I was hanging out with my little sister on Sunday afternoon talking about random stuff. We got on the subject of TV shows and characters. I had a nice long rant about one of my favorites, Jack Bauer from 24 and how bad ass he is. After a little while, my sister asks the most brilliant question: would I rank Jack Bauer as my #1 favorite bad ass. That question was so awesome, it stopped me mid-rant!
And I started contemplating and compiling my list. After careful consideration, I came up with my top ten all time favorite bad asses of TV and movies. Now some ground rules: 1) This doesn't reflect real people, just the characters they play. 2) No characters solely based in literature or video games. The characters had to appear in either television or movie, live action or animated. 3) Only one character per movie franchise or television series. 4) Being bad ass doesn't necessarily mean a good guy, just cool, tough, intimidating, and fearsome in battle.
Now that we understand the rules, here's my top ten all time favorite TV & movie bad asses.
10) Wesley Wyndam-Price
(From Season 3 of Angel forward) - Given the amount of issues Wesley had to deal with over the course of his tenure in the Buffyverse, he should rank higher on this list, but he didn't really reach the requisite level of fearsomeness until season 3 of Angel. Given his limited time of fearsomeness, he comes in at number ten.
09) Ellen Ripley
(From the Alien movies) - Like the bulk of movie bad asses, Ripley didn't seem like much at first, but as their situation worsened, she rose to the occasion and succeeded where everyone else, even people better trained than her, failed. So, I would advise prompt obedience when you hear those fateful words, "Get away from her, you BITCH!!"
08) The Predator
(From the Predator movies) - There really isn't an explanation needed here. The point of every single one of the Predator movies was how bad ass of a hunter those things were. They do get credit for being honorable, though. They respect other hunters who prove their mettle in battle.
07) Jack Martin
(From the Transporter movies) - Even I have to admit, the caliber of the Transporter films varied from movie to movie. Despite the changes in quality, the Transporter himself never wavered in his fearsome lethality.
06) Micheal Myers
(From the Halloween movies) - He never said anything, but his silent appearances and supernatural ability to return from the dead not only made him bad ass but lent him a level of creepiness that earned Michael a permanent place in history as one of the best movie villains ever.
05) Jason Vorhees
(From the Friday the 13Th movies) - Jason has a very similar style to Micheal Myers, but where Michael is cold and distant, Jason has a charisma that makes you cheer him along as he kills all those idiotic teenyboppers. You never want to be in front of him, but anyone dumb enough to go to Camp Crystal Lake deserves it.
(From the Blade movies/TV series) - This is one bad ass that embodies the quality of cool. From his first movie appearance when he walked into a room full of vampires, BY HIMSELF, and the vampires backed away, Blade established himself as a major player and his subsequent performance in battle made him a lock for a spot on the bad ass list.
04) Sarah Connor
(From the Terminator movies/TV series) - The Terminator series pretty much generates bad asses. Anyone who survives more than five minutes with the Terminators earns the title of bad ass. What makes Sarah Connor my favorite is the same quality as Ellen Ripley. Sarah was put in a situation that would break most people and not only rose to the occasion, but she took the steps to prepare for when it happened again. The difference in her from the first movie to the second was nothing short of astonishing!!
03) Noah Bennett
(From the Heroes TV series) - A normal human in a world that was slowly filling with super-powered people, Bennett picked up the title of bad ass from his ability to be prepared for practically any super power, and his nearly superhuman ability to out-think anyone he faced off against. He's the Man With A Plan, and NEVER to be taken lightly or trifled with.
02) John McClane
(From the Die Hard movies) - Let's be honest here, McClane redefined what it was to be a bad ass in modern times. If you're so good the bad guys can't hurt you, then these bad guys aren't really a challenge which loses you the title of bad ass. McClane is the one who showed that being bad ass doesn't mean being untouchable, being bad ass means being UNSTOPPABLE. Being beat up, stabbed, shot, blown up, hit by cars... none of that mattered. NOTHING stopped McClane from getting the bad guys. Dude walked across a floor covered in broken shards of glass BAREFOOT and still managed to put down the bad guys.
01) Jack Bauer
(from the 24 TV series) - You probably already knew this, but yeah, Jack's number 1 in my book. There are people who believe that Bauer is nothing more than a TV version of McClane. I will admit that there is a high level of similarity between the two characters, but I don't see Jack Bauer as a clone of John McClane. I think that John McClane laid the groundwork thereby making it possible for a character like Jack Bauer to exist at all. After all, there is a highly important and very sharp distinction between Bauer and McClane: In the end, McClane always wins. He beats the bad guys & saves the girl (be it his wife, or his daughter, they survive.) Jack Bauer, on the other hand, is never ultimately victorious. NEVER. From the first season when he beat the terrorists only to arrive too late to save his wife, Bauer became a new breed of bad ass.
I mean think about it, not only does he excel in the field of combat, but he also navigates the world of politics very well, if a little on the direct side. And that doesn't even cover the hits he takes in his personal life. His wife dies, killed by his ex-girlfriend. Which leaves his relationship with his daughter at best, estranged. He meets another girl who leaves him because he's too committed to his job. His 3rd girlfriend ends up leaving him because he has to torture her ex-husband to get information and then forces a doctor to stop working on the ex-husband to try and save a potential witness so the ex-husband dies. Then she ends up being kidnapped and tortured by an enemy nation and comes back completely broken. His 4Th girlfriend ends up getting killed just after they consummate their relationship. I mean like SECONDS after. All that, PLUS having to deal with misguided or incompetent politicians, vicious terrorists, nuclear AND biological threats, betrayals from trusted co-workers, the government he fights for, AND his own family. I mean seriously, What the fuck, people!
Yet he still manages to save the country time & time again. If that isn't the ultimate level of bad ass, I don't know what is.