Top 100 Fictional Male Role Models (50-1)February 27, 2007 - 7:36 pm |
50. Kratos (God of War)
Quite possibly one of the least sympathetic video game heroes in existence, Kratos is an immortal soldier who murdered his own family and offered his soul to Ares just so he wouldn't lose in battle. His skin is grey with his wife and daughter's ashes, and his chain-sword-thingies are permanently grafted to his flesh. And as you can imagine, Kratos is kind of an angry guy. He has no qualms about ripping a gorgon's head off with his bare hands or tearing the wings off a harpy – not to mention that if you kill him, he'll angrily climb out of hell just so he can shove his boot up your ass.
49. Snake Eyes (GI Joe)
Silent but violent had to of been originated from people watching Snake Eyes and not those taciturn farts everyone’s so proud of. Anyone who watched the cartoon (G.I. Joe) immediately fell in love with the “way of the ninja” when Snake Eyes would just walk around, packing two ninja swords and just pummeling bitches to the ground with ease. Through him we learned that one does not need to lead the mission, but only help support the team in it’s ultimate goal of squashing COBRA. And that’s what life is about, finding COBRA so that you can grab Cobra Commander by the neck, rip his stupid helmet off and pour honey down his throat so that he didn’t sound so fucking whiny all the time.
Side Note: If anyone out there even owned the G.I. Joe toys, you would most certainly agree that the coolest of them all was Snake Eyes. You wouldn’t dare dream of opening him up by the torso and disconnecting his legs and replacing them with Storm Shadow’s.
48. Smokey (Friday)
Before there was Chappelle and Half Baked, there was Smokey…and Friday. He's gonna get you high the day after you were fired. Then he's gonna get you in trouble and almost beaten down. Basically, like half your friends in college.
47. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
As is the case with Buford Pusser, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid were technically real people who have been turned into legends by time and Hollywood. As far as movie duos, go, Butch and Sundance are nearly unmatched: Sundance almost never talks, and Butch never stops. They successfully manage to rob a few dozen banks without killing a single person, and they even manage to share the same woman without jealousy being an issue. The partners are generally assumed to have died in Bolivia at the hands of the local military, but urban legends still state that they may have managed to escape and fade into obscurity.
46. Aragorn (Lord of the Rings)
Well, lets see…he was known as Strider, which is the equivalent to 10 Navy Seals. That pretty much makes him the coolest character in Lord of the Rings. He was the future King. He walked around with the strongest sword at the time, Anduril. He feared no one, not even himself around the One Ring. Unlike the movies he had no self doubt about becoming King, which means he wanted to rule and conquer the opposing forces. He gets to bone Arwen, who according to Peter Jackson looks like Liv Tyler. Who hell wouldn’t want to be this dude?
45. Jeff Spicoli (Fast Times at Ridgemont High)
We actually ordered pizza to be delivered to our class in my high school, but the guard turned the delivery dude away. "Fast Times At Ridgemont High's" Jeff Spicoli was the ballsiest dumb ass ever who's ever been committed to a teen comedy. I knew so many Spicolis growing up. They weren't class clowns…they weren't even really sure they were funny. They were just idiots who did hilarious shit.
44. John McClane (Die Hard)
There was a time when playing a hard-boiled cop was a new thing to Bruce Willis. When he was still feeling out the role of an ordinary man thrust into extraordinary situations, the result was John McClane. A guy who seemed world-weary enough to be wise, but not cynical enough to be irritating: a guy who can shout catchphrases like, "Welcome to the party, pal!" without making them feel cheesy. The character has basically become the archetype for all shallow, witty cop types, and for that we are (sort of) grateful.
Who's the black private dick that's a sex machine to all the chicks? That would be John Shaft. The single coolest Black hero ever invented by a white Jew, Shaft walks his own path amongst gangsters, cops, and Black Panthers. He's cool enough to defuse the stickiest of situations, and he's suave enough to have sex with all of the Radio City Rockettes. At once. Blindfolded.
42. George Costanza (Seinfeld)
He's the weasel we all aspire to be. His constant striving for bigger and better lies and schemes is at the least enviable, if not worthy of emulation. If you've ever cheated your state's unemployment office, stolen an answering machine tape or attempted breaking up with a chick by suggesting a threesome, you've got George to thank. Sure he was bald…and fat. But he was still pretty cool.
41. Peter Gibbons (Office Space)
In the same way that we all wished we could be Ferris Bueller during high school, we all wish we could be Peter Gibbons once we get a job. While Peter's corporate rebellion stems almost entirely from a hypnotism session gone horribly wrong, you'd have to be dead not to admire the sheer gusto with which he ignores his boss, destroys his cubicle, and gets promoted for all of his "hard" work. If only we could all be so bold.
40. Rocky Balboa
Rocky Balboa is a role model for anyone. Not only does he start out as the underdog, he remains the underdog despite always proving his doubters wrong. If there is something you want Mr. Balboa to do, simply tell him that he can't do it (it helps if you're his wife). Rocky is also the only character to ever recover from jumping the shark (Rocky IV, which is still one of the most mesmerizing guilty pleasures of all time) by jumping the shark again (Rocky Balboa, Rocky returns at age 60 to fight the world's best). Un-jumping by re-jumping. It's the film equivalent of the Flintstones cure for a hit to the head: a second hit to the head. And it's something we can all look up to. Also, he had a pet robot, which is sweet.
39. The Miller (The Canterbury Tales)
In The Canterbury Tales, The Miller's story is preceded by The Knights, who tells of chivalry and battles and romance and all that other bullshit. Not content with The Knight's particular flavor of BS boasting, The Miller instead opts to tell what essentially amounts to an extended fart joke concerning cheating women and lecherous men. Whether or not you've read The Canterbury Tales, one has to admire the sack it takes to mock the story of someone who could decapitate you with one blow.
38. Kimura-Sensei (Azumanga Daioh)
For those of you not familiar with Azumanga Daioh, it's an insanely funny anime show revolving around life at an all-girl high school. Kimura, the Classical Japanese teacher, admits that he only got into teaching because he has a thing for teenage girls. He frequently looks for excuses to watch them swim, and develops truly creepy crushes on certain students – and yet, he has a wonderfully sweet wife, he generously gives to charity, and he prays for world peace. Confusing, yes, but totally awesome.
Also, that look of shocked desperation on his face? He ALWAYS looks like that. ALWAYS!
37. The Fonz (Happy Days)
36. Ferris Bueller (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)
Who didn't want to be Ferris Bueller during high school? He's the only guy you've ever met who can turn a simple day of high school ditching into the stuff of legend. The city of Chicago becomes his playground as he visits the landmarks with his hot girlfriend and neurotic buddy in tow, forever evading the watchful eye of Principal Ed Rooney. And who could ever forget Ferris's motto to live by: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Indeed, Ferris. Indeed.
In the first-ever episode of MacGuyver, the title character disarmed a bomb with a paperclip. We will repeat that, because it bears repeating: MacGuyver. Disarmed a bomb. With a paperclip. MacGuyver has the superhuman ability to create infinitely useful gadgets out of household materials – an enviable talent no matter who you are. Imagine if you ran out of gas on a deserted highway: if you were MacGuyver, you'd collect your sweat with your shirt, use your radiator to create some sort of fermentation device, and turn your sweat into an eco-friendly alcohol which could power your car for the next ninety miles.
34. Optimus Prime (Transformers)
Is there anything cooler than the Transformers? Don't even try to think of something cooler, because you won't be able to. He's an alien creature who can transform from a semi to a bipedal robot. His personality is almost secondary: every man on the planet dreams of being a semi/robot Transformer. Without exception. If you say you don't, then you're either lying or you have a vagina you didn't know about.
33. Dr. Peter Venkman (Ghostbusters)
Bill Murray is not an attractive man. I know, I know, I was surprised, too. But evidently Peter Venkman, Murray's character in Ghostbusters, is unaware of this fact. Whilst walking through Sigourney Weaver's apartment searching for ghost evidence, he seems convinced that he's the most charming person on the planet. (" Oh, my *God*. Look at all the junk food! You actually eat this?") What makes it cool, however, is that the whole "charming" thing isn't really an act – Venkman truly believes he's that suave. And it's one thing to be suave when you're trying to get into Ellen Ripley's pants, but quite another when you're staring down a 50-foot tall, evil version of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Venkman stays cool for both.
32. Sanjuro (Yojimbo)
Toshiro Mifune proves that there's nothing more dangerous than a bored ex-samurai. The basis for Clint Eastwood's character The Man With No Name, Sanjuro wanders into a town headed by two rival gangs. Bored off his ass and hoping to make a little extra coin while simultaneously dispatching some scumbags, Sanjuro decides to join both gangs and turn them against one another. Eventually it comes down to him versus seven members of the remaining gang (one of whom has a gun), and you better know Sanjuro comes out on top.
31. Glenn Quagmire (Family Guy)
The only thing more hilarious than Quagmire's perverted come-ons is the fact that they, occasionally, seem to work. Prostitutes aside, Glenn's managed to bang a hell of a lot more chicks than someone with a chin the size of an ass should ever be able to. Not to mention his caring, yet sensitive way of dealing with women post-coitus:
"Glenn, I've got a question. What do you do for a living?"
"Hey, I've got a question for you, too. Why are you still here?"
30. Neil McCauley (Heat)
No cinema criminal has ever demonstrated the parallels between cops and robbers like Neil McCauley in Heat. On all accounts, Neil's a good guy: he doesn't kill anyone he doesn't have to, he robs insured banks, and he treats his fellow criminals with respect. Until they cross him, that is, at which point he'll beat the shit out of them and risk permanent prison time just to sneak into a hotel to put a bullet in their heads. Unfortunately, Neil's choice to seek revenge on an ex-employee prevents him from escaping LA with a woman he loves, but we were still with him all the way.
29. Mad Max
Do you even need to ask? Have you seen The Road Warrior? Max's wife and kids died (which seems to be a pretty common thread amongst the guys on this list), and his sympathy died with them. Max doesn't care who you are, or what your goals may be, or how nice you are –- he just wants enough gasoline to make it to the next town. And if you're really nice, he won't kill you to get it. But even a man as hard-boiled and unforgiving as Max does, on occasion, show glimpses of the man he used to be: he refuses to kill Blaster once he finds out he has Downs Syndrome, and he helps the mechanics escape Lord Humungus's gang.
I've just realized how weird this entry must sound to those who haven't seen the Mad Max movies.
28. Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
The REAL Larry David is the basis for George Costanza, whom we've already covered. But "Curb Your Enthusiasm's" Larry David is a different beast altogether. Not so much a liar as much as an everyman who decides he's not going to take any more abuse. Any time Larry feels screwed over, say by his lawyer, by a bitchy wife of a friend, by a doctor, by a Chinese restaurant who forgot to give him enough shrimp…he says something. And he does something. Some think he's a complete asshole…but we know better. He's a man. Now get him his god damned shrimp.
27. Reverend Harry Powell (Night of the Hunter)
Robert Mitchum may be the coolest actor in history, and his portrayal of "reverend" Harry Powell in Night of the Hunter is a testament to that coolness. After finding out his former cellmate stashed a few thousand dollars from a bank heist, Powell confidently strolls into the guy's home and befriends his wife and children. He gets everyone in town to love him and his God-fearing ways. Then he marries the wife, dumps her in the river, and tries to frighten the kids into revealing where the money is hidden. What's truly unnerving about Powell is that he isn't scared of anything: he knows everyone in the community trusts him, and therefore has no qualms about hiding in plain sight. A few kind words and a sung hymn or two will always turn the masses back in his favor. If any of us were that clever and charismatic, we'd be goddamn millionaires by now.
26. Lee (Enter the Dragon)
With lines like, “Boards don’t hit back”, “Don’t think. Feel.” And most importantly, “Never take your eyes off your opponent…even when you bow” Bruce Lee played the character of Lee in perhaps the greatest kung fu film ever made: Enter the Dragon. Lee’s inspirational performance demonstrated that vengeance always comes full circle and that even if you were bitten on set by one of the live Cobra’s all you need to do is suck out the poison and immediately kick the teeth out of your co-star’s mouth to prevent any circulation in the blood stream. Did we mention his character spawned dozens of other film and video game characters to this very date because of his outlook on life…and his ability to punch you out with less than 2 inches of space? Well, did we?
25. Kwai Chang Caine (Kung Fu)
Kwai Chang Caine could kill your entire family with both hands tied behind his back, and both legs chopped off at the knees. But he won't. Kwai Chang Caine is more monk than warrior: he favors peace and knowledge over posturing and asskickery. But the fact that he could kick anybody's ass, if he wanted to, makes his serenity all the more admirable.
24. Casey Jones (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
It's very, very difficult to upstage the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Nigh impossible. But Casey Jones almost manages it. Casey's a vigilante who wears a hockey mask and dispatches muggers with pretty much any and every piece of sports equipment you could think of. He even manages to survive several fights with Raphael, and ends up crushing Shredder in a trash compactor. Besides, it takes some serious balls to decide to become a vigilante, and then only arm yourself with baseballs bats and hockey sticks.
23. Van Wilder
Between the time in your life when you wished you were Ferris Bueller and the time you will wish you were Peter Gibbons, you wanted to be Van Wilder. The man tricked his enemy into eating bulldog semen, took care of all his friends, and fucked Tara Reid back when that was a serious accomplishment and not a prerequisite for joining a fraternity. Ryan Reynolds, who is still under the impression that he can escape the shadow of his first major role, will always be remembered as the collegiate hero with a BA in Leisure studies.
22. Eric Cartman (South Park)
Cartman makes being an asshole look like the most fun occupation on the planet. He's literally got no reason to be as mean as he is (does anyone even know why he hates Kenny so much?), but somehow the ruder he gets, the funnier the show gets. Cartman is the kind of guy you want to be friends with partially because he's entertaining, but mostly because you don't want him to yell at you. Granted, he'll yell at you regardless of whether or not you're his friend, but by this point it's too late to back out.
21. Dwight (Sin City)
Given the "one role model per franchise" rule in compiling this list, it was extremely difficult to choose just one character from Sin City. Hartigan, Marv, and Dwight are all incredibly chivalrous, incredibly cool, and incredibly badass – basically, everything the modern man secretly wants to be. The reason we finally picked Dwight is twofold: firstly, he's still alive, and secondly, he's fucking Rosario Dawson on a regular basis. This is something we at DoubleViking greatly aspire to.
20. Martin Q Blank (Grosse Pointe Blank)
If you ever want to trick your girlfriend into having sex with you, show her Say Anything. If you ever want to actually enjoy a John Cusack movie on your own, turn on Grosse Pointe Blank. Cusack's Blank is a charmingly down-to-earth contract killer who constantly distances himself from the dirtier part of his job ("It's not me," he frequently repeats) in an effort to reconnect with his high school sweetheart. Most people would be happy to get killed by someone so sweet.
19. Dirty Harry
In addition to coining about thirty catchphrases in the modern lexicon, Dirty Harry set the standard for the "cop on the edge" character. While John McClane was "regular guy thrust into irregular situation," Clint's Harry is pretty much the epitome of the hard-boiled, rule-breaking, criminal-hating cop. He's kind of a dick to literally everyone he meets, but damn if he isn't clever and pretty friggin' good at his job.
18. Brendan (Brick)
Imagine if the greatest film noir detectives in history somehow gave birth to a high schooler, who almost immediately becomes world-weary and cynical when the love of his life leaves him to hang out with a bunch of drug addicts. That's Brendan, a quick-talking sonofabitch who knows all the angles, trusts no one, and prefers to isolate himself from the rest of humanity. After his ex-girlfriend gets killed, he hatches a plan to find her murderer and bury any and everyone who had something to do with it. But he plays it smart: he doesn't kill anybody, he just maneuvers them into precarious positions where they either get killed or arrested. He's ballsy enough to infiltrate the most dangerous drug ring in the county, and smart enough to bring it down from the inside without getting burned. He's the guy all the sad, intelligent loners (myself included) wanted to be in high school.
17. Will Kane (High Noon)
Gary Cooper, who perfected the art of nonchalantly leaning against a wooden post, reached his career peak with his portrayal of Will Kane. When he finds out that Frank Miller, the evil outlaw, is headed back to his quiet town, Sheriff Kane sets out to assemble a posse to meet him at the station. Despite his appeals, everyone in the town refuses to stand by his side, eventually forcing him to face Frank and a half-dozen of his lackeys completely alone. Instead of running like pretty much any other sane person would do, Kane (quite literally) cowboys up and faces what's coming to him. Most men wouldn't do that. Then again, most women wouldn't manage to get Grace Kelly to kill for them.
16. Jason Bourne (The Bourne Identity)
Jason Bourne is a living weapon. Before he loses his memory, he has very little personality and has been brainwashed by the government to become the perfect assassin: he can speak about a hundred different languages, he knows everything there is to know about surveillance, and he could kill you with a ballpoint pen (he actually did, at one point). He's James Bond without the charm, or the snazzy suits, or the clever one liners. He's a living weapon, and he eventually overcomes his nature in an effort to settle down with the cute German chick from Run Lola Run. Until she gets killed, anyway. Then he goes apeshit on every single person who ever worked for the FBI.
15. The Wild Bunch
That Sam Peckinpah managed to elicit sympathy for a bunch of unapologetic murderers without devolving into schmaltzy dialogue or extended monologues of regret is amazing. That he managed to do it and still include the single greatest climactic gunfight in cinema history is nothing short of miraculous. Though the members of The Wild Bunch bicker and fight over money and women for the first 90% of the movie, the kidnapping of their friend Angel finally brings them together. After decades of robbin' and rapin' and killin', the Bunch finally decide that if you're gonna kill, you might as well kill for a reason. Their particular reason of choice is saving Angel, thereby symbolically supporting the rebels in Mexico's war for independence. With the immortal words, "Let's go," William Holden leads the Bunch into one final, glorious confrontation with General Mapache. They go out guns blazing, and they go out beautifully—the way every man should want to go.
14. Tyler Durden (Fight Club)
Every generation needs its counterculture icon. Our generation has Tyler Durden. An anti-matierialistic, anti-authoritarian, self-destructive cult leader, Tyler understands the facts that most of the American middle class is too scared to admit. We're never going to be famous, we're never going to get what we want, and our corporate-run lives are basically a pointless struggle with absolutely no reward. While Tyler goes way too far in his attempt to topple the status quo – turning fight club into a neo-fascist terrorist organization was kind of weird, and even the Narrator draws the line when Tyler threatens to kill Marla – you have to admit: Tyler Durden had a vision.
13. James Bond
Ready? Let's all repeat the same goddamn line people always use to describe James Bond: "Men want to be him, and women want to sleep with him." Now that that's out of the way, it's undeniable that Bond's signature brand of cool has been the envy of most every man on the planet. Even Daniel Craig's arrogant, thuggish Bond was not without his qualities. Every man wants to (A) save the world, (B) fuck beautiful women without ever having to see them again, and © get paid for A and B. Such is the allure of James Bond.
12. Ari Gold (Entourage)
An angry, egotistic, Jewish movie agent is ranked higher than James Bond? You bet your ass he is. Entourage's Ari Gold is the most badass asshole (badasshole) ever to grace the small screen. He's constantly manipulating everyone around him for his own benefit, he insults the people he cares about the most, and he never runs out of rage for the sea of incompetents which surround him. Yeah, he's occasionally sweet to his wife and kids, and occasionally even sweeter to Vincent Chase, but who gives a fuck about that? Ari Gold is a name-taking, ass-kicking kind of guy who you hate and love at the same time.
11. Zach Morris (Saved by the Bell)
"Saved By The Bell" had two male leads…Zach Morris and AC Slater. Slater is a running joke these days…what, with his participation in Dancing With The Stars and all. But Zach Morris is still the man. He was boning Kelly, he pulled off every prank at Bayside high and he managed to somehow start a Jam and Jellies factory. What a guy.
10. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly/Serenity)
Almost every single one of Malcolm Reynolds' friends get killed in an interplanetary civil war – specifically, the Battle of Serenity Valley. He loses his friends, loses the war, and is out of a job in one day. How does Mal choose to go on? He gets a crew, gets a new ship, and names it after the battle that took away everything he had. You can talk about Mal's cleverness, or his fearlessness, or his physical strength all you want. What really sets him apart from the other men on this list is his ability to keep going in life, no matter how shitty or unfair things may get. You keep going, and you don't let the horrendous, soul-crushing things of the past get to you. Mal's real strength is emotional, not physical.
He's fat. He's hairy. He's often naked. But he's the man. Dolemite started as a street legend and then became a movie character played by Rudy Ray Moore. He's a straight bad ass, first off, fighting several cops and The Man single handedly. Plus, he raps when he's mad. Case in point, Dolemite, to the cops: "Man, move over and let me pass before yall have to be pullin these hush puppies out yo muthafuckin ass." Ahh, Dolemite. You're my hero.
8. Peter Parker
Arguably the most famous of all comic book characters, Peter Parker represented everything a young ordinary man dreamed of becoming: a super hero. After being bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter gains special powers.
At first he decided to use these powers for selfish reasons but with the loss of his Uncle Ben, Peter's experiences taught us that "with great power comes great responsibility." And because of this, at the age of 10, I built my very own web shooters which shot "Easy Cheese" at my neighbor's grandfather. Hey, you would have thought he was the Green Goblin as well if you'd seen how he moved in that wheelchair!
7. Jules Winnfield (Pulp Fiction)
The scene where Jules interrogates Brett and his stoner friends has since become an iconic, entertaining, almost funny part of pop culture. It's something we can all fondly remember and laugh about, whilst appreciating Tarantino's ear for dialogue and Samuel L. Jackson's ability to speak it. But before we laughed at the scene, before we considered it warm and cuddly and familiar, that scene was goddamn terrifying. Jules is simultaneously friendly and intimidating, honest and deceiving.
When he tells a lounging stoner to "Keep chillin" on the sofa, he's not really being nice so much as he's making sure everyone stays right the fuck where they are. He's friendly with Brett as he talks about his (potentially fictional) vegetarian girlfriend, only to shoot the lounging stoner moments later without a second's hesitation.
As much as we admire Jules's charisma and baddassity today, one has to remember how fucking scary he could be when he really wanted to be, and how big of a deal it was that he eventually decides to quit the gangster life and "walk the earth, like Caine in Kung Fu." We all want to have Jules's power to intimidate, and I think many of us secretly want to walk the Earth and get into adventures, just as Jules plans to do after leaving the criminal life.
6. Jack Bauer (24)
Even though an average day in Jack Bauer's life tends to be more hectic than most major wars, and even though everyone he has ever loved has been murdered or abandoned him, you've gotta admit that Jack Bauer is a fucking badass. Nothing – literally nothing – about Jack's position in life is enviable, except for his ability to strike fear in the hearts of pretty much every living thing with a bladder and a survival instinct.
In season one, he almost tortured a guy with a rolled-up towel. In season two, he shot and beheaded a pedophile. Three, he cut off his partner's arm. In the other seasons he's been forced to kill fellow CTU members, he's been clinically dead a few times, and – oh yeah – he fucking ATE a guy once.
No matter how you may feel about Jack's politics, there's not a man alive who watches 24 and doesn't stand in awe of Jack Bauer's badassity.
5. The Doctor (Doctor Who)
Though not widely known in the United States, Doctor Who is more or less a cultural institution in the UK, in addition to being the longest-running science fiction TV show in history. An alien being known as a Time Lord, The Doctor is capable of travelling through space in time in his TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) machine.
Much more interesting, however, is The Doctor's capability of regeneration. Everytime The Doctor "dies," all of the cells in his body regenerate and, essentially, he is reborn into a completely new persona. Realistically speaking, this character trait was just a way for a lead actor to leave the show without interrupting the narrative flow of the series. In the context of the actual character, it represents something we should all aspire to – the ability to constantly change ourselves whilst still retaining those aspects which make us, us.
While The Doctor has frequently and drastically changed throughout all ten of his regenerations, he has maintained certain unalterable characteristics; he's always extremely clever, he is never violent, and he always does the right thing. Granted, a few of his regenerations were assholes, but why be a nice guy for 40 years straight? There's no fun in that.
4. Snake Plissken (Escape from New York)
If you look up "anti-hero" in the dictionary, you probably won't find a picture because most dictionaries don't do that anymore. But if dictionaries did do that, and if you did look up "anti-hero," you'd find a picture of Snake Plissken. Plissken, the eyepatch-wearing mercenary, is the ultimate loner. He'll save the world if you force him to, but as soon as he's out of danger he'll kill you without blinking (or, in his case, winking). He holds absolutely no respect for other people, and even less respect for authority figures.
Consider the end of Escape From New York: after smuggling the US president out of Manhattan, Snake has to decide whether or not to give him the precious data tapes which will essentially bring world peace. After asking the president how he feels about the fact that many people died to save him, the president gives a snot-nosed, bullshit response and asks that Plissken leave before the cameras start rolling.
Plissken hands over a tape and leaves. Moments later, the president goes on national television and plays the precious data tape, in the hope that the countries of the world can unite in peace. And what starts playing? Fucking American Bandstand.
A hundred feet away, Snake limps into the distance as he unravels and destroys the data tape which would have saved an undeserving world.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is a man.
If you had to list off all the superheroes who could defeat Superman in a fight, you'd probably try to name heroes with comparable powers. Shazam, for instance. Or The Silver Surfer. Or Galactus. You wouldn't think to choose a 60 year old, superpower-less vigilante with a Halloween mask and a utility belt.
And therein lies the genius of Batman. He's a regular guy in every respect: no radioactive exposure, no genetic mutation, no scientific augmentation. He's just a really rich orphan with a lot of money, even more free time, and even more anger at the murder of his parents by a common street thug. With enough money and training, any one of us could become Batman. Bruce Wayne chose to avenge his parents not by murdering their killer, but by preventing any more murders from ever happening. Bruce Wayne, in both his social life and his private life, tries to improve the city and stop crime at its source.
And if that means striking mortal fear into the heart of everyone who would ever commit a crime, then so be it. When you really think about it, Batman is absolutely mortifying. He looks like some sort of devil, he appears out of the night, and he'd really rather be dead than alive. But he still fights for justice, and does so pretty goddamn intelligently – Batman beats his enemies with brute force, yes, but he also exploits their weaknesses and prepares for every possible contingency. It's planning that helps Batman kick Superman's ass. And since Batman is human, and we're human, then that means, technically, any one of us could kick Superman's ass. Isn't that a nice thought?
2. Dr. Gregory House (House MD)
You would absolutely hate Greg House if you met him in real life. He's rude, bitter, arrogant, and too smart for his own damn good.
But if you were Greg House, then the world would be your fucking oyster. He's too good at his job to get fired. He hates people too much to ever worry about enjoying his job. And he's got the perfect mix of arrogance, irascibility, and condescension to make everyone with a vagina in a four-mile radius lift their skirts in anticipation of a Greg House Vaginal Exam (he uses his penis).
You really wouldn't believe it to look at him, but I think literally every female on the show has been attracted to House at one point or another. It's strange: he's a lanky, bug-eyed dude with a constant hunch and a face resembling a horse's, but he gets more trim than Johnny Depp.
Just goes to show you: women love assholes.
1. Han Solo (Star Wars)
And if there's one thing they love more than an asshole, it's a roguishly handsome asshole with a really fast ride. Fact: Women love Han Solo. He's a cocky scoundrel who pretends to be a selfish loner bastard (his last name is "Solo," for God's sake), but really has a soft spot for doing the right thing.
Honestly, is there a more exhilarating moment in cinema history than when Luke's X-Wing is about to get blown up by Darth Vader in the Death Star trench? Vader locks on to Luke's X-Wing. "I have you now," he says. Suddenly, the TIE Fighter to Vader's left explodes! "WHAT?!"
"YAHOO!", Han screams. I swear to God, I shat myself when I saw that as a kid, and I still shit myself when I see it today. Han's coolness is also what makes episodes IV-VI of the Star Wars saga so much better than I-III. The prequel trilogy has no realistic character to ground you, and give you somebody to laugh with. No skeptic, no cocky badass. The original trilogy had that in spades, in the character of Han Solo.
To be completely frank, it should be every man's goal to find a woman, get her to fall in love with you, get her to verbally express that love, and then simply reply with, "I know."
I have done this on two separate occasions in my lifetime, and as a result, I will die a happy man.
Well, that's the list. We're sure you disagreed with every aspect of it, from the missing characters to the misplaced ones to the ones who didn't deserve to be there at all, but what do you want? Nobody's perfect. Except for the guys on this list, anyway.
Oh, you may also notice that there’s no place for John Wayne on this list. Why? Cause fuck him, that’s why.