Cinema heroes exist to be everything we're not. Therefore we want them to be crack shots, kung fu masters, tactical geniuses and furious, furious fornicators.
So why is it that we barely blink when they spend the entirety of the film puttering about and screwing things up? Here are six movie heroes who did their jobs so damn poorly that, in retrospect, they'd barely make good sidekicks.
RoboCop is our second favorite robotic police officer from Detroit (our fave is obviously the Motor City's O.G. killbot, ED-209).
Why He Should Be Good At His Job:
He's a cop and he's robot. Period. There is no fudge factor, no gray area. He is literally programmed to do things by the book.
Why He Sucked At It:
Let's analyze RoboCop's very first case step-by-step.
A perpetrator wielding a machine gun is robbing a convenience store. RoboCop arrives, is promptly shot 30 times and shrugs off the bullets like NERF darts, and proceeds to disable the crook's firearm by bending its muzzle. Now that the criminal is disarmed it's time to slap on the handcuffs and...
BOOM! ROBOCOP CLOTHESLINES THE SUNUVABITCH INTO A FREEZER! BLAM! CRIPPLETASTIC! WOMP!
Our cyborg hero then leaves the store... without arresting the guy. OK, so it was his first day on the job--maybe he had the first time jitters. Perhaps he'll show a little more restraint with his next case ...
KAPOW! HE CASTRATES THE BASTARD WITH GEOMETRY!
Again, RoboCop makes no real effort to apprehend the crooks. It goes on like this for the next 90 minutes. All in all, RoboCop arrests only one criminal during the entire movie. The rest of his time is spent alternately maiming people (three guys) or blowing them away (he racks up a body count of 16).
This is pretty confusing as RoboCop is, in fact, hardwired to be a good guy and has the free will of a VCR. Who the hell programmed him to be a cop? The T-1000?
And we're not even going to get into the time RoboCop stole that nice Korean family's fridge.
"YO I'M ABOUT TO EAT!"
#5. Danny Ocean (and the Other 10 guys) from Ocean's 11
Danny Ocean and his gang are the world's greatest thieves. Their chosen vocation is stealing the world's valuables to a tasteful jazz-house soundtrack.
Why They Should Be Good At Their Job:
Well, the other characters in the movie keep insisting they're the best. And between the 11 of them, they possess more combined skills than MacGyver with an iPhone. Their roster includes a Chinese gymnast, the guy from both Hotel Rwanda AND Hotel for Dogs, and three of People magazine's "Sexiest Men Alive"... including two two-time winners!
Even though Andy Garcia's casino mogul knew Ocean was up to something, Danny's team nonetheless robs his casino easily. They even have enough time to reminisce in front of the Bellagio's fountains about the halcyon days of Las Vegas. You know, before Sammy Davis, Jr. started hanging with Richard Nixon.
Why They Sucked At It:
For a bunch of dudes robbing a vindictive millionaire, Ocean's 11 were plum awful at concealing their identities. Indeed, if it hadn't been for Ocean's 12, we just would've assumed that days after the first movie, the LVPD would've found a circle of 11 dead men in the Nevada desert with their heads up each others asses.
Things immediately go sour when Danny Ocean introduces himself to casino owner Terry Benedict at the start of the film. As the caper progresses, six of the 11 show their faces to Benedict during the pre-heist setup.
And they're not sporting hilarious prosthetic noses or $1,000 fat suits, mind you--they show their unadulterated, handsomely chiseled mugs to Benedict himself, point-blank and under memorably wacky circumstances in a camera-filled casino.
Above: a bad disguise.
These guys built a 1:1 replica of Benedict's casino vault and a robotic getaway van. You'd think they'd pony up for one or two dollar-store fake mustaches.
Of course, the first 10 minutes of the sequel show Benedict catching all 11 masterminds, thereby proving that, without question, they are shitty thieves. And given that Ocean's 12 was borderline unwatchable, we'd have preferred just imagining the "dead-in-the-desert-with-heads-up-their-asses" scenario.
#4. Johnny Utah from Point Break
Keanu Reeves plays Special Agent Johnny Utah, college quarterback turned FBI agent turned undercover mole in a gang of surfers/bank robbers, in the greatest movie about surfing, bank robberies and people of all time.
Why He Should Be Good At His Job:
He's played by Keanu, brah. His limited vocabulary and vacant gaze will aid him immeasurably in infiltrating a band of free-spirited wave junkies.
Plus, his quarterback training gave him the power to punt Rottweilers.
Why He Sucked At It:
Johnny Utah had his space cadet surfing persona down pat but apparently showed up hungover to the rest of FBI academy. Why do we say this? Because he was a totally incompetent as an undercover cop.
Throughout the film, Utah breaks almost single tenet of undercover work, from "Don't befriend your target" to "Don't sleep with your target's ex-girlfriend" to "Don't partner up with Gary-fucking-Busey"...
...to "Don't reveal your identity to the target during a pointless chase scene and get pissy and unload your firearm into the sky in a suburban neighborhood."
By the end of Point Break, Special Agent Utah makes zero arrests, gets Busey and most of the robbers killed, and allows Bodhi, the ringleader, to escape and commit suicide by riding the bitching-est wave of all time.
Since Bodhi died in Utah's custody, there's a possibility Johnny could do some jail time. Looks like the only thing he'll be riding for a while is a lifer's raging hard-on.