These iconic movie heroes are soldiers for the force of good; odds-defying angels who want nothing more than to banish all evil from the world, and let everyone live in peace.
Upon closer inspection, some of these well known ‘heroes’ are seriously deficient of heroic qualities, and surprisingly adept in the villain department. Here are eight iconic protagonists you have been wrongly rooting for all this time.
V (V for Vendetta)
He’s the radical freedom fighter who has given his life to topple the untouchable, oppressive ivory tower that is the dystopian government. Careless with his own life, nothing the powers-above can do will deter him from bursting through the glass ceiling, and returning true freedom to us, the people.
He’s insane. Absolutely nuts. Clearly mentally damaged by his harrowing past, V has folded in the head, and proceeded to destroy anything that means anything. He brutally tortures the only friend that he has ever had just to prove a point (still not exactly sure what that point was, by the way), manipulates hundreds of people into giving their lives for his cause (but still only communicates with his would-be-martyrs via cryptic messages), and blows up one of England’s most historic and beautiful buildings. V is for vexed villainous violent vindicator.
Tyler Durden (Fight Club)
Ah Tyler Durden, the truth seeing chosen one, dedicated to leading a revolution against the mundane, materialistic nature of modern, consumerist life. He’s cool, good looking and a fighter; everything we want in a manipulative anarchist.
He’s just a mindless terrorist. Fight Club gives the impression that the narrator has accomplished what he wanted by the end of the film, which seems to be some kind of boredom crusade. He hates his job in the office, and so goes insane, starts imagining people and destroys two block towers worth of important financial offices, thereby bringing the entire world to its knees. How is this guy not an unhinged terrorist?
Gimli (The Lord of the Rings)
He’s a wise cracking defender of peace that will do anything for his friends, and follow his companions right into the jaws of death. But this doesn’t stop him having a good time. He’s generous with his company, and loves playing drinking games with others.
He’s a racist, money hoarding, backstabber out to save his own skin. You’ve seen how he talks to elves, and the only reason he reconciles with Legolas in the end is because that in particular elf has saved his life about 20 times. I reckon it’d be fairly easy to change your tune in that situation. He’s greedy when it comes to food, drinks far too much, and is blatantly just a footstep away from stealing the ring from Frodo and taking over the world himself. Most damningly, he even tries to convince Aragorn to go back on his word and keep the Army of the Dead enslaved under his rule. What a git.
Oliver (Oliver Twist)
Downtrodden, unfortunate Oliver Twist rises from the ashes and lucks out on a loving family willing to take him in. He deserves it, with all he’s been through, and we’re really happy to see Sykes get his comeuppance while cute little Oliver receives the simple life he’s always wanted.
Oliver commits exactly the same crimes as Dodger does, and the latter is still on the run from the law by the end of the film. While he has suffered an unfortunate amount for a child his age, does that really give him the right to turn to crime? If Bill Sykes is the villain of this story, then Oliver is definitely an accessory to his criminal network. “Steal from the rich, and give to Fagan who will buy a crown and other miscellaneous and useless shiny things.”
The Hulk (The Marvel films)
Bruce Banner is an intelligent, sophisticated, harmless man who is an asset to any superhero team and their crime-fighting efforts. The Hulk is misunderstood, but good at heart, and once you have him on your side there nothing that can stop him from tackling any evil force in his path, for the greater good – a cause that he understands deep inside him.
That’s all fantasy. The Hulk is an unpredictable bull in a china shop that could just as easily kill a pedestrian as an evil villain. He’s uncontrollable, and when really strong monsters are uncontrollable, we end up with a Godzilla situation. The fact is, The Hulk causes just as much damage as he prevents, and he doesn’t understand the difference, which at least makes him questionable.
Dorothy (The Wizard of Oz)
Dorothy is unfortunately plunged into a strange world and terrorized by two wicked witches. She’s innocent, friendly, and only wants to get home to see her family again. The phrase: ‘wouldn’t hurt a fly’ comes to mind.
Dorothy invades a land where she does not belong, and inadvertently causes the death of a woman. This woman is not necessarily evil, the Munchkins just say that she is “wicked”. But I personally don’t believe everything I hear, especially not from tiny people ruled by a woman in a tall hat.
Then, Dorothy proceeds to pry off the shoes of this unfortunate dead woman, and wear them around like some sort of trophy of her accomplishments. Is it any wonder the Wicked Witch of the West wants a little bit of revenge?
But it gets worse, Dorothy then goes on to outright murder her as well, destroying the family bloodline in a country she’s never heard of, before swanning off back to Kansas. What is this girl’s problem?
The man with no name
He’s the debonair, master gunslinger who provides the only noble presence in a film defined by opportunistic crime and evil intentions. Thank goodness we have someone to root for in this film, as the man with no name proceeds on his quest, battles The Bad, and mercifully leaves The Ugly to his own devices.
It’s definitely true that we think of him as the good guy, being ‘The Good’ in that famous – if slightly misleading – trio. But as far as I can see, he’s doing the exact same thing as ‘The Bad’ and ‘The Ugly’. They’re all trying to steal the gold, they all go to extreme lengths to continue their quest (which usually involves killing other people) and they all want to kill each other. This movie should be called: ‘The Blonde Bad, The Black Haired Bad, and The Comic Relief Bad.’
Paul Crewe (The Longest Yard)
Paul Crewe has his faults, but he is, deep down, a loving character that refuses to allow the little guys to be beaten down. He repents for his past mistakes, and takes hits to prove his underlying golden-heartedness.
The guy is a lying, fraudulent, egotistical douchebag who costs the gambling industry (who are less than perfect, but not necessarily evil) millions of dollars, and betrays the very fans that built his career, for money.
Then, suddenly, he plays a game of prison football against some mean guards, and we all love him again? No, of course we don’t.
This guy spat in the face of everyone everyday, and made sure he earned some cash along the way. Just because he teaches a bunch of prisoners how to throw a ball does not redeem him of all the wrong he has done to those very same people.
In fact, even in the film’s logic, the rest of the world still hates him – it’s only the minute selection of convicts that think he’s an all right guy. Good look convincing people how nice you are when you get out, Paul.