The movies are littered with badass characters. Some are successful (e.g. John Rambo); others...needed more work (e.g. Edward Cullen, the vampire from Twilight. I mean I think he's supposed to be a badass). Such a discrepancy just shows that it can be difficult to pull off a truly badass character. Those successful badasses, though, can embiggen even the smallest man - and I think we can all agree with that. Appropriately, not all badasses are created equal, or with the same facial hair. So here I shall attempt to paint for you a "badass rainbow," in order to convey a glimpse of the variety. For you see, while a moral flexibility regarding the killing of minorities may help you in becoming a badass, it is not necessary. Let's begin my countdown, shall we?
10). James Bond - the Suave Badass
We all know and love him. Actually, not me. I'm not a huge fan of Bond flicks. However, even I can still appreciate the best-known spy (fictional, or not) in the world. Whether it's the bald guy with the cat, the short Asian man who's really good at frisbee, or that other guy who obviously couldn't afford the Visiline braces - James Bond has been taking down some of the most dangerous weirdos that the world has seen (outside of the nerds at a Star Trek convention where Shatner has had to cancel). All the while he's also juggling a cigarette, gun, martini, and a woman - all of which could be dangerous for your health. He doesn't care though, and that's a big part of why he's a badass.... a badass with some serious style.
9). The Terminator - the Robotic Badass
Am I cheating by adding a character who was likely programmed to be badass? Perhaps. Still, this cyborg has provided a template for all robots to emulate. Can you imagine if R2-D2 and C3PO had been like The Terminator? Like if they had Terminator posters in their rooms as teenagers, and he was their hero. Granted, they probably would have had the posters for different reasons.......Anyway, the fact of the matter is that the Terminator is an unstoppable badass force.
8). Porter - the Vengeful Badass
A relatively under-praised movie, Payback is a personal favorite. Bordering on a neo-noir, it offers Mel Gibson doing what he does best: dealing out and receiving a lot pain. He plays a formidable protagonist to Kris Kristofferson's antagonist, which is no small task. Porter is not exactly a stand-up character and he doesn't exactly have the most frightening physical presence. And that's part of the fun. He's almost an "everyman" - one who happens to be extremely badass. So for anyone who's tried to steal some money from the Chinese mob only to have your wife and partner betray and try to kill you, learn from Porter.
7). Chen Zhen - the Hand-to-Hand Badass
I'll go ahead and fess up that no Bruce Lee character is on my list. However, Chen Zhen is on my list. He is the focus of one of my favorite martial arts movies, Fist of Legend. This movie is a remake of Fist of Fury, which stars Bruce Lee. And Bruce Lee's car was once washed by Kevin Bacon. Well, probably not. Regardless, you have to be in awe of Chen. Of all the deaths and bruises and broken bones caused by the people on this list, how many of them came from a man's bare hands? At one point he basically folds a man's arm up like it was a towel. Ever need a badass to back you up in a streetfight? Then I know who you can call. Well, if he had a phone.
6). The Bride - the Female Badass
I don't exactly mean for this to be the token female presence on the list....but I guess it is. The Bride manages to kick a lot of arse, and she does it whilst also maintaining that certain feminine charm. I'm sure there are a number of men who wouldn't mind being tore up from the floor up by her Hattori Hanzo. When she's doing what she can do, gender doesn't really seem to matter, following in the footsteps of many other femme fatales. She may even turn it to her advantage. I've said it before and I'll say it again - Don't mess with a bride on her wedding day. Blood will be shed.
Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion....