Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Asses, big and bad

MTV did a poll to find the top ten biggest badass movie characters of all time. Here's what they came up with...

1. Dirty Harry
2. Ellen Ripley
3. John McClane
4. Mad Max
5. Walker
6. Sarah Connor
7. Pike Bishop
8. Khan
9. Boba Fett
10. John J. Rambo

Now, far be it from me to criticize a respected news organization like MTV, but a lot of this list really sucks. I think their problem starts with the fact that they had a pre-selected list of nominees, in which they must have left out a lot of glaringly obvious names.

So in the fine tradition of the internet, I'll propose my own, much better and more thoroughly thought-out list, which you will agree with because of it's utterly unassailable logic. Not that a few of the characters on their list wouldn't make mine - they couldn't help but get a few right, just by accident.

First, I'd propose a ground rule. Any character who gets defeated or just slapped down like a bitch by the end of their movie is OUT. Khan? OUT. Boba Fett? Out.

(And WTF is Boba Fett doing on this list anyway? Wesley Crusher could kick Boba Fett's ass. And that's sad.)

Also, I'm going to really blow some minds here, but there WERE badass characters in film before 1970. Also, there were some badass characters who used swords instead of guns, or even just their bare hands. I know: who knew?

So, here we go. My list could and WILL kick their list's ass. I'm just sayin.

1. The Man with No Name
2. Sam Spade (Bogart version, of course)
3. Spartacus
4. Lee (Enter the Dragon)
5. Ellen Ripley
6. John McClane
7. Adams (The Magnificen Seven)
8. Jason Bourne
9. Conan
10. Dirty Harry (Clint twice on the list for the win!)

The only character it really REALLY hurt to leave out was Chaney from Hard Times. But I wasn't able to figure out who to leave out to put him in. He's the official runner-up.

Some notes are in order. First, I didn't use any non-English movies here to be fair, or most of the Seven Samurai would be on it (at least Kikuchiyo).

I was tempted to add James Bond, either from the classic Connery era or Daniel Craig. But then I realized that Jason Bourne could kick both their asses at once, and had to reconsider.

I know Conan starts out less than badass with the whole "pushing a grain thing around for 10 years" bit, but he really makes up for time after that.

I almost chose Snake Plissken, but that movie plays too much as comedy for me.

And you might say "Hey Patrick, doesn't Spartacus kinda lose at the end, thus breaking your own rules?" Yeah, but.. Well, he's SPARTACUS. And he dies a hero. I dare you to compare that ending to Boba-frickin-Fett. Feh.

Well, that's my list. What's yours?

PS - I originally found this list on The Beat, an extraordinary blog about comics and pop culture!


Metal snail said...

Hey Patrick hows things?
I think Sgt Barnes from Platoon would be on any list I made.
Andreas Knoll ( Metal snail )

Patrick said...

Hey Andreas! It's great to hear from you. :)

That's a great idea for a badass addition. You should do your own list - I'd like to read it!

Stay in touch!