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Film / Sexy Beast

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"Shut up, cunt! You louse. You got some fucking neck. Retired? Fuck off. You're revolting. Your fucking suntan... you're like leather. Like a leather man. You could make a fuckin' suitcase, a hold-all. You look like a fat crocodile, fat bastard. You look like fuckin' Idi Amin. State of you... you should be ashamed of yourself. Who d'you think you are? King of the castle? Cock of the walk? You think this is the Wheel of Fortune? You make your dough and fuck off? 'Thanks, Don. See you, Don. Off to Spain, Don. Fuck off, Don.' Lie in your pool laughing at me. D'you think I'll have that? You think I'll have that, ya ponce? All right, I'll make it easy for you. God, you're fucking trying! Are you gonna do the job? It's not a difficult question. Yes or no?"
Don Logan

Sexy Beast is a 2000 British crime film directed by Jonathan Glazer (of later Under the Skin fame) in his feature directorial debut, starring Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, and Ian McShane. The film received a lot of buzz on the indie circuit, but is perhaps best known to mainstream audiences as the other film released in 2000 with a nightmarish, anthropomorphic bunny.

Gal Dove (Winstone) is a retired English crook living a life of modest luxury in Spain. He spends his days sunbathing by the pool while his beautiful wife Dee Dee jets around town. At night, they dine with their best friends from England, Aitch and Jackie.

One day, a ghost from Gal's past arrives: Don Logan (Kingsley), an old soldier of the London underworld. Bitter, jealous, and violent, Don barges into Gal's home with an offer that he can't refuse: return to London to participate in a dangerous heist. Can Gal resist Don's overpowering force of will and refuse the summons? And can he survive the repercussions of their meeting?

This film contains the final performance of actor Cavan Kendall, who died of cancer shortly after filming ended.

Contains examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Don Logan is sweet on Jackie, but she regards him with open revulsion.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Jackie had a brief fling with Don before she was with Aitch. Technically, both Dee Dee and Jackie married former crooks, though they're both harmless.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Don makes it clear in the end that he'll kill Gal if he doesn't agree to do the job.
  • Asshole Victim: Don really had it coming, and nobody misses him.
  • Avenging the Villain: Half the film is spent teasing whether Teddy Bass will figure out that Gal killed Don Logan and kill Gal in vengeance. In the end, Teddy does figure it out, but decides against taking vengeance, because what does he really care anyway?
  • Ax-Crazy: Don.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: When in London, Don is immaculately dressed in a suit and tie. So is Teddy.
  • Bald of Evil: Don is a real bastard and played by the bald Ben Kingsley.
  • Beard of Evil: Don sports a goatee.
  • Berserk Button: Do not say no to Don Logan unless you're prepared to kill him too. It would also be extremely unwise to accuse Don of stalking Jackie.
  • Beta Couple: Aitch and Jackie.
  • Blatant Lies: Don's story about being inappropriately touched by a steward (as an excuse for his rampant Jerkass behavior on board the plane) was clearly a lie, but he tells the story so convincingly that the airline would rather let him off the hook than risk the negative publicity such a thing would result in.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How Teddy Bass kills Harry.
  • The Bully: Don Logan terrorizes Gal in an attempt to force him back to London for their heist.
  • The Caper: Don wants Gal to participate in a complicated bank robbery, in which the robbers tunnel in through the adjacent sauna and use the pool water to short out the security.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • A very literal example — Gal and Aitch take the pool boy out to shoot rabbits. Might that gun make a return appearance?
    • The pool itself, which is ruined by a rolling boulder at the start of the film. In the end, it's revealed that this is where Gal and the others disposed of Don's corpse.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Gal can hold his breath quite a while under water.
  • Chewing the Scenery: "You're the problem! You're the fuckin' problem you fuckin' Doctor White honkin' jam-rag fucking spunk-bubble! I'm tellin' you, Aitch, you keep lookin' at me I'll put you in the fuckin' ground, promise you!"
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Don Logan's language is remarkably foul even when he is being civil. While on a tirade, his cursing reaches epic heights.
  • Country Matters: Twenty-one uses, in fact.
  • Death Glare: This is usually Don Logan's default expression. Special mention goes to when Dee Dee interrupts his creepy attempts at flirting with Jackie, and Don levels an absolutely chilling glare at her.
  • Delusions of Eloquence: Don Logan likes to think he's smarter than the protagonists, but his rapid-fire speech is half Cluster F-Bomb and half this, with needless extra words and non-words ("insinuendos") everywhere.
  • Disposing of a Body: Under Gal's pool.
  • Don't Look At Me: Don screams, "I'm telling you, Aitch, you keep looking at me, I'll put you in the fucking ground. I promise you!"
  • Double Standard: In the same breath, Don compliments Gal for being a promiscuous lady's man called "Dove the Love" while Slut-Shaming Dee Dee for being a former porn star.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Don Logan. When everyone learns that he's coming, they all give an Oh, Crap! reaction.
    • Teddy Bass, "Mr. Black Magic himself." Gal spends half the movie terrified that Teddy will find out what he's done.
  • Entitled Bastard: Don sees any opposition to his will as a personal affront. After Gal says he's happily retired in Spain and doesn't want to come back to London for the job, Don screams: "I won't let you be happy! Why should I!?".
  • Evil Is Petty: Don pisses on Gal's bathroom rug just for spite.
  • False Rape Accusation: After getting himself thrown off a plane for refusing to put out his cigarette and being aggressive, Don tells the investigator that the cabin crew sexually harassed him and is released.
  • Fat Bastard: One of the many insults Don repeatedly throws at Gal when he refuses to change his mind.
  • Foreshadowing: A massive, unstoppable boulder rolls down the hill, crashes into Gal's pool and cracks the double-heart insignia on the bottom. This foreshadows the arrival of Don, an unstoppable disaster that threatens Gal's life of blissful matrimony.
  • Freudian Excuse: Ben Kinglsey believes that the reason Don is such an unhappy man is because he was sexually abused as a child. So, he makes everyone as miserable as he is.
  • Gayngster: Teddy Bass, "Mr. Black Magic" himself. Teddy attends Roman-style orgies to meet wealthy and powerful men and steal from them.
  • Gentle Giant: Don calls Gal a big lovable lummox, though he does it sneeringly, implying Gal crafts this image of himself for the ladies.
  • Gentleman Thief: Teddy is a sophisticated and well-dressed man who is apparently known by the London elite well enough to get invited to their orgies.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Don smashes a beer bottle into Gal's face.
  • Hair-Raising Hare: After watching Aitch utterly fail to shoot a jackrabbit in the desert, Gal's anxiety over Don manifests in strange dreams in which Gal is menaced by an anthropomorphic rabbit.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: The group is terrified of doing anything to upset Don when he arrives. His reactions to almost everything are so aggressive that his mere presence sucks all the conversation (and the air) out of the room. Don's anger at Gal's refusal is completely anticipated, however.
  • Happily Married: Gal and Dee Dee are clearly head over heels in love after all these years.
  • Hate Sink: Understandably, none of the characters seem to like Don at all, and it's obvious we're not supposed to either.
  • Hated by All: Don is feared and despised by everyone around him, as a result of his obnoxious, violent, and thoroughly unpleasant personality. When Gal kills Don near the end after having enough with his abuse, nobody mourns for him. Not even Teddy cares enough about Don to avenge him.
  • He Knows Too Much: This is why Teddy kills Harry, as he was the only person who could have connected him to The Caper.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Don throws all manner of sexist abuse at Jackie and Deedee, calling them whores and the like. While he merely hates anyone who is happy while he isn't, Don is particularly resentful that Aitch is with Jackie and he's actually scared of Deedee.
  • The Heavy: Although Teddy Bass is the Big Bad who set the whole plot in motion, Don Logan is the real villain driving the story's momentum.
  • Jerkass: Logan is a complete asshole when he gets his dander up.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down:
    • Don bursts into Gal's bedroom and wakes him up by kicking the crap out of him.
    • And then this happens quite literally to Don himself... after being shot.
  • Knows a Guy Who Knows a Guy: Don begins his explanation of the planned heist.
    Don:"I know a bloke, who knows a bloke, who knows a bloke. Now, you know this bloke."
    Gal:"Do I?"
    Don:"This is a bloke you know."
  • Ladykiller in Love: Hinted at in Gal Dove's past. Don says he used to be a very fit and handsome man, called "Dove the Love," and very popular with the ladies until he surprised everyone and married Dee Dee, with whom he is still in love.
  • London Gangster: All main characters are connected to the London mob scene, some more willingly than others.
  • Made of Iron: Don survives not one, but two shotgun blasts to the torso and is still clusterf-bombing away while coughing up blood.
  • Malaproper: When Gal accuses Don of also being in Spain to see Jackie, Don flies into a rage at Gal's "insinuendos".
  • Manipulative Bastard: Don tries this many times on Gal and his friends, even whispering to Jackie that he loves her while dying from a shotgun blast to the gut. Nobody buys any of it for a second. It works like a charm when he gets himself into trouble at the airport, only to get off scot-free by claiming to have been sexually assaulted by an airline steward.
  • Married to the Job: Don apparently has nothing in his life except his job as a mob enforcer. When he's contacted for the job, he's sitting alone on a stool in the dark, watching television in his underwear.
  • Mirror Monologue: Don stares into the mirror and mumbles to himself, working up the nerve to attack Gal in his bed.
  • The Napoleon: Don is played by the 5'8 Ben Kingsley and he is every bit as angry, aggressive and abusive as the trope would suggest. Gal is sort of a Gentle Giant counterpart, meek and submissive, but is taller and much broader.
  • Never Found the Body: After he is killed, Don's body is hidden in the crater in Gal's swimming pool. Once the crater is fixed, there's pretty much no chance that anyone will ever find him.
  • No Social Skills: Even when Don isn't threatening or shouting at people, his interactions with others are incredibly awkward.
  • One Last Job: Don wants Gal to return to London after a long retirement for another job, though the implication is that even if Gal doesn't get caught, he could get pulled back for yet another job at any time.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Teddy figures out that Gal killed his soldier Don, but decides to take no revenge because, well, why would he? He doesn't care about Don, and the job went off without a hitch, so he just tells Gal to go away.
  • Psycho for Hire: Don Logan, a severely unbalanced man who works at the pleasure of underworld royalty like Teddy.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": In the heat of a tirade, Don begins shouting, "Nononononononononono!" refusing to accept Gal's refusal.
  • Rasputinian Death: Don gets a load of buckshot in the gut from ten feet away, is then savagely beaten and kicked by four people, then receives yet another gutshot point-blank while lying on the ground, and he still manages to cough out a few more obscenities. It finally takes his skull getting crushed by a large rock to put him down permanently.
  • The Resenter: Don is violently oversensitive to what he perceives as personal slights, real or imagined. The main object of his resentment, though, is Gal.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: A slightly different version in that it's only Don who insists that Gal cannot turn his back on his old comrades. Ultimately Teddy punishes Gal by banishing him from London, which is what Gal wanted all along.
  • Restrained Revenge: Teddy lets Gal leave London with ten quid and a hearty "fuck off forever" because he really doesn't give a damn that Gal killed Don.
  • Shout-Out: Don Logan's arrival at the airport is a direct homage to Harold Shand arriving at Heathrow Airport in The Long Good Friday.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Don Logan. The rest of the cast are plenty profane by themselves, but Don leads by a country mile due to sheer inventiveness ("Honkin' jam-rag fucking spunk-bubble!"), Cluster F-Bombs in nearly every line, the fact that everything in the world makes him angry.
  • Slut-Shaming: Don tries to wound Gal by holding Dee's past as a porn star against him, reminding him of her old nickname, "Dirty Dee Dee." Gal, a Ladykiller in Love and hardly one to judge, just shrugs it off.
  • The Sociopath: Don Logan is a particularly potent sociopath, completely lacking in social skills and having nothing in his life other than his job. He also has a nasty Hair-Trigger Temper and is so disliked that when Teddy figures out he's been killed he doesn't even care and seeks no vengeance against the person that did it.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Don is very articulate in his speech between dropping the Cluster F-Bombs, although at times he sounds like he has Delusions of Eloquence.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Don towards Jackie (with a dash of Crazy Jealous Guy thrown in) - at least that's what Gal accuses him of being. It doesn't help Don's situation that he has absolutely no idea how to interact with people like an adult human being and is incapable of expressing himself except through extreme profanity and violence.
  • Straight Gay: Harry, a powerful and straight-laced banker who attends the same orgies as Teddy.
  • Toros y Flamenco: Gal lives in a secluded area of Spain and loves the hot, sunny weather as well as the local cuisine.
  • The Unfettered: Don Logan.
  • Unishment: Teddy's revenge against Gal for murdering Don is to stiff Gal out of his share of the heist money and essentially banish him from London. Gal doesn't have to worry about money with his lifestyle, and 'banishment' means that he can never be forced to leave Spain to appease his past connections again, so Gal's punishment is exactly what he wanted in the first place.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Don gets progressively nastier and more violent towards Gal and his friends after being turned down on the job offer until he is practically screaming obscenities.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Don has no problem knocking the crap out of the Spanish boy.
  • Yiddish as a Second Language: Don drops a little Yiddish, notably "schtum," meaning "quiet." Coming from East London, Don would know a few Yiddish words that have crept into the criminal argot.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Subverted. After the heist, Teddy tells Gal to fuck off and exiles him from London. Fortunately for Gal, that's exactly what he wanted.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Don pulls this on Gal's Spanish helper boy. One look at Dee Dee, however, and he doesn't even try.