Christoph Waltz is the new spokesman for Supercell’s mobile strategy game, Clash of Clans, as you may have noticed from the flood of commercials featuring him in the past few weeks. This, to be very clear, is fine, because Christoph Waltz is a delightful man, and having his smiling face on television is always a welcome development. And the spots appear to be very successful, too, as the five on the official Clash of Clans YouTube page have rung up something like 50 million combined views as of this writing, despite the first of them just hitting the page on December 22. This is what marketing firms refer to as a win-win, provided the two criteria they base success on are YouTube views and pleasing me, personally. Which seems reasonable.
But anyway, I bring this up here not so much to give you hard data and statistics as I do to raise a question: In the commercial from the campaign at the top of the page, do… do you think Christoph Waltz murders the snotty teen moments after the camera cuts away?
Let’s back up. Context will help. In the commercial, the snotty teen — whose name is probably, oh, I don’t know, let’s go with “Trevor” — is playing Clash of Clans on his tablet. His sister is sitting next to him on the couch preparing a detailed plan of attack with paper and pencil. When she finishes, she rips it off and hands it to him, at which point he discards it and promptly meets screen-based destruction. And then, I believe, he is murdered by Christoph Waltz.
Why do I think he is murdered by Christoph Waltz? Well, mostly because I’ve seen Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained too many times, to the degree that a) Christoph Waltz smiling is now more terrifying to me than 1,000 armed warriors screaming at me, and b) I kind of assume Christoph Waltz murders everyone he meets. Or at least that he might murder everyone he meets. Like, above a 50 percent probability. Closer to 70. Especially when those people are snotty teens named Trevor who he has just mocked repeatedly and referred to as “a very silly boy” and “little man.” And look at the face he makes at Trevor at the very end. That’s the Christoph Waltz murder face! The one he makes right before removing the smile from his face and producing an old-timey gun! Trevor’s a goner.
Now, admittedly, some of this is unfair to Christoph Waltz, this whole “presumption of violent murder” business. He seems like such a nice man. It’s not his fault that Quentin Tarantino has turned his brand of polite giddiness into a sign of impending doom for anyone who gets in his way or disappoints him, or that the past 100 years of world history have caused the German-Austrian accent to be associated with sinister intentions, especially to American audiences. And yet, here we are. They’re just facts now. The whole thing, as one might say if one were a high-ranking Nazi enforcer who was not perfectly familiar with American expressions, has become a bit of “a bingo.”
Which brings us back to our snotty teen, Trevor. Here’s what I think happens once the commercial ends. I think Christoph Waltz continues mocking him, smiling the whole time, saying things like “Why did you do that? Hmm, Trevor? That was a mistake, yah?” I think eventually Trevor says something like, “Why are you even in our house?” Then I think Christoph Waltz replies, “A-ha! You have asked an excellent question. Why am I in your house? Well, Trevor…”
This is when Christoph Waltz pulls two black gloves out of his pockets and slides them onto his hands very precisely.
“… I am here for one simple reason. I am here to correct a wrong. You should have listened to your sister, Trevor. She was trying to help.”
And this is when he pulls a pistol from the 1930s out of his waistband and begins calmly screwing a silencer into the barrel. It is also when Trevor begins freaking out, saying things like, “Holy crap, that’s a gun!” and “I’m sorry!” and “I promise I’ll listen to my sister next time!”
And Christoph Waltz will finish screwing in the silencer, still smiling, and say “Ah, but there’s where you are mistaken, Trevor. Silly, silly Trevor. The wrong I am correcting is not your actions today. The wrong I am correcting is you.” And then the smile will vanish from his face and he will shoot Trevor in the head, and Trevor’s sister will flee screaming from the house and end up becoming a projectionist in Paris.
Or, you know, something like that.