“I didn’t play a villain; I played a man doing his job” – Stephen Lang
That is how badass actor Stephen Lang describes his role as Avatar’s antagonist Col. Miles Quaritch.
It was a brilliant portrayal, lost to many moviegoers due to being blindly distracted by the blue giants dominating the scenes and the protagonist Jake Sully’s quest to score some blue booty (he got it too #beastmode).
All it takes is one look at Colonel Miles to know that he isn’t the type of man that you go to begging for a day off. The man looked every bit the committed military type that has been in the dance for so long that he is harder than penitentiary steel. Quaritch lived in a time when the technology allowed for a man’s scars to be removed yet he kept a visible scratch across his puss to remind him daily that he can never let his guard down.
Colonel Quaritch harbored no personal feelings towards the natives that he was called in to threaten but he was willing to do anything that his superiors commanded to a fault and it made him the ultimate soldier. Quaritch trained daily and his sinewy, scarred and tan skin told epics on the past he had even without him mentioning it. His commands were direct, straightforward and uncompromised and presence was all he needed as a man of few words.
From the Avatar Wiki: He regularly worked out to off-set the low gravity on Pandora so he didn’t get “soft”. He was in outstanding physical condition, despite being middle aged, and he was known to leave his exopack back in his base for short periods when entering combat in the poisonous atmosphere of Pandora when he felt the situation demanded it. An expert with his AMP suit, he was still familiar with combat techniques as demonstrated by his marksmanship and his hand-to-hand combat skills.
Despite being a fierce and merciless warrior, Quaritch claimed that he “takes care of his own”, and appeared to have good relations with his men, who all seemed to respect him as a leader.
Colonel Miles Quaritch is a reel man of cinema because he exemplifies the final phase of what becomes of a man sworn to duty and hardened to anything else. The part was acted perfectly and if you need an example of a consummate warrior, Quaritch was it…. Yes Avatar fans he was, moreso than the fierce Neytiri who let matters of the heart cloud her judgment.
Quaritch battled to the bitter end and not so much out of the need to complete his mission but because fighting was what he loved and Neytiri granted him the best death a warrior can have. He is the reason I had a hard time being 100% pro-Navi and he is also the reason why I watch Avatar whenever it is on.
If you’re looking for blood and guts in a Sci-Fi setting; this man is it. Colonel Miles Quaritch, badass, super soldier and a reel man of cinema.See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.