When it comes to wanting to slap the heck out of characters, there are endless forces that can come into play. They may have just been written to be highly unlikable. Conversely, it could be due to the fact that the writing was just plain horrific.
Then there’s the possibility that the actors are just insanely good at what they do (acting). Or it could have something to do with something completely different (read: the actor should get a new job).
Then there’s the archetypal “destroyer” and/or “savior” of films: the infamous (or widely celebrated) adaptation. Sometimes, starting from scratch can really make all the difference, helping you realize just how terrible the original was and, in turn, the actors. Or, since nostalgia is a b*tch, your unbreakable love for what once was could get in the way for despising something, quite possibly, great.
Whatever reason you may have for wanting to bring “hand to face,” here’s a list of the top 15 characters you just want to give a good slappin’.
15. The Entire Cast of Pride & Prejudice
The problem with remakes is they’re usually innately horrible, just because the very thing they were adapted from will always be more important to those who saw the originals first. Always. This is especially the case when the adaptations are exponentially shorter (and, in turn, hollow), that is, unless the originals suck. But that’s not the case here.
A&E’s Pride & Prejudice TV mini-series is the greatest of every single rendition of Jane Austin’s novel of the same name; the worst is the 2005 film directed by Joe Wright. For one, A&E’s version is 327 minutes long. Wright’s is 127 minutes. Because of that, many of the characters in Wright’s effort suffer from 2-D syndrome. Here are some comparisons:
-Matthew Macfadyen (Wright) as Fitzwilliam Darcy works to a degree, but will never hold a candle to Colin Firth’s (A&E) stoic pride.
-Mr. Bennet is supposed to be highly dry and sarcastic. Donald Sutherland (Wright) pulls that off. But Mr. Bennet should channel that personality in a dynamically energetic way, which Benjamin Whitrow (A&E) does perfectly.
-Brenda Blethyn (Wright) is a great actress. But, no. Alison Steadman’s (A&E) over-the-top expressions of shrill hilarities and augmented sufferings can’t be beaten.
-As for Keira Knightley (Wright)? She’s no Jennifer Ehle. Keira. You have much to learn.
14. Marlin – Finding Nemo
Although this particular character comes from what is one of Pixar’s greatest productions, Marlin (Albert Brooks) comes across as not just an annoying clown fish, but as the most annoying creature in the sea (however, this does not include how Marlin is portrayed in Finding Dory. It’s character growth at its finest).
So what’s this little guy’s problem (before Dory gets horribly, horribly lost)?
Marlin lacks the ability to believe in others, most notably seen through his distrust in both his son Nemo (Alexander Gould) and Dory (Ellen DeGeneres). Marlin also suffers from a terrible case of pessimism (okay, we understand he lost his kid, but, geez!). The great irony is that when Marlin finally realizes his faults and mends his ways, the damage has already been done.
Instead of allowing the audience to view him as a redeemed character, we can only see him as the fish who failed to believe that Dory could speak Whale. Jerk. The only good thing that comes out of all his negativity is Dory’s optimistic “just keep swimming, just keep swimming” march, err paddle. What do you do? You swim, swim… and slap, slap Marlin.
13. Prissy – Gone With The Wind
One of the many reasons why Gone With The Wind is still regarded today as a timeless classic (heck, at the time, the film set a record for Academy Award wins and nominations, winning eight out of its 13), can be credited towards its amazing cast, including Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, Clark Gable as Rhett Butler and Hattie McDaniel as Mammy.
While these characters helped push the movie to stardom, there’s one who created a very different effect: Prissy (Butterfly McQueen). Although not a major character, Prissy’s voice is so shrill that it has the ability to shatter everything that about the film.
12. Lex Luthor – Superman
Although ranked by IGN as the fourth best comic book villain out of 100, Gene Hackman’s depiction of Lex Luthor knocks the villain right off the list (and far away from any honorable mention).
Although the original films ultimately had a light-heart feel, Gene’s portrayal of this criminal mastermind was a little too goofy, especially when compared to Jesse Eisenberg’s recent handiwork. The juxtaposition between the two actors takes the possible “eccentric” interpretation of Gene’s depiction out of the equation, especially since Jesse added a more manic side to Luther’s quirkiness.
Probably the most mind-throbbing thing about Gene’s Luthor was how he had the habit of always saying that he was the greatest mastermind on Earth. Yes, we get it.
When Jesse Eisenberg said, “When you’re doing a movie like this and playing a character that’s already been played, the further away it is from those previous incarnations the better”. We couldn’t agree more. It is better.
11. Peter Parker – Spider-Man
Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man was good. A little too good. Peter Parker is a “nerd” whose nerdiness is compounded to kingdom come. And Tobey makes this happen.
But when we later got a taste of Andrew Garfield as the superhero Spidey, we quickly (and happily) realized that a nerd could actually be cool… and not just lame and nerdy. A “cool nerd” is a thing, apparently (we now know that thanks to Garfield). And now every time we see Tobey, it makes even the nerdiest of nerds want to beat the crap out of him because he’s “nerd incarnate.” Tobey needs it beaten out of him. Real bad.
10. Hit-Girl – Kiss-Ass
You know you’re getting older when you start getting mad at how rude, conceited and disrespectful kids are, especially towards their elders and people in general.
It’s from this genuine disapproval of these snot-nosed brats that brings Mindy Macready (Chloë Grace Moretz), better known as her alter-ego Hit-Girl, onto this particular list. Although her revenge-obsessing father, Damon Macready (Nicolas Cage), is ultimately to blame — having raised her in a world filled with a plethora of guns, blades and bombs — we wish Damon would’ve slapped her a bit for us. While we ultimately enjoy Hit-Girl when she is, frankly, kicking ass, whenever the purple-haired fiend talks down to Dave Lizewski a.k.a. Kickass (Aaron Johnson), we just want someone to knock her down to size… er… to a smaller size.
9. Harry Potter – Harry Potter Franchise
When making the Harry Potter adaptations, it’s undeniable how much pressure everyone must’ve been under to try and replicate the sheer awesomeness of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. Heck, when it came to casting, Susie Figgis left the production because she was pissed at director Chris Columbus for believing none of the auditioning kids were “worthy.”
The pressure must’ve been especially high for finding the right Harry Potter. At the beginning, Daniel Radcliffe seemed perfect cause, heck, he looks like the drawings on the books’ covers. But things were simpler back then. Acting wasn’t a problem for fans because, to be fair, he was just a kid. However, as characters grow, so do people’s expectations.
8. Loki – The Avengers
Even though Avengers: Age of Ultron was a million times worse than the first Avengers film, at least the sequel had a tremendously awesome villain (here’s to you, James Spader).
Loki (Tom Hiddleston), however, not so much. He’s earned the status of annoying twerp. Rather than facing his enemies head on, Loki seems to rely more so on his relentless bragging and trash-talking skills, reminding us more of a bully than an actual criminal-like character.
While Loki does in fact unleash the Chitauri upon the Earth, Loki pretty much allows these unholy warriors to do most, if not all, of the work themselves (as he makes snub remarks from the sidelines).
Even Loki’s most defining moment in the film (which occurs after he captures a group of civilians and forces them to worship him) falls flat when Loki fails to make an example of a rebellious old man.
It’s because of Loki’s failure to successfully portray a menacing and deep character that when his ass is finally whooped by the oh-so-lovely Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), the movie becomes ten times better than it actually is. You gotta’ agree with the Hulk when he calls Loki a “puny god.”
7. Paris – Troy
Paris (Orlando Bloom) is, well, an unjust bitch and utter jerk. Not only does Paris lack even the tiniest strand of moral fiber through his disregard of all that’s honorable, best portrayed through his distasteful, selfish affair with Queen Helen (Diane Kruger), but fails when trying to redeem it by challenging Helen’s husband Menelaus (Brendan Gleeson). While his intentions may have been “virtuous,” Paris only indulges in his trademarked embarrassing behavior when he runs away from the fight.
Now, all these failures wouldn’t have been so bad if nothing great happened to Paris. The fact that he was an utter to disappointment to the royal family of Troy would’ve been sufficient. But, instead, this god — err — gods-awful character is rewarded when he gets the satisfaction of killing the world’s greatest warrior, Achilles (Brad Pitt), with the bitchiest of weapons (bow and arrow), from behind.
You may hate Brad Pitt for whatever reason, but Achilles is a character who’s depicted as, not only an honorable hero, but a complete and total badass. It just sucks that he gets killed by a complete b*tch.
6. Captain Panaka – Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace has always been the center of perpetual critical scrutiny ever since its debut in 1999, due in part to its horrible cast and cringeworthy dialogue (heck, the film received seven Golden Raspberry Awards).
One of the most popular complaints can be directed towards Jar-Jar Binks (Ahmed Best), a clumsy Gungan from the planet Naboo.
While his character does, in fact, perform antics that are over-the-top (in a bad way) and downright embarrassing, his interactions with the more serious characters are sometimes comical and priceless.
More importantly, his character is convincing: he is awkward, clumsy and strange, proving that actor Ahmed Best is talented (and, yes, we’re aware he won Worst Supporting Actor category in the Razzies). More notably, it’s important to point out that Star Wars has extracted much of its humor from strange alien species like the Ewoks who, in most cases, display annoying tendencies.
No, the most annoying character in the film is Captain Panaka, Queen Amidala’s (Natalie Portman) chief of security. Although a minor role, actor Hugh Quarshie’s performance is so stale and unconvincing that his presence pretty much destroys the already rare and far-between sequences in the film that are actually enjoyable. Not only does Panaka fail to impart feelings beyond that of irritation towards those who do not honor his queen’s wishes, but his lines are mostly, if not always, useless, even though George Lucas felt “writing the script was much more enjoyable this time around.”
The “best” scene is when Panaka and Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) are surveying the weather conditions on Naboo. After noting the harsh winds, Obi-Wan says “This storm is going to slow them down,” to which Panaka astutely replies “Looks pretty bad.” Thanks for sharing.
5. Briony Tallis – Atonement
Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) from Atonement is probably one of the most annoying characters to ever grace the silver screen because of how she was written (and because Saoirse is a phenomenal actress). In the story, Briony misinterprets an act of lovemaking between her older sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley) and Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) as r*pe. To punish Robbie, the little beast blames a later, separate, act of actual r*pe on him, despite the fact she never saw the true assailant. Not only that, but in the novel, the scenario is taken a step further when assumed that Briony may have actually seen the attacker but made herself believe that she hadn’t, a choice which would allow her to blame Robbie.
Anyway, Briony notifies the household in both versions, leading to Robbie’s immediate arrest. In the end, both lovers never get a chance to reunite in the story while Briony fails to apologize. Although Briony “brings” the two lovers together through her own fictional story entitled Atonement, it still doesn’t cover the fact that she is still an annoying b*tch.
4. Casca – Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I – The Egg of the King
Sometimes the reason why you want to give a character a full-palm-five-finger wham straight in the face is because they’re so effective at playing the part of someone who’s just so slapable. Casca is just one of those characters because English voice actress Carrie Keranen is just that damn talented at sounding so slap-worthy.
The Golden Age Arc I – The Egg of the King, the first of three movie adaptations covering the events in the anime Berserk, captures the quintessential time in Casca’s life when she’s at her best (and most annoying): when she utterly despises, distrusts and is completely disgusted by Guts (Marc Diraison)… and any other negative word starting with “D” that fully encapsulates her negative feelings of him.
Throughout the 1-hour-16 minute film, Casca is always yelling at Guts, saying things like “You’re just a mad dog!”, “It’s your fault this happened to Griffith!” or, the more direct, “It’s your fault!”
3. Harley Quinn – Suicide Squad
It’s horrendously upsetting when a certain actor/actress ends up ruining a beloved character. But it can get worse: if the actor/actress actually does swimmingly, and it’s the scriptwriters who blow it all to hell.
Such is the case with Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and writer/director David Ayer. Yes, Ayer may have only had six weeks to write the script because the release date had already been set, but still! She’s been a fan favorite since her debut on September 11, 1992 in the Batman: The Animated Series episode “Joker’s Favor.”
What makes us want to lock Margot up in Arkham Asylum is that her “cray-cray” appeal runs out real quick, reducing her to a character who’s only purpose is to spew out zippy one-liners, like “I’m off my meds” and, when speaking to Katana, “Love your perfume. What is that, the stench of death?” We get it. You’re mentally disturbed, need medical attention and like “dark” things.
Then there was the “great” idea of having Harley directly address what constitutes normalcy: “Normal is a setting on the dryer. People like us, we don’t get normal!” By having her define it, Harley’s insanity becomes diluted by making “normalcy” that can be “gotten” even if she feels she (and the gang) can’t get it. By making “normal” something that she’s aware of, may want and could be attainable (even if she believes she can’t) makes her less of a basket-case. It gets even worse when she calls the squad her friends, seeing as one of the many manifestations of psychosis is impairments in social cognition.
Harley’s insanity is supposed to revolve around what inevitably led to her insanity, her “Puddin,” and should only encompass him.
2. Chirrut Îmwe – Rogue One
“I’m one with the Force; the Force is with me.” That’s the only thing you really need to know in regards to why Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) needed nothing more than to be Force-slapped repeatedly in the face before he died. Îmwe is best known as the blind guy suffering delusions of Jedi grandeur, of which he is overtly voluble… in an extremely bad way.
That’s what’s so immensely ironic about this Zatoichi-esque warrior. His backstory is brutal and yet, is reduced to nothing more than a running a joke. Îmwe not only believes in the Force, but believes he has a high midichlorian count. And, yet, tragically, he doesn’t.
By failing to make Îmwe’s predicament serious, he essentially becomes a clown, saying that annoying quote “I’m one with the Force; the Force is with me” again and again and again, which ruins the one part of the movie that truly matters: when all of the characters die (which is already spoiled from day one).
We don’t care when he dies because he’s so gosh-darn annoying, and when Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) honors Îmwe’s death by saying those words, it’s not moving, but just revives and, in turn, elongates our suffering.
1. Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games Franchise
Part of what makes Katniss Everdeen so completely and utterly atrocious is that her character is portrayed through the two-dimensional flailing movements of actress Jennifer Lawrence. The only time her acting was convincing is during the first part of Mockingjay when Katniss has a problem “acting” for District 13’s rebellion-inspiring propaganda video because her acting is already poor; it was the only time it feels genuine.
It should also be noted that Jennifer Lawrence only started gaining momentum after her role as Mystique in X-Men: First Class (because superheroes are the thing now). Sadly, other actresses who showed interest in portraying the huntress are by far more talented, and received recognition in films that aren’t part of some “teen-bop” craze and, in turn, immense marketing scheme. This includes Hailee Steinfeld, whose portrayal of Mattie Ross in True Grit (2010), catapulted her to stardom. She was not only nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, but is number 9 in the top 10 of youngest nominees, beating out Jodie Foster. Heck, Hailee is a singer, too. This is important because that horrific song Jennifer Lawrence sang on the radio, The Hanging Tree, would’ve actually sounded good.
Yah. Great job with the casting, Debra Zane. You chose a real “winner.”