Movies need you to be scared of the bad guy and impressed by the badass. The method for getting you to buy into this is often the same: by looking the part, and by having other characters go on and on about how badass someone is.
But often when it comes time for said badass to actually, you know, fight somebody, he tends to be profoundly disappointing -- even if nobody else in the movie notices.
7The Uruk-hai -- The Lord of the Rings Series
The buildup:These giant, muscular, snarling, spitting terrors are the elite troops the bad guys in the Lord of the Rings series plan to use to conquer everyone in Middle-earth.
Even Tom Bombadil?
In the films, a great deal of screen time is dedicated to the creation and mass production of these super-soldiers, specifically bred by Saruman for the purpose of murdering absolutely everyone. They're supposedly created by cross-breeding "orcs and goblin-men," though the lack of any scenes portraying orcs and goblin-men fucking is a glaring omission in this process.
We guess that's kind of hot.
Sure enough, the first Uruk-hai off the line gets as badass an introduction as any character in film history. Orcs dig him out of a muddy cocoon, at which point he jumps out and murders the first dude he can find. This soldier has a confirmed kill within five seconds of being born.
He suckled from the teat of murder.
And Saruman creates thousands of them.
After half a film's worth of buildup, we finally see the Uruk-hai in action at the end of Fellowship of the Ring. They pursue the fellowship and manage to kill Boromir.
You know, the guy who got his ass handed to him by two unarmed hobbits.
Well, eventually. Boromir, with multiple arrows piercing his internal organs, manages to kill half a dozen or so of the Uruk-hai before breathing his last breath. It's played like a devastating loss for the fellowship, but on Saruman's side they had to have been realizing that if that kill ratio kept up, the orcs and goblin-men were going to need to step up the fuckin'.
Which, to be fair, they totally did.
But OK, there were only a few Uruk-hai in that scene, and maybe they were tired or something. So in The Two Towers, the real Uruk-hai army shows up, 10,000 of them at the Battle of Helm's Deep ...
"So, um ... is there, like, a plan? We aren't just going to charge right into their arrows, are we? Guys?"
At which point rows and rows of them are mowed down by a tiny, ragtag group of random untrained dudes the good guys pulled off their farms. The massive, overwhelming force of specially bred soldier-monsters is held at bay for hours before they resort to suicide bombing the fortress. This works briefly before reinforcements show up for the good guys -- reinforcements of regular soldiers, not specially bred super-soldiers -- at which point the Uruk-hai flee for their lives and are punched to death by trees.
Trees on Thorazine.
All told, the Uruk-hai have a record in battle just slightly worse than the Star Wars stormtroopers. And that's saying something.
6Quint -- Jaws
When the town of Amity is under siege by a ferocious killer shark, Quint descends from the heavens to kick it in its great white nutsack. He interrupts a town meeting where everybody is panicking about the monster terrorizing the town to say that for 3,000 bucks, he'll find it -- by himself. Then he ups the ante:
"I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for 10 ... For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing." This of course raises the question, what did the three thousand dollar package include? Was Quint just going to go out, and point to the shark?
Regardless of what flavor of shark-murder stew the town chose, the movie makes it clear that Quint can back it up: His house is lined wall-to-wall with boiled jawbones. Also, he doesn't appear to stop drinking the entire time he's in the movie. In an alcohol-fueled monologue, he tells Brody and Hooper about the time he was stranded at sea while serving on the USS Indianapolis, a boat that was famously torpedoed and sunk during World War II and had two-thirds of its adrift crew eaten by sharks. This guy harpoons our nightmares for a living.
Those are not the eyes of a well-balanced person.
But then ...
The shark attacks the boat and, well, Quint kind of just falls right into its mouth.
Sure, it's a big shark, and it eats its fair share of people before the end credits roll, but Quint's specific job was to not get eaten. We're pretty sure that part was underlined in the contract he signed. His entire livelihood involves confronting sharks and not getting eaten by them.
"Jesus, Quint, are you even trying to hunt sharks?"
But sure enough, when the shark is biting the tail end of the boat, Quint sort of lies on the boat like Hungry Hungry Hippos and lets gravity do the rest. The guy the movie spends two hours building up as the Rambo of shark murder gets taken out by a live-action Crocodile Mile.
Sure, anybody can drop the ball once, lose his footing and, you know, fall into a shark's open mouth. But keep in mind that this was after he smashed the ship's radio and blew up the engine, leaving them floating around aimlessly. It would have been more useful to leave Quint behind in his jawbone mansion.
The moral of the story? Don't drink and hunt homicidal sharks.