10 Bizarrely Overconfident Movie Characters

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One of our favorite things to do here at TopTenz is watch old movies and look objectively at fight scenes to try and figure out exactly what was going through a given character’s mind, moments before they had their ribs pulverized to dust by a punishing uppercut from the main hero or villain. What we’ve found is that some of the most famous, and a few of the worst scenes of conflicts from famous movies don’t make any sense when looked at objectively. For example, consider…

10. The Swordfighting Scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark

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Fans of movie trivia are probably aware that the most memorable scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which the titular Indiana Jones shoots an assassin sent to kill him was adlibbed by Harrison Ford. According to the crew, Ford was suffering from crippling dysentery and didn’t want to take part in the originally planned, extensively choreographed fight scene and instead suggested that he just shoot the swordsman in the face.

Needless to say, if the film contained the original fight scene as planned, this scene would be on another list titled “Top 10 Times the Hero Should Have Just Shot the Bad Guy”. Instead, we’re now going to look at things from the perspective of the Arab Swordsman (that’s his billed name by the way).

Let’s go through it one step at a time, shall we? The swordsman sees Indiana Jones and decides to challenge him to an honorable duel, despite the fact the only visible defense he’s carrying is a revolver. After parting the crowd and making Indy fully aware of his presence, along with moving any potential bystanders out of the way, the swordsman proceeds to swing his sword around in circles, completely destroying any chance he may have had of a surprise attack and giving him ample time to confirm that yes, Indy still has a gun. Seconds later, Indy shoots him and walks away.

The fact that the swordsman was so confident that Indy would let him just walk over and stab him after having so much time to see his gun makes us feel bad because it’s highly likely that Indiana Jones just killed a mentally deficient guy who liked playing with rubber swords in that scene.

9. The Prison Fight in Watchmen

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About halfway through Watchmen, the character Rorschach is arrested and sent to prison, which is probably bad for him because he’s a vigilante who’s personally sent half of the prisoners there. Unsurprisingly, just a few days into his sentence another prisoner swaggers up to Rorschach and tries to stab him, causing Rorschach to break his hand before KFC-ing his ass.

Again, let’s break this down. Rorschach is a master of hand-to-hand combat who once beat up 30 cops with a can of bug spray while wearing a vision obscuring mask, at night. Anyone who knows anything about Rorschach should know that fighting him head on is sure fire way to lose the use of at least one limb and the majority of your digestive system. Yet the prisoner is so oddly cocksure that he’ll be the first person to ever land a clean hit on one of the best fighters in the entire world that he verbally warns him that he’s about to attack before winding up for an easily telegraphed stab to the mid-section. Even if he did manage to stab Rorschach, what was his plan after that? He’s in the middle of lunch so there’s no way he’d be able to stab Rorschach enough to make totally sure that he died before the guards intervened. So the prisoner’s choice here was to either, “Be brutally murdered by Rorschach like every other criminal who’s tried to attack him” or “Stab him once and become Rorschach’s number one target, forever.

He probably should have just had lunch.

8. The Mugging Scene in The Terminator

In the opening scene of The Terminator, after we’re given a nightmarish vision of the future where robots firing fabulously well-coordinated lasers stalk the land, we’re introduced to three characters, including ’80s era Bill Paxton, as they come face to face with the Terminator moments after it’s sent back into the past. The group try to harass the Terminator only to be swiftly dispatched by several brutally efficient, robotic slaps to the face.

Now obviously we know that doing this was a bad idea because the Terminator is a futuristic killbot that can bench a dump truck, but even though Paxton and his cohorts don’t know this, it was still a monumentally stupid idea to harass the Terminator. While we’re not overly familiar with how gangs operate, we’re pretty sure they avoid picking fights with Herculean Übermensch who could suplex them into next week.

Sure, you could say that there are three of them, and only one Terminator, but there’s no outcome to this scenario where they come out better off. Either they get badly beaten by a burly naked Austrian man and have to live with that shame forever, or they successfully stab him to death and then have to find a way of disposing of his body and/or finding a way to justify stabbing a naked man to death in self-defense to the police if they’re ever caught. We mean, the Terminator is absolutely butt naked in this scene, so they can clearly see that he has nothing worth stealing. They’re picking a fight with a man who literally has nothing to lose and has at least 80 pounds of muscle on each of them. It makes it worse that before they try to stab the Terminator, all it asks for is some clothes and one of them is wearing a clearly two sizes too big overcoat. If he’d handed that over, Bill Paxton may never have become the only man in film history to be killed by a Terminator, an Alien and a Predator.

7. The Rave Scene in Freddy vs. Jason

In Freddy vs. Jason, there’s a scene in which Jason inexplicably decides to crash a rave located in a cornfield because that’s apparently how he rolls. Shortly after arriving Jason bumps into the two of the ballsiest college students in history.

The two students, who are presumably football players judging by their outfits, turn around and come face to shoulder with Jason “has murdered a yearbook’s worth of teenagers” Voorhees and decide to begin making fun of him. It could be argued that the students are drunk, which would excuse their language, but not the initial decision to mock a guy a foot taller than them wearing blood soaked overalls and a murder-mask who also has a machete tucked in his pants.

Even if you assume the guys didn’t see Jason’s machete, they must at least noticed his towering frame and shoulders wider than the turning circle of a small bus. It’s also worth mentioning that this entire scene takes place at a rave where there are people wearing outfits like this.

Was a guy wearing a hockey mask really so out of place you felt the need to call him a pig (bleeper), you guys? That just seems mean and we’re kind of glad Jason killed you for it.

6. The University Fight in The Incredible Hulk

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In the 2008 reboot of the Incredible Hulk franchise, Tim Roth plays Emil Blonsky, a Royal Marines veteran who, during the course of the movie, volunteers to be injected with an experimental serum that gives him limited superhuman abilities. Literally one of the first things Blonsky does with this new found power is pick a fight with the Hulk, who proceeds to kick him so hard he shatters every bone in his body with a single, King Leonidas pleasing kick.

What makes this more baffling is that Blonsky openly goads the Hulk into kicking him, even though he’s just seen him rip an armoured vehicle in half with his bare hands, a piece of which he’s still holding when he asks, “Is that all you’ve got?” As if that isn’t a totally ridiculous question to ask of the 12 foot tall monster you’ve just witnessed body check a semi.

In the previous scene, the only thing that stopped the Hulk from punching Blonsky into a fine, British paste is that he was too slow to actually hit him. The strength granted by Blonsky’s serum injection never played a part so he has no reason for assuming he’d be able to survive a hit from a creature whose punches travel so fast they ignite the air around them. The only real explanation is that Blonsky wanted to test the limits of the serum that up that point had allowed him to jump slightly higher than usual and run a bit fast, by seeing if it would also help him survive being kicked into a tree at Mach 2. Personally we would have started with something a little less dangerous, but clearly we don’t have Emil Blonsky’s confidence.

5. Threatening Optimus Prime in Revenge of the Fallen

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While the live-action Transformers movies may have drawn the ire of fans for being bloated CGI-filled turds, they do, do a pretty fantastic job of demonstrating why you shouldn’t ever mess with Optimus Prime. Reasons for fearing Optimus Prime include the fact that he’s a giant, virtually indestructible robot with flaming swords for hands, a fearless warrior and a master tactician. As a robot in disguise, Optimus Prime is also excellent at sneaking up on people, provided they don’t tend to notice massive trucks covered in wicked cool flame decals driving at five miles per hour.

Which makes it sort of confusing why Theodore Galloway has the balls to openly threaten him in the second movie, let alone speak when he should by all rights be terrified. If you don’t recall the second Transformers movie because it’s, well a Transformers movie, there’s a scene in which Director Theodore Galloway criticizes Optimus Prime for not sharing Autobot technology and then basically says that he wants them all to leave Earth. Optimus, rather than using his giant robot hands to deliver an earth shattering pimp slap, humors Galloway by saying that he’d leave Earth if asked nicely.

But here’s the thing, Galloway has no authority to banish the Autobots from the Earth, the most he could conceivably do is ask them to leave America. Which is stupid because we’re sure every other country on Earth would immediately welcome the Autobots with open arms because most people can see the benefits of an immortal race of sentient giant robots owing you a favor. In other words, Galloway pisses off the single greatest defense asset America has because they won’t share their big-ass non-human-sized laser guns with the military, even though having the Autobots on America’s side makes the military virtually obsolete because nobody starts a war with the country who has all the giant robots.

Besides, it’s not like Galloway even has the ability to make the Autobots leave America anyway, they’re totally immune to conventional weaponry, never need to sleep and have detailed information about America’s defenses because they work for the military. Galloway doesn’t hold a single card when he’s threatening the Autobots but still tries to make out that American doesn’t need the Autobots to Optimus Frickin’ Prime, a robot who has seen first-hand that the US military can barely kill a single Decepticon without his broad rippling robo shoulders and kick-ass arm blades.

4. The Prison Scene in Hancock

About halfway through the movie Hancock the eponymous main character, an invincible demigod who can fly, willingly allows himself to be arrested and sent to prison as part of a ploy to show the public that the city is better off with his help than without it. Moments after arriving, Hancock is surrounded by dozens of angry prisoners who dislike his superheroics. Hancock coolly explains that he just wants to serve his time and that if everyone leaves him alone, he’ll refrain from using his array of punch-based superpowers to put people’s head inside other people’s butts. The prisoners laugh at Hancock, who true to his word, proceeds to carefully and surgically insert one of the prisoner’s heads into the rectum of another.

Although later on in the movie, Hancock does eventually become weakened (spoilers) making him vulnerable to conventional weaponry and being hit by cars, at this point in the film there is no reason at all for anyone to assume he doesn’t still have full access to his powers. Hell, literally the first thing he does in prison is accidentally drag 20 other prisoners handcuffed to him along the ground without realizing it and we know that at least three of the prisoners there saw him survive being shot in face at point blank range with machine guns for about 20 seconds. Judging by the fact they also have TV in the prison, it’s also safe to assume most of them saw Hancock body check a train a few days earlier. And they still feel confident in that 20 or 30 reasonably burly men could take him on because he willingly let himself be handcuffed. What, did they think Hancock was a Bizarro World version of Wonder Woman or something?

3. Threatening Bane in The Dark Knight Rises

If you don’t recall the plot to The Dark Knight Rises because your memory of that movie has been replaced with nothing but plot holes (seriously though, how did he paint that big flaming Bat Symbol?) allow us to run through the story. The basic premise is that a wealthy businessman called John Daggett hires the terrorist and supercriminal, Bane, to bankrupt Bruce Wayne so that he can assume control over Wayne Enterprises. Bane, as terrorists often do, betrays Daggett and allows control of Wayne Enterprises to fall into the hands of his master, Talia al Ghul instead.

Upon learning that Wayne Enterprises is now being run by someone who he’s sure isn’t him, he angrily confronts Bane and yells in his face, something we’ve been assured is known in the criminal underworld as a “ballsy move.”

Now we get that Daggett spent a lot of money hiring Bane, but that also means he must be at least somewhat aware of what the man is capable of. Even if he doesn’t know that Bane is in cahoots with the League of Shadows, he’s at the very least seen his arms which account for about 40% of his body mass. You just don’t raise your voice to a guy like that, especially when you know for a fact he’s a terrorist who just the day before, shot up the Stock Exchange in broad daylight.

When Bane calmly asks Daggett if he “feels in charge”, his demeanor instantly changes and he changes tact and tries to appeal to Bane’s sympathy by saying, “I’ve paid you a small fortune,” because if there’s one thing Gotham’s supervillains care about and respect, it’s money.

Oh, right.

2. Making fun of Schwarzenegger in Jingle All the Way

Jingle All the Way is a Christmas movie about a man called Howard Langston (played by Schwarzenegger) who just wants to buy his son a Turbo-Man action figure for Christmas. Said action figure just so happens to be that year’s hottest toy, resulting in Schwarzenegger searching all over town in an attempt to track one down. This of course leads to many mishaps and the occasional caper.

While Howard Langston is portrayed as being a humble mattress salesmen, it’s also important to note that he’s played by Arnold Schwarzenegger and as such, possesses the physique and relative build of a Greek God with a gym membership. Please keep that in mind as we describe the next scene.

Since he isn’t aware of how popular Turbo-Man is, Langston’s first stop is a mall, where he politely asks a store employee if they have any left in stock. The employee, rather than, you know, doing his job and informing the hulking customer that the toy is no longer in stock, laughs in his face. A confused Langston, who at this point shows remarkable restraint for a man who later in the same film uppercuts a reindeer, looks around in a confused daze as the employee informs everyone around him that some idiot is looking for a Turbo-Man, causing the entire store to point and laugh.

We get that the toy is absurdly popular, but what we don’t get is why two store employees with the most punchable laugh-faces in the world, think it’s a good idea to openly mock any customer, let alone one a foot taller than them who is obviously very stressed.

It’s actually surprising that Schwarzenegger’s character only threatens them with physical violence instead of punching them in the neck, which we’re pretty sure is legal when someone infers that you’re an idiot for trying to buy your son the toy he wants for Christmas on the only day you’re not at work.

1. Admiral Motti, Just, What Were You Thinking?

We’re not going to describe this scene because Darth Vader force strangling Admiral Motti for mocking his devotion to the Force is one of the most famous scenes in movie history. It’s also one of the most baffling on almost every conceivable level.

For starters, at the start of Star Wars, Darth Vader is the Supreme Commander of the entire Imperial Military, meaning that technically, he’s Admiral Motti’s boss. We don’t know about you guys, but at almost every place we’ve ever worked, telling your boss his devotion to religion is “sad” is not often seen as a wise career move. A great anecdote on Reddit, sure, but not a wise career move. But let’s say that for some reason, Motti didn’t know Darth Vader was his boss, even though everyone calls him “Lord Vader” and he’s clearly the guy in the room everyone is afraid of. Let’s say he thought Darth Vader was just an enforcer for the Emperor or something. Even then it still doesn’t make sense why he’d act derisively about the Force because Darth Vader still has a direct line to the Emperor and could realistically have him demoted to being the guy who fishes stray turds out of the Death Star’s toilets before the week was out with a single phonecall.

On top of this, everyone in the room was clearly terrified of Vader and is visibly on edge the second he enters the room, so who exactly was Motti hoping to score points with, with his jab about the Force? Nobody in that room is going to laugh and he’s already an admiral, so there’s no chance of him getting a promotion for speaking his mind. All he’s doing is potentially upsetting the one guy in the room who arrived wearing battle armor.

Also, earlier in the movie, Darth Vader led an attack on the Rebels in an attempt to stop them retrieving the Death Star plans and his mere presence caused everyone who wasn’t dead to immediately surrender. Considering that during that meeting they were discussing that exact battle surely Motti was aware that Vader personally gathered the information by choking every member of the rebel crew with his man-sized robot hands?

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Considering the only thing we know for sure he knows about Darth Vader is that he’s terrifying and loves choking people, you’d think he would have been a little nicer to him.

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4 Comments

  1. George Lucas lives about a mile from me. About 25 years ago I got the job of moving all the Lucasfilm movie props into a warehouse. We all took selfies with Jabba the Hut, and wore the real Darth Vader helmet.

    There were actually three scimitars made for the scene with Indy. Two were steel, and were so heavy that even a big guy could not wave it very convincingly. So the third was made out of aluminum, and that is the one in the scene.

  2. Some of these can be explained fairly easily, the star wars one is about the force becoming something of a myth in the 20- odd years since the fall of the Jedi and the rise of the Empire. Also the Dark Knight rises scene with Daggett is purposefully showing how money corrupts, you have this weedy guy who is worth millions and he believes because of this he is invincible as money is all that matters in his world, then you get the Chaos factor of Bane who cannot be bribed or reasoned with, hence his weakened demeanor when he realizes he is screwed.

    Finally Bill Paxton is no longer the only character to have been killed by all three, Lance Henrikson now also holds that title

  3. #1 Video, at 1:32: Vader seems to be huffing in dismay with the thought of having to use the Force against such an idiot.

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