Recently, I read a list of the 100 greatest movie characters ever, and it was incorrect. It was from Total Film, and featured Indiana Jones as number one (incorrect), Batman at number two (also incorrect), Han Solo at number three (yep, you guessed it: incorrect) and so on and so forth (mostly incorrect, as you may have surmised from this opening sentence). Like, sure, Indiana Jones is OK - he’s been in a few good movies and he’s charismatic enough, but the best ever? That’s, oh yeah, incorrect.
As such, I felt it my duty to make the list redundant, and instead replace it with one personally gleaned from a lifetime of in-depth and objectively legitimate movie knowledge. I know best, the universe is wrong, and from this point forward, my list shall be deemed the officially sanctioned one.
Here it is, in all its wonderfully and indisputably correct glory (also I’ve only done 25 because otherwise we’ll be here forever and I’m getting old as it is):
25. The “Happy the gold jacket’s yours Shooter’s gonna choke” guy from Happy Gilmore
This man is the greatest thing in Happy Gilmore, and that’s coming from someone who unashamedly loves it in an absolutely un-ironic way. And this spectacular moment is my favourite in the whole film - Happy’s on the pitch, squaring off against Shooter McGavin, and an unassuming man offers Gilmore some words of encouragement. Only he is resolutely not unassuming - his line delivery derails the entire film and he makes off with it into the sunset. He even steals the scenes he’s not in. This is an attention-hogging masterpiece of extra-work. A beautifully unintentional slice of chef-finger-kiss that shall go down in history.
24. Ace Ventura
Watch that video up there and please tell me that it isn’t one of the funniest things that you have actually ever seen in the entirety of your life. Tell me that, @ me, shout it through a megaphone, get it tattooed on my thigh - I do not care, you will be lying. Ace Ventura is hands down one of the greatest creations in the history of this planet, and Jim Carrey’s best work as an actor. No list about anything that is good should be absent his name. I love him.
23. The guy who gets cubed in Cube
This bloke is only in Cube for about two minutes, but wham! He’s got the best bit, I’ll tell you that for sure. Walks in, looks around a bit. WHAM! You’ve been cubed, mate!
22. The Tyre from Rubber
Yes, this movie’s main character is an actual car tyre, but is that funny? Of course it is. It is even funnier when you factor in that this tyre can make people’s heads explode just by vibrating in front of them. That is the kind of movie I can get behind - it is, if you can stomach the rapidly oncoming pun - right in my wheelhouse.
21. Mad Dog from The Raid
The main henchmen in a film is usually my favourite character (see: Hector in The Expendables 2, The Assassin in The Raid 2), and potentially the greatest henchman of all time is Mad Dog from The Raid, isn’t it? He has all the hallmarks of a great second-tier bad guy: he’s great at martial arts, he doesn’t care who he kills, he has a ridiculous name like ‘Mad Dog’ and perhaps most importantly, he puts down his gun so that he can fight fairly. He’s so much harder than your dad, and it eats you up inside, doesn’t it?
20. Chatterer from Hellraiser
Big fan of characters that have zero characterisation apart from a single defining feature. Chatterer’s sole recognisable trait is that he chatters his teeth. That’s it, and through this, he becomes one of the most memorable characters in the entire franchise. When I first saw Hellraiser, for a number of weeks afterwards, I would pull open my mouth as wide as possible with both hands, and then walk slowly around my house chattering my teeth. I loved doing it but I’m 98% sure it was an extremely disconcerting thing to see your son doing in the hallway.
19. Leeloo from The Fifth Element
Obviously, obviously, The Fifth Element is one of the greatest films of all time, there is nothing wrong with it and I’ll fight you, I’ll fight your head in, if you disagree. As such, the best character in the film has to therefore be one of the greatest characters of all time, also. So Leeloo from The Fifth Element is, and there’s not a lot of arguing that can be done to nix this fact. If you think of the film and don’t immediately hold up your driving license and say “Leeloo multipass” then I’m not coming to your birthday party, and you’re not even invited to mine.
18. The kid who points to his dick in Back To The Future III
Not sure what’s happening here but props to the lad, I say.
17. Dizzy from Starship Troopers
Starship Troopers is so very close to being my favourite film of all time, and is chock full of amazing (and also bad, so very bad) characters, but just pipping Johnny Rico, Ace Levy and the powerhouse that is Lt. Jean Rasczak, is Dizzy Flores, one of the only characters with an actually developed arc. Not only is her journey through the movie genuinely heartbreaking - yes, this film about giant bugs actually has the capacity to make you cry - she also CHUCKS A GRENADE IN THAT BEETLE’S MOUTH AND ITS HEAD EXPLODES. Second reason is the most important, but still.
16. The stormtrooper that bangs his head on the door in Star Wars
Removing this era-defining performance from the special editions was one of George Lucas’ greatest slights towards humanity, one of history’s most foul travesties - to deny the world this masterclass of banging-your-head-on-a low-door is to stifle joy in its purest form. A work of Satan himself, surely.
15. Cherry Darling from Grindhouse
Any character that has a gun for a leg is A-Ok in my book. Of course, it makes zero sense in almost every single possible way (how is she shooting it, please) but that matters not - in fact, it makes me like the whole thing more. I often do things without rhyme or an hint of reason, so will respect to the end the decision of other people to follow this path, providing it is simply following a harmless and immature route, of course. A route which many of my decisions will happily lead me down.
Anyway, off to paint a big dick on the front of my house, brb.
14. The “Baaatmaan EEEEHHHH” man from Batman Forever
Up next, Inside The Actor’s Studio, with The “Baaatmaan EEEEHHHH” man, who will be talking us through his most famous role, and imparting his priceless wisdom and advice for anyone who has been given a line in a film but wants to add something onto the end of it to make it at least 800% more ridiculous.
13. Ash Williams from the Evil Dead franchise
Much like Cherry Darling, Ash has a weapon attached to a severed limb, only his is often a multitude of things, most notably, a chainsaw. Throughout three films and a top-notch TV series, Ash has mullered the undead like almost nobody else, and he deserves a place on this list because in a fight, he would beat Indiana Jones I think. And it’s almost always about who would win in a fight, isn’t it? If we boil everything down to its very essence, that’s what we’re all here for in life, isn’t it: a fight.
12. The zombie that walks into the helicopter blade in Dawn Of The Dead
Uh oh, big scary zombie! Coming to get ya! Watch out, he’s gonna eat your brains all up! Nope! No he’s not! Whoops! He’s walked right into the large spinning blades of a helicopter and now he’s dead again! Silly old scary zombie, getting bonked on the head by a big knife. PLOINK! OUCHY!
11. Ellen Ripley from the Alien franchise
This is the second time that my list has crossed over into Total Film’s one (the first one being Ash Williams) and so well done to them, they got something right. Ripley is and will forever be one of the all-time greatest badasses. The amount of shit she had to deal with over the course of four films would make anyone want to pack it all in and buy a caravan in Wales - she even died but still had to come back for even more alien-caused stress and palaver. Large respect to Ripley, because I’d have given up ages ago.
10. Jimmy Two Times from Goodfellas
What a stellar performance for such scant screen time. This is the hallmark of a great movie character - although he’s on screen for about three seconds, he simply transcends the entire sequence, and therefore film, to the extent that he is as much an important character as Henry Hill or Tommy DeVito.
Jimmy Two Times is simply a flawless character, flawless character.
9. Annie Wilkes from Misery
There are many crazy cats in the history of horror, but none come much crazier than Annie Wilkes - and that’s saying something for a Stephen King creation, ain’t it? I mean, it’s a testament to the character that it enabled Kathy Bates to win an Oscar for a horror film, which almost never happens. She’s absolutely terrifying, utterly convincing and my ankles have absolutely no business being anywhere near her.
8. Boyka from the Undisputed franchise
I have talked at length of this film franchise on this here website before, and I stand by it being one of the greatest action film series in the history of this galaxy. And the best thing about it is Boyka, a (one-time entirely unhinged) Russian fighter who holds the ability to impress your eyes like nobody else you’ve ever encountered, essentially. Hard as nails, cool haircut, big muscles like me - he’s an action hero matched by few others, and if they keep making these films, I will watch every single one, and I will not stop screaming for the duration of each, as is tradition.
7. The exploding guy from Big Trouble In Little China
6. The Predator
Firstly, coolest mask you’ve ever seen; secondly, coolest quadruple jaw you’ve ever seen. The Predator is the sickest and sweetest alien in the history of aliens, and there’s no disputing this. Also, he goes up against Arnold Schwarzenegger and does an alright job of it, if you’re asking - I think he deserves at least a drop, but preferably a dollop, of respect for that.
5. The T-1000 from Terminator 2
Is there a better villain in movie history than the T-1000? No, is the answer. He is absolutely terrifying in every possible way: he has penetrating, un-blinking eyes; he can make massive knives out of his fists; and he has a really scary gym-teacher haircut that I really want to shave off and then flush down the toilet.
God, I love this slimy robot, and would push my head through his malleable chest; anything to slide into his warm, loose, abstract embrace, let the metal fill my lungs - I am now a robot in 1990 and I cocking well love everything about it.
4. The Scorpion King from The Mummy Returns
How did this happen? Nobody knows, but I am eternally grateful that it did.
3. John Wick
Never have I ever seen a character in a movie that has made my loins explode with the force and fury of a thousand stampeding rhinos.
*I, you, and everybody else who has seen John Wick drinks*
John Wick was one of those films that put so much confidence in its lead character that it just named the whole film after him, even though nobody on the planet had any prior knowledge of the man. This is the kind of arrogance that I wholeheartedly support. A sledgehammer of chutzpah John Wick 2 did the same thing, but everybody already knew who he was, so it wasn’t quite as brazen, but still: John Wick, eh? Don’t kick his dog!
2. Toby Wong in Drive
Did you know there was another film called Drive? One that is better than the Ryan Gosling one in almost every single way? Well there is, and it is most likely my favourite film of all time, and I implore each and every one of you to watch it. At least (read: only) two people that I introduced it to immediately declared it their favourite film of all time also, and this is no joke. I do not joke about Drive.
Anyway, the main character, played by Marc Dacascos, is a bloke who has a big metal thing in his chest which makes him able to fight really well and punch really hard. And as you can tell from this very varied and certainly not biased towards action films in any way (and also correct) list - that’s the kinda thing that gets my juices fizzing.
Just watch this film please. Like, PLEASE.
OBVIOUSLY THE BEST MOVIE CHARACTER OF ALL TIME IS BLADE YOU ABSOLUTE HOUND.