The Man With No Name, James Bond, Dwight McCarthy, Lara Croft, Indiana Jones, Marv, Al Swearingen, Titus Pullo, Tony Soprano, Han Solo.
Badasses are in no short supply these days–you could come up with probably five off the top of your head, and hands down everyone would agree ‘Yup, pretty badass.’
But what about unexpected badasses? Those badasses who don’t come immediately to mind but nevertheless can ‘tho down’ when necessary? What about badasses that come at you sideways?
Today’s entry is all about 4 Badasses You Never Saw Coming.
4. Princess Leia.
Way more than a steel bikini no matter what a Google Image search says, Princess Leia is more than capable of Throwing Down when necessary.
To wit: We meet Leia when she is running from the cops–that might not sound so badass, but consider what running from the police got her: dropped like keys into a storm drain.
Storm Troopers don’t know the meaning of the words ‘civil rights.’ That’s why the Galactic Empire is evil–because they do whatever the shit they damn well please, which is why rebels are even more badass in this situation: breaking the rules gets you zapped with lasers. And lasers are HOT. They burn through things. Sometimes those things are meaty, because they are people.
Consider also that Leia fed the Imperials bogus info concerning the rebel base–knowing full well they’d figure that shit out. Then she WATCHES while her home planet/family/pets/house/neighborhood/wallet/everything in her entire life, gets blown to hell. She’s definitely upset, but she also WATCHED HER HOME PLANET GET DESTROYED and still didn’t give up the real rebel base. Leia knows what the stakes are–keep silent and one planet gets destroyed, talk and LOTS of planets get destroyed. Considering that the death star’s main purpose is, you know, destroying planets.
3. Babe The Pig
Who’s a good piggy? WHO’S A GOOD PIGGY?
Babe the Pig is, and by and large, he’s a bonafide hero.
After all, on the one hand, he saves the farm (twice!), stands up to feral dogs and disapproving orangutans, faces a terrifying elderly clown and saves a bull terrier in one of the most moving and humane moments in film.
Some day I’ll get drunk enough to post my semi-hysterical and embarrassingly earnest review of Babe: Pig in the City, but today is not this day. Today is for Babe, and our other unsung badasses.
Watch this clip and tell me this pig doesn’t have guts.
Could YOU turn around and face an oncoming bull terrier bigger than you?
2. The Mad Hatter
Back in the Old West, you judged how ridiculously badass a gunfighter was by how outlandish and insane their outfit.
The logic went that if someone was fool enough to dress like a pretty pretty princess, they were the walking equivalent of an apocalypse.
From Doc Holliday to Wild Bill Hickok, who never met an ascot he didn’t like, nature’s maxim of ‘the brighter the plumage the more serious the danger’ was for a brief time, applied to humans. What had been true of insects and poisonous plants for millions of years finally, and gloriously, applied to mammals.
Enter the Mad Hatter, Alice’s long lost friend and guide to the weirdness she finds through the mirror in the recent Tim Burton adaptation.
The statement his outfit makes is nothing short of a declaration of war on every living being on Earth.
There are alien satellites observing this shit and transmitting this declaration back to their home planets, and in about five thousand years a bunch of Lovecraftian horrors will land and demand to know where the BeHatted One is so they may kill him and bring order to the galaxy, Dagon Style.
But consider also the weapon the Hatter shows up with at the third-act battle:
That is a CLAYMORE. The folks who used them were called Highlanders, and the only thing that differentiates Highlanders from Vikings is that they wear plaid. Nothing else.
Here is a demonstration of what Claymores can do. It is worksafe and very entertaining, if by entertaining you mean HOLY SHIT LOOK WHAT THAT SWORD CAN DO. Please also note the hefty fellow waving that pigsticker around–if a weedy little fellow like the Hatter is using one, then it means his eyes probably got that way through a constant and consistent application of Angel Dust. Not the man you want to be facing on the battlefield.
1. Mr. Faun Tumnus
When first we meet Mr. Faun Tumnus in the recent Chronicles of Narnia adaptation, he’s a timid little fellow who drops his shit and screams when surprised by the terrifying countenance of a small girl.
He gets wild by breaking into the sardines, and making hot tea. He is adorable, except he has goatlegs and entertains children without wearing pants. Or maybe for some folks, that’s a plus. It’s a big world out there.
Anyhoo, we realize this is all a big act. Later on, once all the statues have been brought back to life, Tumnus is more than ready to plow furrows across the White Witch’s ass and he heads down to the battlefield to do it…
…in nothing but a fancy red scarf.
There was a name for the guys who used to go to war without clothes on: psychopaths Berserkers.
Mr. Tumnus hasn’t brought armor, or even a weapon. He IS the weapon.
I have figured out the secret of Faun Tumnus, and it is that he is a Berserker. He doesn’t have the spear and the wolf pelt, but just give him a few minutes and he’ll have a pile of them–taken from the enemy and dumped on the field.
You only see a brief scene of him running towards the battlefield, but it’s because ostensibly this is a children’s movie and watching a goatman tear monsters apart with his bare hands and then eat their organs would incur at least a PG-13 rating.
Additionally, Mr. Tumnus has HOOVES. Which are hard little pointy things.
It’s bad enough being kicked in the face by a human foot, imagine taking a hoof to the face–it be like being bludgeoned.
Now imagine that foot belongs to the mythological equivalent of Bruce Lee, and realize that Mr. Tumnus was the Narnians’ secret weapon all along. Aslan was just there to tell him where to go.
There are dozens, hundreds more unsung badasses to go, but I hope you enjoyed this little sampling. As always, there’s More To Come.