Movie heroes who don’t hesitate to kill their enemies

Audiences appreciate a hero with a charismatic or diplomatic way of solving problems, but sometimes it’s genuinely satisfying to watch a determined, motivated, and well-equipped hero be trashed without remorse or hesitation. Especially when that hero has an arc that consists of slaying a bunch of overpowered baddies and delivering a blow to the downtrodden.

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Heroes who show no inhibitions when it comes to killing their enemies come from different backgrounds and have different motivations for their actions. Sometimes it’s their job, sometimes they’re looking for revenge, and other times it’s just a matter of survival.


8th Ripley – The Alien Franchise

From the start, Ripley seemed like the only character to have seen a horror movie before, and it was obvious she would be the last girl standing. It’s also cool that she has an arsenal of modern weapons at her disposal, some of which are crafted through her own badass ingenuity.

Other characters in this franchise have tried to find excuses or reasons to keep the aliens alive for either commercial or scientific purposes. For Ripley, however, no argument could dissuade her from burning, shooting, or sucking each of her enemies into the vacuum of space in this case.

7 The Stranger – High Plains Drifter

The unnamed protagonist of this old-school western is the perfect example of an anti-hero. He’s just an absolutely horrible person, but he kills even more horrible people with ferocious, rapid precision and he doesn’t stop thinking about it.

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To be fair, this character may not be a person at all. There are many references to the afterlife and the supernatural throughout the film, and our unnamed protagonist could very well be a supernatural being, one who rides a pale horse.

6 George S. Patton—Patton

patton is an epic biographical war film, the kind of film nobody makes anymore. Here’s a unique case where a character from a movie is based on a real person. General Patton was one of the Allied leaders during World War II, and his outspoken and resolute style not only whipped his troops into shape, but drove back the Nazis and turned the tide of the war.

It’s good that this guy fought on our side and the enemies he killed without hesitation were Nazis. Patton was a controversial character, and it’s clear not everyone liked him, but that’s what separates a real hero from a fictional one.

5 Bryan Mills – The Taken Franchise

Well, he warned her. The story focuses on the character of a retired CIA and Green Beret badass who tries to live a normal life and reconnect with his family members, but is forced to return to the line of duty when said family members are kidnapped by traffickers will.

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As the protagonist Bryan Mills, Liam Neeson can move between serious, dark and deadly. It works well to get us hooked on a deadly hero who has no hesitation in mowing down anyone in his path.

4 John Wick – The John Wick franchise

John Wick is notorious for his impressive physique, but it’s important to note that that kind of raw determination is reserved only for his chosen enemies. An example is Cassian, whom Wick defeats in the second film but spares because he is neither the antagonist nor working for her. It seems he has a similar past with the Bowery King as well.

However, for those who cross it, death comes swiftly and with a creative arsenal of weapons. There was one breathless exception when he waited an extra second to kill the main antagonist in the first film, but that had to happen in order to keep the plot moving.

3 Paul Kersey – Death Wish (1974)

There have been a few retellings of this story, however deathwish is notorious for its brutality. The newer version, starring Bruce Willis, stayed true to the character, a mild-mannered suburban gentleman driven to a reckless killing spree, but it’s been polished to be more of an action film.

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Both films give the hero a background based on medicine and peace, with the early character being a former army medic and the newer version being a trauma surgeon. The earlier film is more brutal in every way, including the way the hero wreaks havoc on his enemies along with a few other humans allied with them.

2 Dutch – Predator

The franchise spans a slew of films, but Dutch only appears in one of them, and the film instantly turns him into a ruthless professional killer. Al Dillon knew that Dutch would mow down an entire camp of suspected terrorists and spies before he asked any questions.

Portraying Dutch as someone who kills his enemies without question makes him all the more interesting for the Predator to hunt. It’s an interesting twist that brains, not brawn, is the key to defeating the Predator in the end.

1 Sarah Conner – Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Sarah Conner’s evolution from gentle waitress to ruthless killing machine could be one of the best character arcs in film history. It’s probably post-traumatic stress that makes them so focused on killing Terminators.

She’s not that committed when it comes to killing those around her, but those aren’t her enemies. There are several times in the film where she tries to kill the good Terminator only to be stopped by John. In later films in which she appears, she is a veritable Terminator killing machine.

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TaraSubramaniam is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. TaraSubramaniam joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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