Editor's Note: Reader Natty Boh Bro wrote this up and sent this to us last week. We liked it so much, we're running it.
I am currently bored, a few cold ones deep, and watching a badass film, "Gladiator." All of which got me thinking, who are the top badasses in recent film/TV history? There certainly are a lot, and I'm sure I missed a few. But these are the ones that I consider the most badass in my memory.
We'll start off with Honorable Mention, and count ourselves down. Once again, these are fictionalized characters (some had real-life likenesses, but whose character was significantly changed in the movie), so badasses such as Dick Winters and Bill Guarnere of the series “Band of Brothers” — as well as other such badasses of war movies — are not included. They are real-life heroes, as are all members of the United States Armed Services, and if I had included them, no fictional character would have even cracked the list.
Jake Tyler, "Never Back Down"
Tyler overcame his father's drunk-driving death, avenged the injury of his hospitalized friend by defeating his ultimate enemy, and ended up with Amber Beard in the end.
Head Coach Marty Daniels, "Blue Mountain State"
A hell of a coach who does anything to help and defend his team. He also snags Denise Richardson.
President James Marshall, "Air Force One"
A veteran helicopter pilot whose plane is taken over by Russian terrorists, President Marshall singlehandedly kills the terrorists and takes back his own plane.
John Matrix, "Commando"
After this war veteran's daughter is kidnapped, he takes on an entire drug lord's army by himself and wins.
Benjamin Martin, "The Patriot"
Based loosely off of real-life patriot Francis Marion, aka the Swamp Fox, Martin leads American Revolutionary forces against the British, and kills the man who murdered two of his sons.
The Top 10
10. Jake and Elwood Blues, "Blues Brothers"
Memorable Quote: "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses. Hit it."
When Jake (John Belushi) is released from jail, brother Elwood (Dan Akroyd) convinces him to visit "The Penguin," the nun at their old orphanage who ruled with an iron fist. While visiting, they find out that unless the orphanage can come up with their tax money, they will have to foreclose and send the children to separate orphanages. The brothers then embark on "a mission from God" to raise the money through gigs with their old blues band and save their former home.
9. Connor and Murphy McManus, "Boondock Saints"
Memorable Quote: "And shepherds we shall be, for thee my Lord, for thee, power hath descendeth forth from thy hand, our feet may swiftly carry out Thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to Thee, and teeming with souls shall it ever be, in Nomini Patri, et Fili, et Spiritus Sancti."
Two brothers stand up to South Boston's the vicious Russian mafia … and eventually the Italian mafia too. They go out and seek their own vigilante justice, killing those who have committed terrible crimes against society but escaped the long arm of the law. The film ends with a bone-chillingly badass scene in a courtroom in which they publicly execute the Italian Mob boss.
8. Obi Wan Kenobi, "Star Wars"
Memorable Quote: "Use the force."
O.K., yes, a "Star Wars" character made the list. But let's face the facts, he endured a bunch of wars, trained the most evil villain known in modern film history, and then defeated him. Then, once he died, came back as an apparition to train the son of the dude he defeated as the greatest Jedi ever in Luke Skywalker. His only real drawback is his inability to be with chicks.
7. Coach Eric Taylor, "Friday Night Lights"
Memorable Quote: "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose."
In what way does Coach Taylor not embody a badass? First, he leads the Dillon Panthers to a state title after losing their star QB, Jason Street; then after he is unrightfully nixed and sent to the East Dillon Lions, completely turns around their program and turns them into a championship-caliber team. Eric Taylor becomes a father figure for several of his players, and will do anything for them, while sticking to very honorable morals. He doesn't take shit from anyone, and knows when he needs to put a bratty-ass teenager in his place or punch a rival coach in the face. In addition, he is seen as the ultimate man of character in the small-town Texas community, and is no stranger to kicking a few asses here and there. Not to mention he's married to the MILF played by Connie Britton.
6. Rocky Balboa, "Rocky" saga
Memorable Quote: "You know, I think you try harder when you're scared... That's when it's worked best for me."
Let's count his achievements: takes world champion into last round, beats world champion, beats much younger and cockier fighter to retain his championship, beats antagonistic Russian communist who killed his best friend in hostile territory, beats cocky up-and-coming kid, and takes cocky undefeated world champion into last round and split decision (at 70+ years old). Not only is Rocky a badass, but he continues to be a badass late into his life, and maintains class while doing so.