it, it's not your dick. Squeeze it." In this case, however, there's no training taking place; the Marlboro Man is making a snarky comment on Harley's piss-poor shooting skills.
  • It Was a Gift: The reason Marlboro continues to wear his shitty, worn-out, duct taped boots is because his father gave them to him before his first ever rodeo ride.
  • It's Like I Always Say: "My old man used to tell me, before he left this shitty world..."
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Jack Daniels with his wife Lulu.
  • Jive Turkey: Jimmy Jiles.
  • Name and Name: Nickname and nickname, to be exact.
  • New Old West: The plot is a gang of outlaw bikers robbing an armored car to save their favorite bar that represents the last bastion of an earlier day in a modern society. Replace the motorcycles with horses, the armored car with a train, and you have a western right there. The fact that one of the bikers actually is a cowboy, and the bar they hang out is frequented by a variety of cowboys and outlaws doesn't hurt matters either. It even ends with one of the heroes riding off into the sunset.
  • Neutral Female: Kimiko does absolutely nothing but stand and watch as her boss is, in order: held at gunpoint, beaten and bloodied, and sent careening to his death.
  • Nice Hat: Marlboro, natch.
  • Only a Flesh Wound (with a side of Major Injury Underreaction): The Marlboro Man is shot in the arm twice: once in the forearm with a 5.56 assault rifle round and once in the shoulder with a massive .454 Casull round. In real life, that arm would probably have been damaged to the point of requiring amputation. At the very least, it would have been severely and permanently crippled. Marlboro's reaction to his injuries can best be described as "mild, bemused annoyance", and he is later seen competing in a rodeo, where he uses that arm as if nothing ever happened.
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: Alexander tries this when he captures Marlboro. Subverted when Harley attempts to take out the baddie with a well-placed shot, but is such a poor marksman he just ends up shooting Marlboro in the shoulder.
  • Ridiculous Future Sequelisation: A billboard is shown advertising Die Hardest V.
  • Robbing The Mob Bank: Turns out the armored transport van they robbed was carrying drugs instead of money.
  • Sacrificial Lion: All of Harl and Marl's friends at the bar (minus Lulu) die when Alexander and friends come looking for them.
  • Saving The Bar: A misguided attempt at this is what sets the plot in motion.
  • Sexy Secretary: Chance's secretary Kimiko, as played by Tia Carrere.
  • Soft Water: Harley and Marlboro jump off the roof of a hotel, fall at least ten stories and land in a pool without breaking anything in their bodies.
  • Twenty Minutes into the Future: It's set in 1996, so technically it's five years into the future from when it was made.
  • The Voiceless: Jose is a mute. Marlboro is responsible for interpreting his miming.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Both heroes are involved in adultery. Harley had an (offscreen) fling with Lulu prior to the start of the story which resulted in Jack (then her boyfriend and currently her husband) ready to murder him for it, while Marlboro spends a night with his old flame Virginia, whom he finds out midway through is engaged.

The Hard WayFilms of the 1990sHe Said, She Said

alternative title(s): Harley Davidson And The Marlboro Man
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