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.