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Ben Pinkwater is the main antagonist in the 1994 film Terminal Velocity.

He is portrayed by the late James Gandolfini.


Pinkwater is a Russian criminal who is attempting to smuggle a large shipment of gold in order to buy his way into power, with the help of his vicious henchman Kerr. A Russian spy named Chris Morrow is sent on a mission to recover the gold from Pinkwater, and she becomes a client of skydiving instructor Richard "Ditch" Brodie - during their first parachute jump, Chris apparently falls to her death but this is later revealed to have been faked. Pinkwater poses as an investigator to Brodie to try and find out more about Chris' death, and when Brodie discovers that she is still alive, he brings Pinkwater along with him to meet with her. Knowing she's attempting to stop him, Pinkwater reveals his true nature and attempts to kill them both with Kerr's help. Fortunately, the pair manages to escape and both Pinkwater and Kerr are forced to hunt them down.

During the climax, Pinkwater has Chris kidnapped and locked in the boot of a car as he departs in his private airplane. However, Brodie uses a plane of his own to catch up with them and rescues Chris, killing Kerr in the process. As they skydive safely to the ground, Pinkwater arrives with his own parachute and holds Chris hostage before stabbing her in the back (non-fatally). Brodie lunges at Pinkwater and they begin fighting, until Brodie eventually opens Pinkwater's parachute and sends him flying backwards into a spinning wind turbine, killing him instantly.


  • Pinkwater's death is similar to that of Syndrome from The Incredibles: They both got sucked into a turbine and died instantly.