10 Memorable Characters In Forgettable Movies - Mania.com

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10 Memorable Characters In Forgettable Movies

They might be awesome, but that movie sure wasn't

By Bob Trate     May 19, 2010

10 Memorable Characters In Forgettable Movies
© Mania/Bob Trate


We have all sat through those movies… ones that didn’t live up to their hype. They aren’t too terrible but in a week’s time we’ll have forgotten all about them. Often these movies have some great characters. Often overlooked or forgotten about how they make the film worth watching again when we see it late on cable. Here is Mania’s 10 Memorable Characters in Forgettable Movies.

10. Darth Maul

From: Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Why oh why did George Lucas kill him off? Or at the very least bring him back with a spider-like body and multiple arms? His time was too short. Like any candle that burns twice as bright it won’t last very long. Is the Phantom Menace forgettable? We try to forget about everyday.

9. Geoffrey Chaucer

From: A Knight's Tale (2001)
Taking jousting and professional wrestling and mixing them together works--sort of. It is just when you see the first Nike symbol and hear the rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack that your brain begins to check out. Thank God for the humor of Geoffrey Chaucer. Quick witted and funny, he makes all of William Thatcher’s (Heath Ledger) “change your stars” lines almost bearable. If only Paul Bettany would have stuck with portraying Englishmen and not fallen angels.

8. S.R. Hadden

From: Contact (1997)
This touchy feely film about space exploration is a little too warm and fuzzy for our taste. Yes there are some great ideas in the film, but nothing we hadn’t seen before. S.R. Hadden keeps popping up in all the right places and enables us to “go for a ride” after Ellie and the gang screw everything up. Somewhere you know a man like this exists. Hadden is the key to the future and the best part of surviving an almost three-hour snooze fest.

7. The Deacon

From: Waterworld (1995)
While we were lost at sea watching the boring and nameless amphibian one thing made it bearable, The Deacon. He was the smartest and funniest of the Smokers in a world that was just plain boring. Even he knew his people were worthless but hey he was making the best of it (in the film and on the planet).

6. Mason Verger

From: Hannibal (2001)
How do you make a character scarier than Hannibal Lector? Easy, you make him a deranged rich billionaire who actually survived being eaten by Hannibal the Cannibal. Throw in a patch work face, a southern accent and some hogs and you’ve got a villain that literally makes your skin crawl. Too bad it’s in a film that should have never have happened.

5. Human Torch

From: Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
Why did we go back for the sequel? That’s easy, Chris Evans as the Human Torch (and maybe Michael Chiklis despite the terrible make-up). Evans got the character right and had great chemistry with everyone in the film. He was living the embodiment of Johnny Storm. Too bad Marvel and 20th Century Fox screwed up everything else with this franchise. Galactus as an intergalactic smoke monster? Lame!

4. Denton Van Zan

From: Reign of Fire (2002)
“Eden isn’t burning, it’s burnt!” –Denton Van Zan. A pre-Batman Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey team up to take down a pack of dragons that have turned the world to ash. Van Zan is the perfect action hero for this world. Dedicated to the cause and insane enough to see his plans come to fruition. Reign of Fire was a blink and you’ll miss it film but Van Zan is a dragon slayer whose legend will live for all time.

3. Sheriff of Nottingham

From: Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (1991)
Why don’t they give out Academy Awards for best Villain? Would it promote people being evil? Alan Rickman stole the entire movie from everyone, including Bryan Adams’ song. When the Sheriff wasn’t on screen we were constantly reminded of the bad beards, the clothes, Robin Hood sans accent and Morgan Freeman in this movie.


2. Evil Superman/Clark Kent

From: Superman 3 (1983)
All right I know that Reeve had already played him twice before so this is cheating a bit. You have to admit that Superman 3 is pretty forgettable. Yet when we do catch it we always stick it out until we see the Evil Superman fight Clark Kent. It is an amazing visual representation of the struggle going on within. 


1. Cameron Poe’s Hair

From: Con Air (1997)
Nicholas Cage’s hair is probably the most memorable thing in the entire film. Just watch it as it blows in the wind and gently glides across his face. Those extensions should have won the Academy Award for best make up. Steve Buscemi’s Garland 'The Marietta Mangler' Greene almost made the list but he lost miserably to that hair.
Soon to Make the List:
Sheik Amar -Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
There isn’t much about this film that is memorable. Perhaps they should have gone with “inspired by the popular video game” over the title instead of “from the producers of Pirates of the Caribbean”. When all is said and done you’ll marvel at Alfred Molina’s performance and wonder why they never brought him back to the Indiana Jones franchise.
 10 Most Cathartic Movie Villain Defeats. f you like your bad guys going out with a bang, check out 12 Most Spectacular Villain Deaths.
Ah, how we enjoy watching bad guys fall? You should check out 8 Gratuitously Sadistic Guilty Pleasure Movie Moments. Guaranteed more of the movie violence we as a numb society can tolerate. If these movie deaths seem strange, then try  5 WTF Moments In Movies.

About our Writer: Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.



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FerretJohn 5/19/2010 12:14:37 AM

Your ideas on what makes films forgettable obviously needs some adjustments.  Star Wars ep 1, Knights Tale, Con Air, Hannibal, Robin Hood, the wannabe Siskel & Eberts here may like to pan them but they were hardly forgettable.  Poor list.

SarcasticCaveman 5/19/2010 2:00:59 AM

If it were "Unforgettable Characters from Movies that SHOULD be Forgotten", yeah, I'm right with you guys. But really, was Darth Maul an unforgettable CHARACTER? I would have to say he was an unforgettable stunt spectacle for as many lines that he had. Unlike Vader, Maul was clearly somebody's lacky ONLY. As awesome as he was in fights, I'm not entirely sure he was in the movie enough to qualify as a character. Don't know if that is the fault of Ray Park or George Lucas. By the way, since you brought up the Star Wars franchise and Darth Maul, do ANY of the movies mention what the hell the Sith want revenge against the Jedi for? I'm sure there's some die hard fans of all things Star Wars who could give me a detailed history (according to comics, books, expanded universe, etc.), but that doesn't change the fact that none of the movies even bring this up again. What the hell?

Alan Rickman was great as the Sheriff of Nottingham in that turd of a movie too.  I'll pretty much watch anything with Rickman in it.  Love his character in "Galaxy Quest" also, the Shakespearean actor who gets typecast in the Spock/Worf character...but what do you have against Morgan Freeman? The man's a great actor, and since there's not really any Moors in Hollywood, why not fogive him for some creative casting on the part of the film makers?

Those are about the only movies on this list I have any real opinion about...well, the Superman 3 scene is awesome, I don't care what anybody wants to say about it. I still enjoy that movie more than the cinematic abortion from a few years ago.

karas1 5/19/2010 3:21:35 AM

I agree with Caveman.  Darth Maul didn't do anything aside from one good fight scene.  The rest of the movie he just followed Qui Gon around and looked scary.  Did the character speak at all?

He was more of a non character.  And he was forgettable.  There was so much hype about the scary Darth Maul before the film opened that when I saw the movie I was quite disappointed in him.

SarcasticCaveman 5/19/2010 3:53:33 AM

Yeah, he had those couple of lines that I was pondering over - "At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi...At last we will have our revenge"...I still say REVENGE FOR WHAT?!  I don't care what the books and comics and everything else says, George Lucas has never put it in a movie, so even if there WAS an "official" answer out there, it just shows how sloppy of a storyteller Lucas really is.

SarcasticCaveman 5/19/2010 3:57:54 AM

Also, I just have to say, whatever they want revenge for, it better not be anything reasonable...I swear to GOD, don't any storylines have right and wrong anymore?  Some villains just need to be there to be bad guys...Vader's dark side, as it were...Vader was the villain you're supposed to end up understanding.  Like Batman villains, too many of them have back stories that make you want to feel sorry for them too often...thank God for the Joker to break that cycle. 

marcd30319 5/19/2010 4:11:14 AM

Dick Tracy is a pretty forgettable movie, but Al Pacino got an Oscar nomination for his memorial portrayal of Big Boy Caprice, the flick's chief baddie. 

jppintar326 5/19/2010 4:48:28 AM

I loved Contact.  I don't why people feel this is a bad movie.  It was one of the first movies to come out on DVD with extras.  I like the logic vs. faith argument. 

Enough with the Star Wars prequel bashing.  Like Kingdom of the Crystal Skull bashing (even Shia La Bouf, who needs to keep his mouth shut, has been doing it), it's getting old and tired to the point nobody cares anymore.  I loved the prequels and KoCS and nothing you can say can change my mind.  

I agree Superman III was very inferior to I and II.  I also liked the fight between Clark and Superman.  Even by today's standards, the visual effects are pretty good.  I also liked Annette O'Toole as Lana Lang.  It wasn't her fault the story was built around Richard Pryor and a sanitized one at that.  

Human Torch was one of the reasons why I rather enjoyed Fantastic Four.  

Con Air is a guilty pleasure.  It is certianly than some of Michael Bay's films like Armageddon. 

HotDogs 5/19/2010 5:14:06 AM

Contact is a bad movie because none of the acting is believable including jody fosters character who is supposed to be so passionate about her life's career but when she tries to defend it she falls very flat.  I guess I am one of the few who actually enjoyed Reign of Fire?  I agree with Darth Maul.  The prequels sucked and they built up this great looking bad guy before the movie started only to have him fail.  That sucked. 

skyn3t 5/19/2010 5:46:24 AM

This list is on the money.  Evil Supes is the only reason why I liked Superman 3....and that Faux Brainiac at the end of the movie, that whole origin scene was kinda creepy (hopefully, we get some creep fest like that in Nolan's reboot).

Reign of Fire was awesome.  That was actually the movie where I was awestruck, because that's when I came to the conclusion that Christian Bale would make an AWESOME Batman... and Gerard Butler would make an EQUALLY AWESOME Superman (C'mon, look at the clip he can even rock the Supermullet from the Return of Superman story!)  Low and behold a few years after this movie came out, Mr. Nolan tapped Bale to play Bats and the rest is history.  Hopefully, he had the same idea that I did when I saw this movie :) 

And the death of Darth Maul is the reason why I don't like Star Wars and prefer Star Trek, I mean.... An agile Sith Lord Maul dies to a ROOKIE Jedi, yet Vader's parapalegic arse can last through 3 ENTIRE MOVIES?!!!?  Gimme a break. 

EagleManiac 5/19/2010 6:49:05 AM

First off, enough with the Star Wars Prequel Bashing. It's gotten old and tiresome!

Second, what's with the hate of Contact? It's not SUPPOSED to be an "action flick". It's a film drawn from actual science, ala, The Andromeda Strain, with a more dramatic prose, and character driven. This is an example of why I don't like modern movies that much. Audiences, including this articles author, expect all movies to have "eye candy" and not much substance to be "good". Screw that! I'll take Contact over almost ANY film that has come out in the last decade!

Third, Reign of Fire was WAY stoopit! And Bale can kiss my arse! He sucks, and his Batman sucked in TDK.....he was mearly OK in BB. I'll take Keaton's Batman any day!

Con Air is quite possibly one of the lamest films ever made, and Cage's acting, accent, and YES, that HAIR were primary to why it sucked so bad. It's in my Top 10 Worst Movies of All-Time List.

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