Face it, a lot of us have been watching a movie in the past and asked ourselves “What in the hell is that character doing?” This is usually in response to a character that doesn’t make any sense in the story, someone that’s basically there to take up space and perhaps serve as fodder for the other characters. These characters usually have too many lines for their own good and come off as kind of ridiculous in a lot of ways that people might think can be reasonably argued for, but in the end, they’re just flat-out ridiculous. Some characters might actually have a few redeeming qualities, but a lot of them could be replaced with a no-name actor and things would turn out just fine. In fact, a no-name actor might actually be an improvement simply because a new talent might be discovered in the process. Sometimes it’s better to cut a certain character out of a script rather than sit and wonder, “Why DID I put that person in?”.
Here are a few characters from action movies in the 80s that we didn’t really need.
5. Deputy Mitch – Rambo: First Blood
Mitch-was-a-wuss. There’s no other easy way to put it. David Caruso might have tried to toughen up over the years as he aged, but it didn’t really come off all that well. In An Officer and a Gentleman, he was a humongous wuss that didn’t think he was going to get the hell kicked out of him to teach him how to deal with stress. In Rambo he was so far out of his league that he might as well have been trotted out in front to take the first few shots so that no one else could get hurt. That would have actually made him useful, as horrible as it sounds, since otherwise he was the quiet voice of reason that no one wanted to listen to.
4. Dynamo – The Running Man
In a movie where the villains are so over the top anyway, Dynamo just HAD to take things a little further and become a walking, singing Lite Brite. The guy had electrical bolts he could shoot and a car that he could drive, but somehow he was allowed to be a ton of fun gladiator that couldn’t do much if he didn’t have his cute little vehicle and his sparkly lights. Hey, he had a great voice, but when it came to fighting he was about as effective as a taser, one good blast and he was all done. On top of that, this character died in his underwear, does anyone remember that? Well, now you do.
3. The Eyeball Monster – Big Trouble in Little China
It could be argued that this lump had a use since it was basically Lo Pan’s eyes, no pun intended, and his early warning system, for all the good it did. Maybe if Lo Pan had had more of these things floating around it would have helped, but this thing was pretty limited since while it could communicate with its master from a distance, apparently Lo Pan could turn this effect on and off at will. Otherwise, it’s likely that Jack and the others would never have made it to the ceremony since it’s easy to believe that the halls could have been flooded with enemies very quickly, and the rescue mission would have ended in disaster.
2. Arnold Ernst Toht – Raiders of the Lost Ark
If you’re having trouble picturing the guy, think of the guy with glasses that attempted to grab the medallion in Marion’s tavern and ended up burning the hell out of his hand. Throughout the movie, he was kind of held up as an interrogator, but really, he didn’t do anything other than look menacing and utter a few haunting lines that weren’t really that terrifying. If anything, he was another presence that made it known that the Nazis had a great interest in the Ark of the Covenant, which was pretty obvious to start with. Apart from that, his face-melting scene was one of the most memorable moments of the movie.
1. Bib Fortuna – Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Okay, deep breath. I don’t normally LIKE to criticize anything Star Wars, but Bib Fortuna was a cumbersome character to carry around in a backpack since his “action figure” was blocky and barely moved. But his actual character in Return of the Jedi was ridiculous since he was a weak-minded simpleton that didn’t have a lot of lines and was likely one of the worst majordomos in the history of the entire franchise. Be honest, who else cheered when Boba Fett simply walked up and shot him in the post-credit scene of The Mandalorian season 2? I know I did.
Sometimes a character just isn’t worth putting into a movie, but it happens anyway.
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