Everybody loves a movie tough guy or gal – powerful characters with a reputation for being able to win virtually any fight. Yet a surprising number of these iconic fighters have actually lost almost as many battles as they’ve won (at least based on what we see on screen).
Of course, a large part of this is down to the way that films work. In order for a story to be compelling, our heroes need to struggle – and even occasionally lose! – despite their incredible martial prowess. Similarly, in most instances, villains need to be defeated before the credits roll – which means that they are predestined to be second best, no matter how many times they’ve beaten the hero throughout the story.
That’s why most movie powerhouses earn their street cred by mowing down unfortunate redshirts, only to end up on the wrong end of a brutal beatdown when faced by an opponent at least as skilled as they are: because they’re really only as good at fighting as the story needs them to be at any given moment.
But even taking into account the mechanics of storytelling, you’d be amazed by just how patchy the win-loss record for some of cinema’s most well-known heavy hitters really is.
Don’t believe us? Then check out this list of 15 ‘Tough’ Movie Characters Who Always Get Defeated – we promise you: you won’t believe who made the cut!
It’s no secret that clowns creep me out. It’s also a well-established fact that I’m a pretty huge fan of the works of Stephen King – despite being a total scaredy cat when it comes to horror!
So it’s fair to say that It: Chapter One – director Andy Muschietti’s big screen adaptation of King’s seminal novel about a demonic clown who preys on children – presented something of a challenge for me.
On the one hand, I’ve been terrified of It – otherwise known as “Pennywise the Dancing Clown” – since I first encountered the 1990 TV adaptation of the book at the too-young age of six.
And yet on the other hand, not only is the book is a favourite of mine, but the remake has also received largely glowing reviews and is currently raking in some serious cash at the box office.
What to do, what to do?
In the end, my curiosity outweighed my fear. I plucked up my courage and went to see It, entering the theatre with a level of trepidation matched only by my high expectations for the film.
I’m happy to report that not only did I survive the screening, but my expectations were also largely met – although interestingly, It is strongest when it plays as a “coming of age” story, and far weaker when it tries to be an actual horror film.