The Top 10 Movie Heroes Who Did More Harm than Good

February 2, 2010

Everybody roots for the hero. You know, the main character of the movie who you want to kill the bad guy, save the day, and get the girl. But sometimes, after all the carnage and destruction and good times have been had, you can’t help but look out onto the world he’s changed and think the world would be a better place if he hadn’t screwed everything up.

Source: Universal Pictures

10.  Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate

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Source: MGM

Ben is your typical twentysomething college grad: bored, horny, and disrespectful of every form of authority that exists. Some people his age during the ‘60s served their country in ‘Nam. Ben? He banged his father’s business partner’s wife. And then his wife’s daughter. Nice. If Ben had pulled these stunts in this day and age, we would not label him a hero. We would label him a douchebag.

What adds insult to injury is the fact that once Ben has done all his damage (which is not inconsiderable: he breaks up Mr. and Mrs. Robinson’s marriage, he breaks up Elaine’s marriage to Carl, he ends his father’s law practice, he perversely destroys the relationship between Elaine and her mother, and, perhaps worst of all, he ruins the car his father gave him as a graduation present, a slick, red 1966 Alfa Romeo Spider) he doesn’t even seem all that happy with the beautiful girl whose life he just messed up. This guy is your classic So-Cal spoiled brat. Nothing is ever enough. I’m sure their relationship turned out awesome.

 

9. Gary and Wyatt in Weird Science

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Source: Universal Pictures

These guys are probably guilty of more felonies than Jack Abramoff, but that didn’t keep either of them from getting really cute girlfriends by the end of the movie. To begin with, they hack into a government computer which by itself should’ve put them behind bars for the rest of their pubescence. Worse than this, they leap-frog over all the political, ethical, and religious issues that surround cloning and proceed to make a woman out of nothing other than technology and their perverse imaginations.

It also doesn’t help that, in doing so, they have effectively reversed the Emancipation Proclamation and manufactured themselves a slave. A sex slave, no less. These guys basically open Pandora’s Box and usher in pure evil to their otherwise sedate suburb, as well as transform Wyatt’s brother Chet, more or less a clean-cut guy, into a monstrous concoction of puss and s***. What was a funny, magical prank for them and their she-devil will be for Chet a lifetime of psychotherapy, beta blockers, and electroshock therapy.

Way to go, a-holes. I hope tearing apart the fabric of space and time was worth it just to get a couple of shallow, mean-spirited girls to like you.

 

8. Edward in Edward Scissorhands

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Source: 20th Century Fox

We get so caught up in Edward’s tragic family history that we forget some very hard facts about Mr. Scratchy-Sad Face: at the end of this film Edward murders a high school student with his bare hands. Yes, his bare hands are lethal blades – isn’t this more reason to put the guy behind bars, not less? How does this guy get a pass? Last time I checked, living in a castle, and inspiring Winona Ryder to fall in love with you despite your horrific deformity does not win you a get-out-of maximum-security-prison card. It's hard to believe Ryder’s character is regaling her grandchild with that story. “Gather round, children, I want to tell you about the boy I once knew who destroyed my parents’ house and stabbed my boyfriend to death and got off scot-free…”

Now that’s romance.

 

7. Chief Brody in Jaws

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Source: Universal Pictures

Few movie protagonists have done quite as much damage to marine wildlife and the ecosystem in general as Chief Brody did in Jaws. Sharks have been hunted mercilessly since the film’s release in 1975, and most people see the toothy face of evil when they see a shark. Thanks, Spielberg, for promoting the interests of loveable extraterrestrials while inspiring the ruthless predation and sport-killing of one of the oldest and most ecologically important creatures of planet Earth. Remember that planet? The one that actually exists?

So what did Chief Brody teach us about marine biology? He taught us that when a bunch of stupid teenagers get what’s coming to them from nature’s garbage disposal, the appropriate response is to blow these innocent animals into tiny little pieces. As of right now great white sharks are an endangered species. Here’s hoping Spielberg doesn’t make any movies about dolphins. They have enough problems as it is.

 

6. John Rambo in First Blood

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Source: Universal Pictures

Some people call John Rambo a hero. I, on the other hand, have another name for him: cop killer. The guy suffers from serious post traumatic stress, but that doesn’t really give him the right to play…well, Rambo, in the middle of the woods. You really have to weigh the good he did for his country in ‘Nam versus all the lives he maimed and ended in First Blood. At the end of the day, whatever he did or did not accomplish in suppressing communism in southeast Asia probably wasn’t worth the property damage and tragedy that he caused in the Pacific Northwest.

 

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5. The T-800 in Terminator I, II and III

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Source: TriStar Pictures

Human beings have invented a lot of worthless technology in our time on this planet, but no piece of technology has proved quite as useless as the T-800. Yes, he’s funny, he’s charming, he’s loyal, and he has a body that just won’t quit. But when it comes down to brass tacks, the T-800 does not accomplish anything it sets out to do.

By the end of the first Terminator movie, Sarah Connor gets away. After Terminator II, John Connor grows up to be a big putz, so that by Terminator III everything goes to s*** and the world is annihilated by nuclear war. So basically the T-800 is a retarded robot that has been programmed to repeatedly fail and become obsolete faster than an iPad. By the time we get to Terminator Salvation, the T-800 is really only useful as a model for the cover of Men’s Health magazine, seeing as it’s taken out of commission faster than you can say, “I'm a PC!”

 

4. Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Phantom Menace

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Source: Lucasfilm

The truth of the matter is that Obi-Wan Kenobi is responsible for producing the second most evil dictator the universe has ever seen. Everyone told him, "This kid is bad news." Did that stop Obi-Wan? No. In a defiant act of hubris he went against Jedi protocol and brought up Anakin to be a high-strung little psycho who, like every other nerdy little turd with a lightsaber, became obsessed with Natalie Portman (and grew a rat-tail).

Also, Obi-Wanker raised an evil army of clones.

But Mr. Kenobi’s biggest blunder is that he refused to clean up his own mess. It’s not bad enough that Anakin proves to be the highest maintenance Jedi anyone’s ever met, or that he kills a litter of Jedi-pups, but he also takes up with the dark side. A lot of problems would’ve been solved (a lot of planets not blown up, a lot of fuzzy Ewoks not trampled upon) had Obi-Wan simply put this sniveling little bastard out of his dismembered misery and killed Anakin when it would’ve been the charitable thing to do. Instead, Obi-Wan shacks up in a cave and hides out in the desert for the next twenty years.

 

3. Ellen Ripley in Aliens

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Source: 20th Century Fox

It’s really hard to hate on Ellen Ripley because her heart is always in the right place. The problem is that half the time she carries around an evil, parasitic, humanity-extinguishing, chest-bursting monster behind that heart.

It can’t be argued that when Ripley and her crew sets down on LV-426 she is the smartest, bravest, and toughest of all of them. But look at this from an objective outsider’s point of view. The crew of Nostromo encounters a “life form” that kills everyone…except Ripley. The Marines discover multiple life forms on LV-426, and everyone dies…except Ripley. At this point if you didn’t think something was up you’d have to be stupid.

And what about Newt? This little girl had figured out how to survive, but she dies a grisly death, along with Corporal Hicks, on the return trip thanks to Ripley’s “help.” Everyone seems to die, except Ripley, when they come in contact with these monsters. Oh, and let’s not forget that she nukes an entire colony that did not belong to her, despite the fact that there were several people still on the planet who might have been saved in a rescue mission. Hey Ripley, ever hear the credo, “Leave no man behind”? Guess not.

 

2. John McClane in Die Hard

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Source: 20th Century Fox

Sure, John McClane is tough, clever, and handy with a roll of tape. But you have to wonder: what if he’d just let these morons rob the place? Chances are whatever they stole was insured anyway. Was it really necessary to kill all those Germans? Was it really necessary to destroy that building? Was it really necessary to force Sergeant Powell to incur more psychological trauma by forcing him to shoot down another man? The answer to all of these questions, of course, is a resounding “No.”

John McClane could have simply not called his fellow boys in blue and Hans Gruber and his thugs would have been out of there lickety-split. Things didn’t get sticky until the SWAT team made a mess of everything, and then the FBI made a bad thing worse. No one would have even missed a bathroom break had McClane found a stupid pair of shoes and a Sports Illustrated and rode out the storm on a leather couch.

 

1. Batman in The Dark Knight

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Source: Warner Bros.

Bruce Wayne suffers from some pretty serious cognitive dissonance, and at some point it’s going to get the people of Gotham killed. Well, even more of them killed than were already getting killed. The guy refuses to shoot the Joker or even punch him very hard.

Here’s what “Batman” doesn’t refuse to do:

-- Fire ballistic missiles at parked cars to distract criminals and/or clear up traffic. Does he have a Bat-Sensor that tells him what the collateral damage of blowing up parked vehicles in a dense urban environment is, or whether there are any people in said vehicles (a tactic reminiscent of Al-Qaeda)?

--Open fire on glass obstructing his Bat Pod in highly populated, motor vehicle-restricted indoor areas.

--Tamper with and remove evidence from crime scenes before the police have been able to investigate.

--Convince local law enforcement to cover up several high-profile murders.

The list goes on, but I think I’ve made my case. At what point does having Batman around start to become more than just a hazard/nuisance? Once you allow one guy to drive a tank down main street and fire missiles at anything he deems an inconvenience, you open the door for everyone to do it. Bruce Wayne is just another example of an elite celebrity who is above the law. Is Batman really what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they made America? I don’t think so.

 

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