Last night my roommate and I finally sat down to watch Conan The Barbarian after about a month of talking about it. It had been years since I’ve seen it and I was a little fuzzy on the details especially the virtues of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character. Beyond brute force he had none. Within the first half hour I’d realized that I had completely misinterpreted Conan as a kid. The guy is an asshole.
That got me thinking, what other pricks have managed to slash, gash and one liner themselves to hero worship? I’m not talking anti-heroes here. I’m talking about the guys you’re supposed to be able to get behind and route for without questioning their ethical reasoning. I’m talking about the protagonists that have been presented to us as the “good guy” in spite of their questionable morals and generally dickish attitudes. This list is what I came up with.
Here are 5 Heroes Who Are Actually Complete Jerk-offs.
5. HAN SOLO IS A COCKY BASTARD
Personally, I’m not sure how far I would place Han Solo into the hero camp considering Luke Skywalker is intended to be our main hero but considering every list of ‘Best Movie Heroes’ on the internet has him listed, and WAY higher on the list than Luke, I couldn’t very well leave him out.
I like Han Solo. Who doesn’t? He’s a fucking boss. He’s suave, ballsy and Harrison Ford back in the day?
But he’s also an arrogant smartass that can’t seem to resist undercutting everyone around him. He’s condescending to Luke, short with Chewie, and his idea of foreplay with Leia is winding her up.
The first time we meet Han he’s being accused of cheating at cards, kind of a dick move. He’s also in a bind, he’s in serious debt to Jabba the Hut why? Because he’s undependable. Ok being undependable doesn’t really make you a jerk, but it’s not really a trait we look for in our heroes either. The nature of his debt isn’t particularly heroic either. He works as a smuggler so the majority of the goods he makes money shipping are definitely of the illegal variety.
Initially Han’s acts of heroics are only fuelled by his desire to save his own ass. If he helps out Luke he can square his debt with Jabba. At this point he doesn’t really give much of a shit about anyone else.
Han does more than redeem himself through his actions throughout the franchise. The guy really is a hero in his own right. It’s just that attitude of his, though amusing, oozes asshatery. Lets take a look at some quotes shall we?
Luke: But they’re gonna kill her!
Han: Better her than me.
Han: Look, I ain’t in this for your revolution, and I’m not in it for you, princess. I expect to be well paid. I’m in it for the money.
Han: Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, farm boy.
And of course
4. FERRIS BUELLER IS A LITTLE SHIT
Ferris fucking Bueller. Where do I begin? Ferris is the quintessential spoiled little brat. Everything is always cool with him because he never has to deal with any consequences for his shitty, shitty actions.
So he lies to get out of going to class? We’ve all done that. No big deal. The only one you harmed is your education but that’s not the case with Ferris. He dragged his best friend and girlfriend into it with him. Sure, he claims it’s to help cheer Cameron up but come on! The movie is called Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It’s all about Ferris. And lets not forget that we didn’t just fake sick. He faked dying. That’s pretty twisted. He’s even got the school and the city collecting donations to help with his non-existant deadly illness
Then spends his day eating in fancy restaurants, going to baseball games and high jacking a fucking parade. What kind of self involved little deviant assumes anyone wants to see him singing and dancing on a fucking float? And who’s footing the bill? Not Ferris.
He convinces his friend Cameron to take out his dad’s car which ends up trashed in spite of the fact that Cameron has his own fucking car. And of course Ferris is off the hook as his friend decides to take all the blame and stand up to his dad. Kids aren’t as afraid of their parents as Cameron is for no reason. You know what happened to him when his father came home? He got FUCKING MURDERED that’s what happened.
Kid is a sociopath. No wonder Jeanie is so fucking resentful of him. All her brother does is run around fucking up peoples lives and charming his way out of it. Meanwhile she tries to do the right thing and take out what she thinks is an intruder in her own home and goes to the police and what does that get her? In shit for filing a false police report.
In the end everything works out for Ferris and he gets off scot free. We can only imagine to what other acts of complete disregard for other human beings this victory will lead him too.
3. SHERLOCK HOLMES IS A PRETENTIOUS PRICK
I LOVE Sherlock Holmes. I think he’s a sweet ass character. I read a bunch of the original short stories in high school and I’ve seen multiple film adaptions.
He’s intelligent, capable, multitalented and a master of multiple fighting styles. Complete badass. Even with all the cocaine use he’s probably one of my all time favourite heroes period. BUT, that doesn’t mean he isn’t a fucking jerk.
Since this is “Movie Heroes” lets go with the most recent (and maybe the most dickish) interpretation of Sherlock Holmes.
All of Robert Downey Jr.’s most popular characters are charismatic assholes. That’s how he makes his living. They get away with it because they aren’t unfounded in their feelings or superiority, probably none more so than Holmes.
The guy is a genius and he knows it. But he also has to let everyone else know it as well. Sure he’s fun to watch, but if you ever met Sherlock Holmes in person you’d throw you’re drink in his face too.
They play it off as his intellect interfering with his ability to function in social interactions but if you’re someone with the powers of deduction of Sherlock Holmes you can fucking tell when someone thinks you’re being a dick. That’s the real reason literally no character fucking likes him.
He’s unnecessarily mean to Mrs. Hudson and who knows why she puts up with him. He insults her, accuses her of poisoning him, plays violin poorly into all hours of the night, and generally fucks up her house. He shoots his gun at the damn walls! But’s it’s ok! He’s an eccentric genius.
The only reason I can fathom she puts up with him is because she needs the rent money to keep her from living on the streets.
He gives Inspector Lestrade more trouble than he deserves, often popping up to fuck around with his cases and why? Because he thinks he can do a better job. That may be so but he’s still sticking his nose where is doesn’t belong and interfering with a police investigation. Is it any wonder Lestrade hates him? Holmes has respect only for himself, and maybe a tiny bit for poor Watson.
Speaking of long suffering John Watson, Holmes’ best friend has it the worst of anyone. Holmes repeatedly tries to sabotage Watson’s relationship because he’s uncomfortable with change and wants to keep his friend all to himself.
He gets Watson into all sorts of trouble from jail to almost getting killed all the while never fully divulging any of his plans. And he’ll never be able to rid himself of him either.
Don’t even get me started on all the damage he’s done to that poor dog.
2. CONAN IS THE ANCIENT EQUIVALENT OF A DOUCHEBAG
Might as well pick up where we started. Conan starts off with trying to paint a sympathetic character. Here’s a guy who watched his friends, family, and village get slaughtered and destroyed and then was sold into slavery where he was forced to crank a giant wheel all day for years for reasons I’m not entirely sure of…
What purpose did that wheel serve anyway? As far as I can tell there’s no clocktower or portable radio anywhere and he doesn’t appear to be manning a ship of any sort.
Then once his biceps have gotten to be the size of his head he’s sent to a human cock fighting ring which from the look of some of their outfits may be literal cock fighting.
For the first time in history giving a second meaning to the term “crossing swords”.
Yeah. Buddy’s life sucks some major loinclothed ass. It’s this point where I started to realize something was a miss with our “hero”. Conan didn’t seem all that torn up about murdering all those other homoerotic gladiators did he? Not really. He seemed pretty ok with it and fair enough. It is kill or be killed in the world of fetish wrestling and he got to learn to read and shit (debatably). But then things turn rape-y. By that I mean he actually rapes a woman.
Conan than swings his sword and punches his way through the rest of the movie never really giving you much of a reason to like him. He frees a thief and breaks into some snake tower to steal The Eye of the Serpent from some white robed folk who really were just minding their own business practicing their religion and what not until Conan and his sidekicks show up to rob and murder them. Ok yes their god is a snake, but Conan “prays to the ground” so he’s in no place to pass judgement. And yes, they were sacrificing a virgin to a giant serpent but at least she was willing unlike the swarms of slave girls Conan has had sex with over the years.
And when he gets himself a girlfriend he seems marginally less interested in here that she is in him. She states she’s willing to give her life for him, but he doesn’t even fucking cry when she does die. The reason given? He’s a man.
And if all that plus Arnold Schwarzenegger’s acting chops aren’t reason enough for Conan’s complete lack of endearment as a character this should be.
This clip I think shows us the full extent of Conan’s likability. Some women offer him something or other to “protect him from evil” and he thanks them by calling them all “slahts” He then proceeds to punch a fucking camel for absolutely no reason at all! Seriously, what the fuck bro? You can’t just run around punching camels and shit! It’s not cool.
We then have a follow up with the same camel from Conan the Destroyer where the interaction leads to him again, punching the fucking camel! The camel knows he’s a d-bag. He then punches a horse. Why? Probably shits and giggles.
1. JAMES BOND IS THE POSTER BOY FOR JACKASSERY
Was there ever any question of who would be number one? Every single flaw and moral shortcoming I’ve accused the others of having are present in Mr. Bond. He’s cocky, pretentious, rapey and gets by on his charm. Should I be surprised? The guy was designed to be the ultimate male fantasy.
He’s spent the last 50 years riding around in expensive cars, getting smashed, flaunting flashy gadgets, and bedding women. 50 years! He’s a dirty old man.
He routinely breaks the rules of the OSS, kills without remorse, fucks bitches, trashes cities, delivers horrible puns, drinks more than should be humanly possible and slaps women around.
And you know what? He doesn’t feel bad about any of it. Ok, I guess he does kind of have the best job in the world. Not gonna lie, I’m a little jealous. But that still doesn’t change the fact that he’s a douche.
The fact is, I could sit here and go through all the reasons why James Bond is a dirt bag, or we could enjoy those reasons put to song in this hilarious video I found while trying to do research.
Runners up: Erin Brockovich and Rambo.