It's good to be bad. Forget the awful Suicide Squad film and instead spend this weekend watching great films featuring compelling antiheroes
Suicide Squad released last week and the critics have been nothing but scathing in their reviews. One critic said it was ‘unpleasant from beginning to end’ while another stated that it’s a ‘vapid, soulless, tedious and painfully boring blockbuster. A contender for one of the worst films of the year’. Ouch.
It’s disappointing that Suicide Squad failed to live up to its immense potential, especially after the mauling Batman v Superman took from the critics. Can Warner Bros’ DC Universe ever hope to match the Marvel Cinematic Universe? (MCU). However, rather than waste your time and money on watching it, you should spend your weekend watching better films.
We’ve put together a list of the greatest and most compelling antiheroes to have ever graced the silver screen. Read on for our selections of characters that made it good to be bad:
Robert De Niro plays Travis Bickle, a Vietnam war veteran who becomes a taxi driver to help combat his insomnia. Bickle is an outcast who’s unable to relate to other people and disgusted with the rampant crime he witnesses on a daily basis.
He becomes increasingly isolated after being romantically rejected. However, chance encounters with a teen prostitute (played by Jodie Foster) and a presidential hopeful jerk him into action. Bickle becomes a dark crusader against ‘the filth’.
De Niro puts in a masterful performance as the socially inept Bickle, finely treading the line between hero and villain.
Crazy, trigger-happy and misanthropic, Rocket Raccoon is the baddest mercenary in the galaxy.
Despite his tough exterior, Rocket Raccoon has a vulnerable side to him. He’s lonely and can get very emotional, especially when drunk.
The small raccoon with a penchant for big weapons is not only one of our favourite antiheroes but one of our favourite Marvel characters.
William Foster is a man who’s simply had enough. Recently divorced and laid off from his job, the start of the film sees him stuck in LA traffic on a very hot summer day. He proceeds to abandon his car and take his repressed rage out on society.
Whether it’s convenience stores overcharging him badly to two gang members trying to rob him, Foster lives in a world that’s constantly giving him a raw deal.
Foster is an incredibly compelling antihero. Portrayed as both hero and villain, the audience can empathise with Foster’s grievances. He’s a man that’s been pushed to the edge.
Dirty Harry is a renegade cop who is very much part of the ‘ends justify the means’ school of thought when it comes to policing.
Callahan has a very clear sense of what he believes to be ‘right’, even if that means bending/breaking a few laws, especially the rights of criminals.
Illegal wire-taps, beatings and break-ins are all fine. Just as long as the streets of San Francisco are clear of maniacs.
The Godfather trilogy charts the rise and fall of the powerful Corleone crime family.
Michael Corleone is the youngest son and perhaps the most decent member of his family. While he initially refuses to get involved with the family ‘business’, Michael finds himself drawn in in an attempt to protect those close to him.
The Godfather is a powerful study of how power corrupts, as Michael’s ruthless rise to the top sees him become a dark, twisted decent transformation from the most decent member of his family to the most despicable.
Sardonic, charismatic and good with a blaster, Han Solo is the captain of the Millenium Falcon, the ‘ship that made the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs’.
We’re introduced to him at the Mos Eisley cantina, where he shoots down bounty hunter Greedo. That was until George Lucas had Greedo shooting first in the 1997 re-release, much to the annoyance of diehard fans. That scene was pivotal in establishing Han Solo as a mercenary antihero. A smuggler who shoots first and asks questions later.
While he may be amoral and motivated by greed and personal gain, Han also demonstrates that he’s capable of being selfless. He’s a well-rounded character and the most popular in the Star Wars universe.
Withnail and I depicts the lives and misadventures of two unemployed/unemployable young actors in late-1969 London.
The Withnail in the title is played by Richard E. Grant. He’s a boozy, arrogant coward, but we love him all the more for it! Withnail believes himself to be a great actor despite the fact that no-one will cast him.
Despite his many flaws, Withnail cuts a sympathetic character as he recognises that he’ll never make it big. His final scene, in which he delivers a word-perfect Hamlet soliloquy, showcases his wasted talent.
The Man With No Name
Another Clint Eastwood role. This time it’s his turn as ‘The Man With No Name’ from Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns that takes a spot on this list.
This legendary poncho wearing, cigar smoking character is a man of few words. Not to mention quick on the draw too.
He’s cynical, plays dirty and interested only in his own survival and personal fortune. Well, for the most part. He still finds time to occasionally do the right thing and brandish his own form of ‘justice’.
While there’s not much that’s heroic about a cocaine-snorting Cuban drug lord, Montana is the embodiment of the American Dream.
Colourfully brought to life by Al Pacino, Montana is a nobody when we first see him. His desire to make it big results in him obtaining absolute power in the Miami underworld.
While his drive is to be admired, Montana has zero morals and has no qualms crushing those he deems ‘cock-a-roaches’. His rise to the top is ruthless.
Whether it’s opening underground fight clubs or levelling buildings to reset the economy, Tyler Durden is all about the chaos.
He’s a free-spirit who does monstrous things in the name of upsetting the status quo.
Durden eventually launches a campaign of anarchy called ‘Project Mayhem’ in order to create what he believes to be a better world.
One of the most unique and fascinating characters on this list.
After years of being stuck in development hell, Deadpool finally made his big screen debut (let’s forget X-Men Origins: Wolverine ever happened).
Ryan Reynolds excels as the ‘merc with a mouth’. Loud, crass, mentally unstable and prone to bouts of ultra-violence, Deadpool is a welcome change to the typical straight-laced Marvel heroes like Captain America that have appeared on our screens
Although Hugh Jackman announced that Wolverine 3 will be his last appearance, we live in hope that he can be tempted into making a Wolverine/Deadpool team up and make the ultimate buddy comic book movie. Come on Marvel! Do it for the fans!
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