People sometimes talk about “Film Land”, that amorphous place that exists only on the screen. But why should it be amorphous? If you ask us, Film Land should be recognised by the UN and, crucially, by the International Olympics Committee, allowing it to send a team to the Games. Here is the line-up we’d choose…
*Film Land Competitor: Hulk (Eric Bana / Edward Norton / Mark Ruffalo)
From: Hulk (2003); The Incredible Hulk (2008); The Avengers (2012)*
Shot put involves throwing a ball that weighs 7.26 kilograms as far as possible, without stepping outside the circumference of a circle 7ft wide. Competitors use different styles of throw, most popularly a spin motion or a glide motion. We’re proposing that Hulk give it a go. Assuming he could fit his feet inside the circle, we know for a fact that he can throw a tank over a mile, so this should be a doddle. Someone just tell Edinburgh to look out for flying objects, eh? Hulk, incidentally, will also be smashing records in the long jump and weight lifting events but has agreed not to compete in any other events for the sake of international athletics morale. Referees and officials, meanwhile, have been prescribed valium and protective tanks.
Current world record:* 23.12m **Anticipated world record:** 534.26km*
*Film Land Competitor: Dash (Spencer Fox)
From: The Incredibles (2004)*
The men’s 100m race is probably the single-most talked about event of the Olympics. Who will prove himself the fastest human being on the planet? Will records be broken – and if so, by how much? Well, prepare to be amazed as the athletics-loving son of Mr Incredible and Elastigirl takes to the track and leaves Usain Bolt in his dust. Little Dash can run at an impressive 190mph, which by our calculations means he could cover this distance in about a second. Bolt can, however, take comfort from the fact that they haven’t made a Flash movie yet, and that Quicksilver’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine cameo was so brief that we’re not counting him, as both are faster than Dash.
Current world record:* 9.58 seconds **Anticipated world record:* 1.177 seconds
*Film Land Competitor: Steve “Captain America” Rogers (Chris Evans)
From: *Captain America (2011), The Avengers (2012)
Similarly to shot put, discus throwing involves the competitor standing in a circle (a slightly wider 2.5m circle this time) and spinning around before hurling an object as far as possible. Since it’s a sort of shield-shaped object, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Captain America would be the perfect fit – and since he’s approximately twice as strong as your average strongman, we’re anticipating that he could double the world record. Of course, the chance of him competing on behalf of any but Uncle Sam is pretty much zero, so the US might want to engage his services first. One last question: is the super-soldier serum listed among the illegal drugs prohibited for athletes?
Current world record:* 74.08m **Anticipated world record:* 150m
*Film Land Competitor: The Man In Black / Dredd Pirate Roberts / Westley (Cary Elwes)
From: The Princess Bride (1986)
Fencing is scored on a first-to-fifteen points basis, so there are no world records here to concern us. There is, however, the potential for Film Land to dominate the event, since it is full of characters who have variously been described as the greatest swordsman alive. The national heats for this one were particularly close fought, but in the end the team leader was The Princess Bride’s Man In Black, who pipped the competition by beating them all left-handed – and then revealed that he’s actually right-handed. But there’s real depth of talent behind him, including Val Kilmer’s Mad Mardigan, Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood, Zhang Ziyi’s Jen Yu, Uma Thurman’s Beatrix Kiddo and Tyrone Power’s Zorro. Adjudication continues to determine whether the Olympic judges will allow the use of lightsabers, at which point an application stands for a doubling of the Film Land team to include various Sith and Jedi competitors. Even Edoardo Mangiarotti would be worried by this lot.
*Film Land Competitor: Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence)
From: The Hunger Games (2012)*
While the men’s archery team for Film Land was soon filled out with a real depth of talent (Hawkeye, Robin Hood, Legolas, Robin Hood (animated version)) the ladies team languished with only Brave young Merida flying the Film Land flag (which features lots of stars, and a giant camera). That is, until the Film Land authorities persuaded Katniss Everdeen to compete by imprisoning her family contingent on her performance. Tough, sure, but sport demands sacrifices, and we already knew that Katniss could pull it out of the bag on the day if sufficiently motivated. Once groomed and persuaded that she wasn’t actually at risk of death, Film Land expects her to beat the world record and secure her family’s freedom.
Current world record:* A score of 682 in 2004 (ladies) **Anticipated world record:* 683; whatever it takes to get home safe.
*Film Land Competitor: John Carter (Taylor Kitsch)
From: *John Carter (2012)
While Film Land’s chosen competitor has impressive form in this event, beating the standing world record by almost 100 times, some critics have carped that his abilities are entirely dependent on the Martian gravity and that, were all the athletes to compete in the city of Helium or Zodanga on the red planet’s surface, they’d all do just as well. To which we say, fiddlesticks and xenophobia. Carter is an adoptive Martian and it would be clearly discriminatory to ban him from competing in the conditions he’s used to on that basis – or to pull other athletes from their home planets to Mars unnecessarily. It’s just like when you get distance runners from high altitudes, really; it’s not Mr Carter’s fault he’s at an advantage. And aren’t the Olympics meant to be about the universality of sporting achievement? Universal, folks: it includes Mars. So sit back and watch the records fall.
Current world record:* 2.45m **Anticipated world record:* 200 m
*Film Land Competitor: Superman (Brandon Routh)
From: *Superman Returns (2006)
One criticism levied against Bryan Singer’s Superman film is that its action scenes essentially saw Superman lifting a progressively heavy series of objects. But while that might not make for ideal cinema, it sure as heck makes him a good competitor in this event, which demands nothing more of its participants. Superman is already at home in lycra, is known to believe in ideals like those espoused by the Olympics, and would probably be willing to put himself at a disadvantage by tying one hand behind his back or something. But since we know for a fact he can lift a continent and affect the spin of the planet itself, he should be a shoo-in for gold as long as he remembers to follow the rules and doesn’t get distracted by the troubles of an imperilled child somewhere.
Current world record:* 472kg (total: snatch and “clean & jerk”) **Anticipated world record:* Depends how heavy a weight the organisers can provide
*Film Land Competitors: Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid (Paul Newman, Robert Redford)
From: Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid (1969)
It’s about relative rather than absolute scores here, but we still reckon that Butch and Sundance would be in with a chance. Sure, they’re not in nearly as good shape as most of their opponents; sure, their jump off a canyon lip into the river below is hardly what you’d call elegant, but by the sheer law of averages we’re certain that they’re due to one day succeed at something. They clearly have a great rapport, which helps, they demonstrate no fear of heights, and while Sundance may claim that he can’t swim, he clearly manages to stay afloat down a river so should have no problems in an Olympic pool. Now all we need is to teach them the flippy bits.
*Film Land Competitor: Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks)
From: Forrest Gump (1994)*
Forrest Gump is, of course, already an international athlete of some renown in table tennis, but we always felt he was meant for the distance events in the track section. After all, the man-myth ran across the US and back several times, so it seems a shame to hand him a tiny paddle and leave it at that. Could he beat those impressive world records? Possibly not, but he’d smoke Bekele and the lot of them if we can just introduce a longer race, because who else has trained to go thousands of miles at a time and spawn a dozen cultural movements on the way?
Current world record:* 12:37.35 (5000m); 26:17.53 (10000m); 2h03:38 (marathon) **Anticipated world record:* Somewhere up in there; you never know what you’re gonna get.
*Film Land Competitor: Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford)
From: Indiana Jones films (1981 – 2008)*
Modern pentathlon at the summer Olympics involves fencing, pistol shooting, 200m freestyle swimming, show jumping and 3km cross-country running. We already know that Dr Henry “Indiana” Jones is proficient in swimming, running, horse-riding and shooting, and if we can just make sure that he doesn’t confuse the fencing and pistol shooting events and shoot his sword-wielding opponent, this should be an event he can do with one hand holding a priceless artefact. The fact that he has drunk from the Holy Grail would have to go before the doping committee, but we’re pretty sure that religious dope doesn’t count. Now to peruse the rules carefully and see if we can find a way to get bonus points for whip-work.
Current world record:* n/a **Anticipated world record:* Depends how many Nazis are chasing him.
*Film Land Competitor: Ben Hur (Charlton Heston)
From: *Ben Hur (1959)
Ben Hur is a bit good at rowing. He came up the hard way; none of this mollycoddling training regime nonsense. This is a guy who rows all day, every day, pulling a giant oar among a host of fellow slaves, powering a huge galley around the Mediterranean. So give him a hyper lightweight scull, tell him he only has to row 2000m and watch him laugh in your face as he does it one-handed. After all, he’s also bloomin’ Charlton Heston. If he feels he might be falling behind, he has a direct line to God (through his role as Moses in The Ten Commandments) and as Judah Ben-Hur is on good terms with Jesus. Basically, other competitors’ prayers are unlikely to be answered.
Current world record:* 6:33.35s **Anticipated world record:* Like, 5 minutes, tops.
*Film Land Competitor: Gail Hartman (Meryl Streep)
From: *The River Wild (1994)
OK, we’re going to need Kevin Bacon and a gun this time to really get the best out of white water specialist, but assuming she can get accustomed to the kayak used in this event rather than her giant, unwieldy raft, we reckon that Gail Hartman could be in with a chance. She has an almost supernatural feel for white water, a lack of fear of the rapids and good-enough reflexes to easily avoid the competition's poles and gates as necessary. The big question is really whether she’s hungry enough. Alter-ego Meryl Streep already has every other gold gong out there, so will she put enough effort in to win gold at the Olympics? Only time (or your imagination) will tell!
Current world record:* 3:52.983s (1000m) **Anticipated world record:* 3:50.9s
*Film Land Competitor: School of Moonfish (John Ratzenberger)
From: Finding Nemo (2003)*
Assuming we can persuade the IOC to a) relax the rules on non-human competitors and b) allow male competitors (well, they sound like John Ratzenberger) and c) allow more than 8 in a team, we reckon Film Land has a winner here. These Moonfish do a routine that’s far superior to anything we’ve seen from even the Russian teams that have dominated the last three Olympics. Admittedly, they might lose points for failing to stick their legs out of the water, but what does that matter when they can do an impression of an octopus, a swordfish and the Sydney Opera House?
Current world record:* n/a **Anticipated world record:** All the points*