Every movie, no matter how tiny the budget or unknown the star, needs to create characters that viewers will care about enough to last the length of the movie. Some movies do this via comedic wise-cracking characters like those played by Eddie Murphy or Owen Wilson, or romantic characters such as those portrayed by Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, two people whose apparent ability to hypnotise female audiences into watching their works has kept them in the business for the better part of the last twenty years.
But, what about action movie stars? How do make them believable? Well, if you’re an up-and-coming director and need some advice on this matter, we’ve collected the four biggest and best action movie badasses for you as a guide. You won’t create better than these, although there’s no harm in trying.
No, before everybody starts to send us angry emails complaining about the supposed lack of badassness here, we haven’t accidentally mixed up this entry with the entries from our up-and-coming article ‘X Things Made of Chocolate (That Are Completely Awesome)’.
Chocolate Mousse was the name of a character from the 1984 comedy film Top Secret, which also starred notable actors and actresses such as Val Kilmer, Lucy Gutteridge, and Omar Sharif. Undoubtedly, however, the best character in this entire film is the aforementioned Mr. Mousse, played brilliantly by Eddie Tagoe. A member of the resistance group which Val Kilmer joins, Chocolate is nothing less than a gasoline-swilling, cannon-wielding, sniper-esque machine gunner with the smooth silky voice of Shaft and the looks of Robert Downey Jr in ‘Tropic Thunder’.
The Best Moment
Well, there’s the moment you can see above where he seemingly picks up a 17th century cannon and uses it blow an attacking group of German soldiers into a million pieces. Or there’s also the moment during the resistance’s attack on the German HQ where he literally punches a bad guy into a billion pieces. A billion is bigger than a million, however, so the punching thing is definitely the best of them all.
And so we reach a classic character from film history. The main character from John Woo’s masterpiece ‘Hard Boiled’, Inspector Yuen is sort of like a Hong Kong version of John McClane, wherein everywhere he goes or whatever he does, you can be guaranteed that a small-scale gun battle will break out. All we can say is that it must be hard for him to go about his day-to-day business with this hanging over his head constantly. Oh. So he’s an alcoholic as well? Well, we suppose that explains how laid back the guy is all the damn time. And why he has the coolest nickname ever: “Tequila”.
Whenever anybody thinks about John Woo, it’s hard not think of the following things: doves that magically appear from nowhere; guns that never run out of bullets despite having been fired over 6 million times; people being shot in slow motion; people walking in slow motion; doves flying in slow motion. The man loves his slow motion goddamnit, and whilst most people think it’s an overused effect that serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever, they’re so wrong: its sole purpose is to give Yuen more time on screen, and for that alone, we must be thankful.
The Best Moment
During the course of researching this entry, we had to sit through the entire film in order to find out what could be objectively considered to be the best moment. Here is was our conclusion:
The moment on the stairway deserves extra props though for giving us hardcore action-movie goers a way to liven up the simple act of going down the stairs.
All Woo has to do now is make a movie where Inspector Yuen makes the act of vacuuming look completely awesome, and we’re sorted for all our household chores.
The main character from Brian De Palma’s cinematic classic ‘Scarface’, Tony Montana is literally the first thing you think of when you think about successful criminals. Or criminals. Or the American Dream. Which, in the case of the last thing, is a bit strange considering that many people who truly realise the American Dream don’t celebrate that fact by going postal on a group of people with a grenade launcher-equipped assault rifle.
Nevertheless, whilst Chocolate Mousse represents the strong crazy badness and Tequila represents the slick physics-defying badness, Montana is the full embodiment of the badass we all really want to be: the rich one.
The Best Moment
Without a shadow of a doubt, it has to be the mansion shootout at the end. Everything anybody remembers about this film comes from this massive gargantuan battle from the machine gun to the security monitors scene, to the swimming pool and the now-infamous cry of “SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND”
In fact, this whole scene is so famous, it’s been replicated and parodied so many times even Wikipedia can’t even keep a concise and up-to-date list. The best reimagining of this though, in our humbled opinion? The fact that the entire last level of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is a retelling of the film’s finale, right down to... well... everything we just mentioned above.
The Man With No Name
Goddamnit! Close the email account! The character’s name is “The Man With No Name”, it’s not that we forgot what it was or something. Played by the immortal legend that is Clint Eastwood, The Man With No Name is simply one of the best film characters of all time. Seriously, that’s not just our opinion. There was a survey done of the general movie-going public and everything. It’s official. Beating out other such classic characters of film and comic books, no less, such as Peter Venkman (Ghostbusters), Blade, and Tony Stark, surely such an accolade is a testament to the asskicking abilities of this one character.
Now, we know many of you are sitting there at your computer screens crying about the lack of John Wayne on this list; yes, John Wayne is the cowboy. But, The Man With No Name? He’s more the mercenary, and might actually be a bigger badass than the biggest and most well-known hired gun of them all, as played by Jean Reno in ‘Ronin’. Whilst John Wayne and company used to travel the Wild West fighting for the rights of civilians and just generally correcting wrongs, The Man With No Name is what many of us in the situation would truly be: a complete and utter bastard to everybody. And that’s why we love him so much. He’ll help you out. For a price. But, damn would it be worth it, as you’ll see below.
The Best Moment
There are no words to describe how utterly beautiful this scene is. From his ability to stand up to two people with seemingly-loaded guns, to his testicular fortitude for suggesting that they simply duel over the money, The Man With No Name deserved a higher place on the above list. Also, if nothing else can be said about him, at least he was considerate enough to tidily shoot Van Cleef into a grave along with his hat. That’s the sort of thing cemetery managers appreciate.