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|“||The look on your face. You're so proud. Darius Kincaid, about to be a hero, save the day. None of that matters. There is no redemption, no atonement for a man like you. Your whole life has been but a trail of corpses, and I will be just another dead body on the pile! Go ahead! Finish me! But don't think for a moment it will change what you are.||„|
|~ Dukhovich's monologue to Kincaid, moments before his death.|
|“||As I said, there is nothing more important than a good education.||„|
|~ Dukhovich taunting Professor Asimov after he executes his family right in front of him.|
|“||Your Honors... I could save us all some time. May I address the court? For months, I have been sitting in this chair nodding along to this ludicrous charade. My excellent attorney was hoping for the legitimacy of a formal acquittal but that is no longer possible. Thank you, Darius. So, let us now end the charade. The charges against me are entirely correct. I am the rightful ruler of Belarus! As the ruler of my nation, I will do as I wish, without exception, without apology. I recognize no authority that limits my power! In this trial, the world community is attempting to make a statement! Well, now I would like to make a statement of my own! I recognize no authority that limits my powers! I will now take my leave with my dignity intact!||„|
|~ Dukhovich's speech as he confesses his crimes, after they are exposed and just before he initiates his Plan B.|
President Vladislav Dukhovich (in Belarusian: Уладзіслаў Духовіч) is the main antagonist of the 2017 action-comedy film The Hitman's Bodyguard.
He is the ruthless and tyrannical President of Belarus who is responsible for numerous atrocities and crimes in the country which include massacres and executions. After his rule comes under threat, he intends on maintaining his power over the country by any means necessary.
He was portrayed by Gary Oldman, who also portrayed Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula, Drexl Spivey in True Romance, Norman Stansfield in Léon: The Professional, Egor Korshunov in Air Force One, Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg in The Fifth Element, Carnegie in The Book of Eli, Dr. Zachary Smith in Lost in Space, Mason Verger in Hannibal, Lord Shen in Kung Fu Panda 2, Ruber in Quest for Camelot, Dreyfus in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, General Grawl in Planet 51, and Daniel Clarke in Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Little is known about Dukhovich's life before he became the President of Belarus. He explained that he came from a life of poverty and had worked all of his life to make something of himself. This gave him the belief that it could excuse him to do whatever he wants. After becoming President, Dukhovich ruled the country with an iron fist, to which he executed people who disobeyed him, including Professor Asimov's family right in front of him. He would even imprison people and send them to concentration camps to force their compliance, including Asimov who was spent three years there.
At some point, Dukhovich tried to hire hitman Darius Kincaid to kill his political rival who was exiled in the United Kingdom and was also a human rights activist. Kincaid refused to accept the assignment for two reasons: he learned that Dukhovich's rival had children and it reminded him of losing his own father whom that he was close to as a child; and he was horrified after secretly overhearing Dukhovich order his secret police to massacre a village full of innocent people. Unbeknownst to Dukhovich, Kincaid took photographic evidence of the massacre.
Dukhovich's regime finally came to the end when the people of Belarus rose up against him and he was arrested for committing crimes against humanity. However, during the trial at the Hague, Dukhovich had his men assassinate anyone who would testify against him in a bid to force the judge to acquit him and let him go. When Kincaid agreed to testify against Dukhovich for his actions in exchange for his wife's freedom, Dukhovich send his men to kill the witness but Kincaid survived.
Secretly, Dukhovich made a deal with French Assistant Director of Interpol Jean Foucher to ensure Kincaid's assassination for being paid. During one of the hearings, Dukhovich was nearly killed during an attempt on his life through poison, which resulted in him being facially scarred. After Jean demanded his money despite Kincaid's survival, Dukhovich stuck a pen through his hand and refused to pay him until Kincaid was confirmed dead. After later being informed of Kincaid's continuing survival, Dukhovich has his men make sure that Plan B was ready should they fail.
The next day, Dukhovich learns from his right-hand Ivan that they have Kincaid's bodyguard Michael Bryce and orders him to wait for Kincaid at the Hague. Later, for a few seconds before the trial's deadline, Kincaid and Bryce arrive just in time. Kincaid presents the court with photographic evidence of his village massacre. This forces Dukhovich to move to plan B and as he confesses his crimes and how he claimed it was his right, his men drive an explosive truck into the Hague. Dukhovich grabs a gun and attempts to kill Kincaid, only to shoot Bryce and get disarmed. Upon being escorted to his cell, his men free him and take him to the roof for his helicopter escape vehicle.
However, his escape was thwarted by Kincaid who forces him to the roof's edge. After Dukhovich mocks him about how killing him won't change what people think of him, Kincaid laughs it off and explains to a confused Dukhovich that he messed up when he shot his bodyguard. He then kicks him off the roof and he lands on a car, killing him instantly. The people of Belarus see his body and gather around it while praising his death.
|“||You think it's fair to want something for nothing? In my country, we would skin you like a cat. Would that be fair? I come from nothing. I work all my life serving the people. An then, they come into my country and they took it all away! And now, they lock me up like a rat, feed my poison! Is this fair? When Kincaid is dead, you'll be paid in full.||„|
|~ Dukhovich angrily refusing to pay Foucher due to Kincaid still not being dead.|
Although he displays himself as a soft-spoken and well-mannered man, Dukhovich is a truly cruel, ruthless, arrogant, hypocritical, power-hungry, sadistic, remorseless and unsympathetic tyrant who has absolutely no regard for human life in any way. He has no compassion for anyone he kills or hurts, as he smugly taunted Professor Asimov after he personally executed his wife and son right in front of him. He believes that because he came from nothing and worked all of his life to get where he is, he has the right to go against all forms of authority and abuse his political position in any way he pleases, even if it means using it to commit a series of genocides in his own home country. He makes his childhood his primary excuse for his actions and when Foucher demanded his payment while Kincaid was still alive, he tortured him and claimed it isn't fair to want something for nothing. He also shows himself as a cold and malevolent megalomaniac who kills and tortures anyone who questions his leadership and is a threat to him, hinting at a slight sign of paranoia. During his confession in trial before his attempted escape, he displayed no empathy for any of his victims, refusing to apologize for everything he had done to his own people and that it was right to do as he wishes with question.
- Gary Oldman explained "I had a lot of fun with this role. The script had a fantastic marriage of action and dialogue and Ryan Reynolds and Samuel Jackson are a great double act." He further explained about learning Russian: "I probably could have learned Hamlet measure for measure in the time that I've spent on my lines."
- Dukhovich shares many qualities with real-like dictator Joseph Stalin, as both of them thought it was their right to commit genocide on their own people.
- During a scene involving Ivan and his men waiting for Kincaid and Bryce at the Hague, the radio news reporter referred Dukhovich's first name as "Vladimir", not "Vladislav".