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 5 characters who are nice butt kickers. You don’t have to be a monosyllabic cruncher to be a hero and these characters are proof.
1. 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.
2. Doug Glatt – 'Goon'
Doug Glatt is wreaking ball of niceness who only wants to protect his team. He is an honorable man with fists of fury who is either a loyal friend or a dreaded temporary foe. He sticks up against 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.
3. 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.
4. 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 thousands 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.
5. 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.