Scott Pilgrim (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World)
The Unlikely Hero: Guitar-strumming nerdlinger with a proclivity for mooning around over doe-eyed indie chicks.
Wimpiest Moment: His reluctance to fight a girl. Come on Scott, that one’s a gimmy, surely?
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: All seven victories kind of confirm he’s no pushover, but the scene where Scott knocks seven bells out of Chris Evans’ posse of stunt doubles is the pick of the bunch. Take that pretty boy(s)!
If It Was Real Life: Lets not kid ourselves, it wouldn’t take seven ex-boyfriends to deal with a bedroom-dwelling lightweight like Scott…
Wallace Karue (See No Evil, Hear No Evil)
The Unlikely Hero: Hapless, blind assistant to Gene Wilder’s hapless, deaf storekeeper. There’s a recipe for comedy, if ever we heard one…
Wimpiest Moment: After finding himself in the midst of a criminal scheme, Wally calls his sister for help. That’s one up from calling his mum, but still pretty embarrassing.
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: He’s got a mean right-hook for a blind man, and isn’t afraid to use it. Provided Wilder’s on hand to tell him where to aim.
If It Was Real Life: We can’t see it working somehow. Blind people have a difficult enough time with a guide dog looking after them, let alone a deaf Gene Wilder.
Sam Witwicky (Transformers)
The Unlikely Hero: Shia LaBeouf’s perma-cowering teenager, who somehow becomes charged with averting mankind’s demise. Lucky us.
Wimpiest Moment: Any one of the numerous scenes in which he courageously runs away. Seriously, he spends the best part of two films running and whimpering.
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: In fairness to him, he does face down Megatron at the end of the first film. Although even then he looks as though he’s about to soil himself.
If It Was Real Life: Shia LaBeouf via a giant, talking car? They’d be scraping him off the tarmac for days.
Darryl Waler (Blankman)
The Unlikely Hero: A clueless man-child who becomes a masked vigilante after his grandmother is murdered by mobsters.
Wimpiest Moment: His total meltdown when faced with a bank full of explosives. Basically, he bottles it and runs. Way to go, hero.
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: His decision to suit-up in the first place isn’t so much brave as stupid, but to be fair, he picks himself up after the bank debacle and finally kicks some ass, albeit with the help of a pair of electric nunchuks…
If It Was Real Life: No self-respecting mob goon would allow themselves to be undone by this cape-wearing oaf. He’d get a bullet in the head. In fact, we wish that had happened in the film.
Peter Parker (Spiderman)
The Unlikely Hero: Peter Parker is the archetypal pushover, the kind of weed who spends his life having sand kicked in his face. Or rather, he would do if he lived in a seaside postcard from the 1950s.
Wimpiest Moment: There’s no contest is there? The moment when he leaps out of the way of an armed robber, leading to his Uncle Ben’s demise. He may as well have pulled the trigger himself…
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: Everything that happens after the aforementioned cowardice. Apart from the dancing, of course. Oh God, the dancing…
If It Was Real Life: A bite from a radioactive spider would most likely kill old Pete, but then we wouldn’t have a movie would we?
Jack Sparrow (Pirates Of The Caribbean)
The Unlikely Hero: A rum-swilling, morally bankrupt old sea-dog, whose sporadic acts of heroism are usually a by-product of his overactive instinct for self-preservation.
Wimpiest Moment: Whilst the second two movies revolve largely around Sparrow’s increasingly desperate attempts to save his own skin, his efforts to sell out Will Turner in the first film are probably the most shameless of the lot.
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: His sword-fighting skills are second to none, its just he’s usually cripplingly unwilling to use them!
If It Was Real Life: His slippery antics would be brought to an abrupt halt by a crew of uzi-toting Somalians.
Ichabod Crane (Sleepy Hollow)
The Unlikely Hero: A cowardly police inspector with an unfortunate aversion to blood. Needless to say, he’s exposed to plenty of it…
Wimpiest Moment: His frequent fainting isn’t exactly macho, but it’s his mattress-moistening night terrors that really mark him out as a fraidy-cat.
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: Well, despite spending much of the film looking as though he’d rather be anywhere else, Crane does stick to his task by returning the Horseman his missing skull. After which he promptly gets the hell out of Dodge!
If It Was Real Life: He wouldn’t last long as a New York copper these days. If he finds headless horsemen scary, he won’t fare much better with a knife-wielding crackhead.
Johnny 5 (Short Circuit)
The Unlikely Hero: A sentient robot who looks as though he was knocked together during a slow week on Blue Peter.
Wimpiest Moment: Having unadvisedly taken on a gang of thieves in Short Circuit 2 , poor old Johnny limps around hopelessly, leaking battery acid and waiting for someone to put him out of his misery. Suck it up you wuss!
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: He’s willing to sacrifice himself in order to catch head thief Oscar. Sadly, Fisher Stevens arrives in the nick of time to revive him.
If It Was Real Life: Someone would have stuck Johnny on the tip long before he made it into a sequel. Good riddance too.
Shaun Riley (Shaun Of The Dead)
The Unlikely Hero: Drinker, slacker and part time Zombie-splatter, Shaun’s heart is in the right place, even if he’s more than a bit hopeless.
Wimpiest Moment: Drawing the curtains on a shambling zombie intruder, Shaun employs the classically cowardly tactic of hoping it will all go away.
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: Who are we kidding? Once the zombie holocaust is fully underway, Shaun turns into a rock-hard killing machine, reverse-sweeping zombie heads left right and centre with his trusty cricket bat.
If It Was Real Life: We like to think we’d man-up like Shaun if the zombies came a-knocking. Again, who are we kidding?
Ash (The Evil Dead)
The Unlikely Hero: The most cowardly of the original film’s luckless fivesome, Bruce Campbell’s hero is a study in snivelling terror.
Wimpiest Moment: Ash attempts to dismember the possessed Linda with a chainsaw, but finds he can’t stomach it, and buries her instead. Massive error.
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: Allow us to refer you to Evil Dead 2 and Army Of Darkness in which Ash tires of cowering in the corner, swaps his hand for a chainsaw and unleashes hell on those pesky deadites. Good, bad…he’s the guy with the gun.
If It Was Real Life: Ash’s first-film pussyfooting is exactly how we would react in the circumstances. Hey, he survives, doesn’t he? Well, actually it’s not clear, but he lasts longer than the others!
Marcus Burnett (Bad Boys)
The Unlikely Hero: Fast-talking sidekick to smoother, harder, funnier partner Mike Lowry.
Wimpiest Moment: Burnett spends so much of the movie having his arse handed to him, it’s difficult to single out one moment in particular. Although his inability to keep his lunch down when presented with a corpse isn’t particularly heroic.
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: Despite getting smacked about a fair bit, he does level more than a few henchman. The one he smashes into a urinal sticks in the memory.
If It Was Real Life: He’d have an even harder time figuring out who the bad guys are. Real crooks are far less likely to mark themselves out with pastel suits, Kangol hats and naff facial hair.
The Unlikely Hero: Have-a-go hero/deluded wannabe Dave Lizewski, otherwise known as Kick-Ass.
Wimpiest Moment: His first attempt at vigilantism is frankly embarrassing, leaving him beaten, stabbed and run-over. Ouch.
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: He becomes more or less invulnerable to pain after that, which boosts his bravery considerably!
If It Was Real Life: A knife wound, compounded by a car accident, would probably be enough to put anyone off. Superheroism? It’s a mug’s game.
Samwise Gamgee (Lord Of The Rings)
The Unlikely Hero: A tubby gardener, who ends up saving the world, by carrying his bone-idle employer up a mountain.
Wimpiest Moment: Putting his off-putting obsession with Frodo to one side, his general hand-wringing throughout the saga paints him out as the old woman of the series. Always fretting about something, isn’t he?
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: Yeah, we know, we know, he’s the real hero of the piece, whether wringing Gollum’s neck, driving off Shelob or carting Frodo up the mountain. In fact, he ends up doing most of the work, doesn’t he?
If It Was Real Life: We’re sure his job description doesn’t involve fighting off giant spiders. He should take Frodo to a tribunal…
Eric Cartman (South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut)
The Unlikely Hero: A loud-mouthed, school-age tub of lard, with a nice line in censor-baiting expletives.
Wimpiest Moment: Failing to prevent Terrence & Phillip’s execution on account of his terror at the sight of Kenny’s ghost. Dude…weak.
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: He takes down Saddam Hussein himself, typically, via a volley of well-chosen swear-words. Nice one tubby!
If It Was Real Life: If only the US army had employed foul-mouthed minors in their pursuit of Saddam, Iraq could have been liberated much quicker.
Night Owl 2 (Watchmen)
The Unlikely Hero: Washed-up former vigilante Daniel Dreiberg, otherwise known as the second Night Owl.
Wimpiest Moment: His attempts to woo the silk spectre briefly fall flat when he suffers a little, ahem, “difficulty” downstairs. Wouldn’t happen to Superman, would it?
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: After embarking on a spot of crime-fighting, he strips off his latex, sweeps Malin Akerman off her feet and gets the job done properly. Nothing like a bit of villain-bashing to get the blood pumping, eh?
If It Was Real Life: He’d have had a heart attack at the first sign of trouble. He looks a little out of shape…
Jonathan Carnahan (The Mummy)
The Unlikely Hero: A grasping, money-mad coward whose quest for cash lands him in over his head with the titular baddie.
Wimpiest Moment: Three films worth of bitching, crying and moaning come to a head in the saga’s third instalment, as he mewls, “I’ve seen enough Mummies to last a lifetime!” So have we mate, so have we…
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: It’s his sleight-of-hand that allows him to pickpocket Inhotep at the end of the first film, thus recovering the crucial key needed to open the Book of Amun-Ra.
If It Was Real Life: What sort of ancient terror would be susceptible to a common thief? Pah!
Wesley Gibson (Wanted)
The Unlikely Hero: Son of a famous assassin, Wesley has fallen a long way from the tree, working a dead-end office job and constantly struggling with panic attacks.
Wimpiest Moment: Faced with a speeding car full of killers, Wesley simply covers his eyes and waits for the inevitable. Fortunately, Angelina Jolie is on hand to bail him out…
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: Once he figures out how to bend bullets, he becomes a lot less willing to take any shit. The bit where he smashes a keyboard upside a co-worker’s face is pure gold.
If It Was Real Life: Presuming that panic-attacks aren’t actually a sign of latent superhuman powers, weedy little Wesley wouldn’t last five minutes as an assassin. It’s difficult to aim when you’re having a physical meltdown!
Albert Lory (This Land Is Mine)
The Unlikely Hero: Charles Laughton plays a cowardly schoolteacher in this slice of wartime propaganda set in an unnamed village “somewhere in Europe”.
Wimpiest Moment: Every time there’s an air-raid, Lory goes running for his aged mother. The big Jessy.
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: He eventually summons up the courage to join the anti-Nazi resistance movement as a result of a hitherto unsuspected strain of patriotism. And because he wants to get in Maureen O’Hara’s knickers…
If It Was Real Life: Sadly, clinging on to mother’s apron strings wouldn’t actually save you if a bomb dropped on your head. Sorry Charlie.
Dale Denton (Pineapple Express)
The Unlikely Hero: A tubby stoner who unwittingly finds himself waging war upon a murderous drug baron. Heavy shit, dude.
Wimpiest Moment: The whiny little girl routine that leads him to tell fellow pot-head James Franco that the two “aren’t friends anymore”. Aaaah, diddums.
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: He manages to take down said drugs baron in a firefight (with a little help from some angry Asians) before carrying Franco out of a burning building. That’s friendship for you.
If It Was Real Life: Anyone smoking as much weed as Denton does in the movie would struggle to go to the toilet unaided, let alone face down a crue of international gangsters.
Dewey Riley (Scream)
The Unlikely Hero: Inept police deputy and general dipshit sporting a standard-issue naff ‘tache.
Wimpiest Moment: He spends most of the first film in a frenzy of ineffective flapping, promising to keep Sydney safe and generally making a total hash of it.
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: Despite ending up in the hospital at the end of the first two films, Dewey finally earns his stripes by putting a bullet through the killer’s head at the end of Scream 3 .
If It Was Real Life: We’d like to think nobody this useless would ever make it onto the police force…but we’d probably be wrong.
Ray Stantz (Ghostbusters)
The Unlikely Hero: Loveable schlub and unlikely parapsychologist, with a childish enthusiasm for sliding down poles.
Wimpiest Moment: His method of dealing with the ghost in the library, namely by running at it, screaming, then running away again.
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: He does his bit in taking down Stay-Puft when the big man comes calling. Although to be fair, that was his screw-up in the first place…
If It Was Real Life: This man would never be given a university research grant. That is all.
Ransom Stoddard (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance)
The Unlikely Hero: Wannabe lawyer Liberty Valance is a God-fearing, peace-loving man, a set of principles that makes him something of a whipping-boy in the rugged Old West.
Wimpiest Moment: Feared gunslinger makes a mug out of Stoddard (now working as a waiter) by tripping him in his restaurant and ordering him to pick it up. Come on Ransom, just shoot him!
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: Take a look at the title. That’s Ransom they’re talking about! Alright, the kill comes more by luck than judgment, but at least he wasn’t afraid to face him down.
If It Was Real Life: Jimmy Stewart versus Lee Marvin? We know where we’d put our money…
Dave Stutler (The Sorcerer's Apprentice)
The Unlikely Hero: Hairy old Nic Cage picks college nerd Stutler to be his apprentice, only for the youngster to prove himself something of a liability.
Wimpiest Moment: His refusal to help Cage, in order to preserve his “normal life”. Pull yourself together man, this is Nic Cage asking! He’s liable to descend into a manic fit at any second…
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: He manages to pull himself together in time to stop both feared sorcerer Horvath, and wicked witch extraordinaire Morgana. Not bad going for a physics student.
If It Was Real Life: We’d have more faith in Mickey Mouse than this spindly so and so.
The Unlikely Hero: Jesse Eisenberg’s nerdy teen, whose obsessive-compulsive approach to the zombie holocaust has kept him alive, despite his diminutive physique.
Wimpiest Moment: His continuing inability to let Wichita know how he feels. He might be able to fend off the odd flesh-eater, but he’s a total wuss when it comes to girls.
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: As we mentioned before, he’s pretty handy when it comes to offing the undead. Caving Amber Heard’s head in shows an impressive resistance to gore!
If It Was Real Life: He’d probably find it hard to remember all those rules when confronted by a horde of hungry zombies. Blind panic would probably be more likely.
Paul Blart (Paul Blart: Mall Cop)
The Unlikely Hero: Police-reject turned security officer with a nice line in incompetent bumbling.
Wimpiest Moment: He allows a gang of armed robbers to take over his mall, whilst he pisses about playing Rock Band. Dammit Paul, that was your only job!
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: He fights off a gang of martial arts-savvy henchmen single-handedly. Huzzah for Paul! Shame he let them in in the first place though, isn’t it?
If It Was Real Life: Nobody this dopey should ever be put in any sort of position of authority. Which makes him perfect for the role of mall cop…
Roger Murtaugh (Lethal Weapon)
The Unlikely Hero: Mad Mel Gibson’s unwilling police partner. Officially too old for this shit.
Wimpiest Moment: Happily attempting to close up the case when it’s clearly not been fully explored. What’s the matter with you man? Scared of a little action?
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: Despite his constant grumbling, Murtaugh is pretty handy in the line of fire when things start hotting-up. And it only took his daughter getting kidnapped to get him in the zone.
If It Was Real Life: We’d probably be happier with Murtaugh on the force than Riggs. The man’s a bloody loon!
Clarence Worley (True Romance)
The Unlikely Hero: Clarence Worley aka Quentin Tarantino’s rose-tinted vision of his younger self.
Wimpiest Moment: Letting his dad take the fall for his pimp-murdering exploits. He should have known they’d have tracked the old man down!
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: He wipes out Gary Oldman’s psychotic badass without a second thought. Pretty cold-blooded for a comic-book store clerk…
If It Was Real Life: Patricia Arquette wouldn’t have given him a second look, and even if she had, he would’ve been owned by Oldman. Still, makes for a good yarn we suppose…
Wikus Van Der Werwe (District 9)
The Unlikely Hero: A self-serving bureaucrat, charged with rounding up and segregating Earth’s new extra-terrestrial visitors.
Wimpiest Moment: Having mutated into an alien himself, Wikus finds refuge with a sympathetic “prawn” named Christopher, only to shaft him as soon as he gets the chance. What a rotter!
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: He eventually sees the error of his ways and puts his life on the line in order to protect Christopher. Took him bloody long enough though, didn’t it?
If It Was Real Life: Sadly, he’s probably the most human (and thus believable) of all the heroes on this list. Depressing, isn’t it?
Ron Weasley (Harry Potter)
The Unlikely Hero: Harry Potter’s carrot-topped sidekick, usually found quivering at the back of their merry little band.
Wimpiest Moment: Quite a few to choose from, but his terrified reaction to the giant (but crucially, non-threatening) spider Aragog is pretty undignified, even for him.
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: SPOILERS………He more than plays his part in the final battle, taking down one of Voldemort’s most fearsome Death Eaters in the form of werewolf Fenrir Greyback.
If It Was Real Life: If Harry Potter were real life. Tricky to know where to start really…well, magic aside, he seems like a good mate. You could have worse people in your corner!
Lionel Cosgrove (Braindead)
The Unlikely Hero: A New-Zealand native who still lives with his mum. Not the ideal candidate to face the zombie hordes then…or is he?
Wimpiest Moment: His slavish devotion to his mother doesn’t wane even when she turns into a flesh-chomping murderer. Perhaps that’s actually quite brave. Either way, it’s bloody weird.
Actually Pretty Bad-Ass: When starts ploughing a furrow through the undead with his trusty lawnmower. Although he comes slightly unstuck when he re-encounters his old mum…
If It Was Real Life: With a bit of luck it never will be. Nobody should have to go through what Lionel does towards the end. “Freudian” doesn’t even begin to cover it.