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The 11 Nicest Cinematic Characters Who Can Beat You Up

January 12, 2016

Part of the reason why I love Goon, Rocky and Say Anything so much is that they feature incredibly nice and genuine people who can also beat the crap out of you. These characters prove that nice people can finish first and beat people up. Characters like the ones below are rare because there is a thin line between angry man-child (think Waterboy) and blowhard (Macgruber). It is a difficult task making someone violent yet chill. They need to possess the skills to wipe out bad guys but also be trusted to be a best friend or teammate.

The following post examines 11 characters who are nice butt kickers. You don’t have to be a monosyllabic cruncher to be a hero and these characters are proof.

Lloyd Dobler – Say Anything

Say Anything isn’t an action film but it proves that a romantic film hero can still kick you in the face. Dobler was a sensitive kid who could hold his own and kick some serious butt. When I watched this movie as a teenager it was a mini-revelation because I had never seen a character like Dobler before. In the pantheon of film Lloyd Dobler might be the most sensitive force of destruction ever.


Doug Glatt – Goon

Doug Glatt is wreaking ball of niceness who only wants to protect his team. He is honorable man with fists of fury who is either a loyal friend or a dreaded temporary foe. He sticks up for injustices and will take a punch to the face when he deserves it. It is rare when you see nice guys beating people up. Most sports films feature the anti-hero (Longest Yard, Slap Shot) engaging in anti-hero antics. Doug Glatt might be my favorite sports character ever.


Kyle Reese/Corporal Hicks – The Terminator/Aliens  

Kyle Reese and Hicks were good dudes who were up against something much greater than themselves. What I love about Michael Biehn in these movies is how sensitive he comes across. He is doing crazy dangerous work yet is always brave and unselfish. He trusts his partners and you can’t help but like the guy. There is a reason why he is fan favorite. The video below proves what a good dude he was in a very random way.


Wang Chi – Big Trouble in Little China

Wang Chi is a good dude who can wreck shop and carry mulleted blowhards on his shoulders. When watching Big Trouble in Little China you realize that he is the hero and also very nice. It helps that Dennis Dun is ridiculously likable and capable of awesome spin kicks.


Jackie Chan in anything

The guy is in a movie called Mr. Nice Guy. What I love about Chan is he is an unstoppable force who is always nice. You can’t help but like the guy as he was doing everything in his power to hurt himself.


Rocky Balboa – Rocky 

Rocky is a nice dude that could clear a bar in five seconds. I love that he had a big heart and his relationship with Adrian was really nice. He is a simple dude who can take 1,000’s of punches to the face and still keep his spirits high and cause world peace. What cements his niceness is that he keeps a chair near Adrian’s grave in Rocky Balboa. It is such a nice gesture and I also love how he also employs former opponents to work in his bar.


Susan Cooper – Spy

While she is surrounded by self-absorbed weirdos she quietly does her work and kills a few people in the process. I love she thinks fast on her feet and never loses her niceness. She is constantly forced to have terrible aliases and she is underestimated 100% of the time. In the end, she does the right thing and remains true to her friends. Becoming a super spy won’t get to her head.


Jack Travern – Speed

Jack is a nice dude who respects other people’s opinions and forms a great bond with Sandra Bullock. He is the nice hero and a pleasant change of pace from the muscled up lugs who controlled the action films throughout the prior decade.


Captain Shakespeare – Stardust

What I love about Robert DeNiro’s character is that he is faux-mean. He understands how to rule with an iron fist without killing people. I have no doubt he could hold his own in a brawl but he chooses to do the right thing and save people (while looking like he killed them). The best part is that his crew loves him! I love the movie Stardust and you should check it out if you haven’t watch it yet.


Beck – The Rundown

The guy can beat up an entire offensive line but would prefer not to. He is a nice dude who is stuck working for a bad guy. I love that he chooses to not use guns and he actually respects the people he eventually beats up. The Rundown is a fun action film because you actually like the guys taking part in the action. The Rock has never been better.


Marshal Will Kane – High Noon 

Kane does what is right even if it is gonna kill him. He refuses to be intimidated and I love how he is conflicted about it. Will Kane is one of my favorite characters because he gets the job done while being nice. Heroes like this don’t come along very often and the fact that Kane is still so popular is a testament to his nice brand of butt kicking.



2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2016 9:18 am

    Awesome list. Yes DeNiro is awesomely underrated in Stardust. That is a good one I should rewatch. Yes Wang Chi is thje true lead of Big Trouble in Little China but Kurt Russell’s character thinks he is. Never seen Spy but I heard it’s good


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