Some movies would have you believe that the line between good and evil is as defined as night and day.
To their way of thinking, our movie heroes are infallible beings, existing on a higher moralistic plane to the rest of us, where their behaviour is beyond reproach. However, in recent years, movie lovers are taking a closer look at film protagonists and their various behaviours.
Suddenly, fans are looking back at classic films from years gone by and spotting something rather concerning: a lot of movie heroes are actually way creepier than you might recall. Make no mistake: these characters are not anti-heroes in the classic respect or even villains per se. However, they are massive creeps and, in 2017, revisiting their on-screen antics makes for a soul-shattering, disillusioning experience.
Now, this list could have been dominated by James Bond – there are at least 16 007 movie entries that fall foul of this sort of thing – but this particular rundown focuses elsewhere and away from the antics of England’s worst secret agent. There would be too many to mention.
Plenty of familiar faces and films do feature, though, and they’ll change the way you watch the movies mentioned forever.
Here are the 16 Movie "Heroes" Who Are Actually Huge Creeps.
16 Jim Preston – Passengers
The sci-fi blockbuster Passengers suffered a serious backlash from fans and critics alike, thanks to a plot that cast Chris Pratt in the role of 21st century creep.
Pratt plays Jim Preston, a mechanical engineer aboard the starship Avalon who wakes from a planned hyper sleep 90 years too early following an on-board malfunction. After spending a year alone on the shop, he decides to wake up fellow passenger Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) after viewing her video profile while she sleeps.
Upon waking, Aurora is understandably distressed at the fact she will die before the ship reaches its destination but eventually calms down enough to fall in love with Jim. Now if that sounds like the perfect setup for a sci-fi-led romance to you, then bad news; you’re in the minority.
Most critics slammed the scenario as profoundly strange and tantamount to social media stalking. It’s difficult to disagree.
15 Ted Stroehmann – There’s Something About Mary
The plot of There’s Something About Mary probably played out like wish fulfilment for some guys out there. Plenty will have daydreamed about someday reconnecting with that one girl who got away and maybe even rekindling a romance while they are at it.
Few would go to the extreme lengths of Ben Stiller’s Ted Stroehmann, though. We get that Ted was probably left with a few mental, as well as possibly some physical, scars after getting himself caught in his zipper on prom night, but does that justify hiring a private detective to stalk a woman he knew in high school?
Is it right that he then takes the information gleaned by that detective and sets up a contrived meeting between the pair? The only positive is that Cameron Diaz’s Mary ends up finding out the truth. Ted should consider himself very lucky to be forgiven for his actions.
14 Lt. Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell – Top Gun
Top Gun may represent the height of macho '80s movie culture but, for some people at least, there are moments where the whole thing goes a little too far. It’s not that Tom Cruise’s boyishly charming Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell is an out-and-out creep – no creep would weep like that after losing a good buddy like Goose – but something was amiss.
Maybe it was supposed to be part of his arrogant persona, but for whatever reason, Maverick really fancied himself as a ladies’ man, leading to some pretty awkward encounters in Top Gun. Arguably the strangest of these scenes comes after Maverick tries to pick up Kelly McGillis’ Charlie in a local bar.
Charlie rejects him, of course, and heads off to the nearby women’s room to try and get away from him. Maverick being Maverick, he follows her into the washroom – already a big no-no – before suggesting they sleep together there and then. Charlie, thankfully, says no but it’s not long before she succumbs to his charms. Fool.
13 Chuck Levine – I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Adam Sandler movies are littered with huge creeps masquerading as heroes. There’s The Longest Yard’s Paul Crewe, a disgraced former NFL star guilty of match-fixing and drink driving. There’s also 50 First Dates’ Henry Roth, a veterinarian happy to hold a woman suffering short-term memory loss captive in the name of romance.
However, all of those pale in comparison with firefighter Chuck Levine from I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry. Now, posing as close friend Larry Valentine’s (Kevin James) husband is offensive enough in itself but Chuck finds a way to up the ante further.
Taking full advantage of his new status as a gay married man, Chuck immerses himself in the thriving gay scene in order to get close to lawyer Alex McDonough (Jessica Biel). Posing as her new gay best friend, he’s even able to worm his way into the changing room with her during a day out shopping. All told, Chuck is very lucky not to be in prison by the end of the movie.
12 Wolverine – All The X-Men Movies
Hugh Jackman may have been the man born to play the role of Wolverine in the X-Men movies and several less successful spin-offs but that doesn’t detract from the fact that this incarnation of Logan is kind of a creep-- or at least that must be how he comes across to James Marsden’s Cyclops.
Sure, Cyclops is a little straight edged compared to Wolverine, but that doesn’t give Logan free rein to make the moves on Famke Jansen’s Jean Grey, who just happens to be romantically involved with Marsden’s character.
Yet that’s what Wolverine does. Over and over again. In multiple movies. Sure, Jean might not be able to deny some attraction but she’s also clear in the fact she has a boyfriend and is perfectly happy with him too. Logan just never takes the hint, leading to some pretty awkward situations.
11 Peter Venkman – Ghostbusters
Sorry Ghostbusters fans, but your main man Peter is every bit as sinister as one of the many ghosts and ghouls the gang encounter on their day job. From the moment we meet Peter, he’s trying his best to woo a young woman by completely messing up an important University psychology experiment. Howver, perhaps the most alarming moment comes when Peter finally bags a date with Sigourney Weaver’s Dana Barrett.
He turns up at her apartment only to find Dana possessed by the spirit of Zuul The Gatekeeper. Thankfully, Peter has some Thorazine on hand to sedate Dana while the rest of the Ghostbusters head over.
Why did Peter bring Thorazone with him for a date with Dana? What could he possibly want a sedative for? Also, Peter is a psychologist, not a psychiatrist – how would he even have access to that sort of medication in the first place? Who you gonna call? The police.
10 Doc Brown – Back To The Future Part II
Not content with setting up a deal to sell plutonium to Libyan freedom fighters in the first Back To The Future movie, Christopher Lloyd’s once-lovable Doc Brown took things to a whole other level in the sequel.
By the time Back To The Future Part II rolls around, the Doc has already been to the future and has returned with a few ominous warnings for Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly. They head off to the future, taking Marty’s girlfriend Jennifer Parker in tow for the ride.
However, before she begins freaking out way too much about the fact they are heading to the future and that she ended up marrying her high school sweetheart Marty, the Doc puts Jennifer to sleep with a special device called an E Z Sleep.
Described by the Doc as a "sleep-inducing alpha rhythm generator." You really have to wonder about the motives of anyone making a beeline for electronic sleep guns in the future.
9 Noah Calhoun – The Notebook
There are some people out there who would have you believe that The Notebook ranks among the most romantic stories ever put to film. What they don’t realise though is that it’s actually a tale of creepy harassment and manipulation of the highest order.
It’s the story of Ryan Gosling’s Noah Calhoun, the kind of creep that well and truly messes with your head from the off. Take his first encounter with Rachel McAdams’ Allison "Allie" Hamilton at a local carnival.
When she brushes him off for a ride on the nearby ferris wheel, Noah climbs the rickety ride and threatens to throw himself off it, to certain death, unless Allie goes on a date with him. As controlling behaviour goes, that’s pretty out there. Noah gets his way in the end though.
8 Daniel Hillard – Mrs. Doubtfire
Growing up, Robin Williams’ Daniel Hillard probably seemed like the best movie dad in the world. He’s the kind of dad that threw crazy birthday parties for his kids involving wild animals and all sorts of assorted chaos.
Unfortunately, he’s also the kind of guy who, after losing custody of his children, would knowingly deceive his ex-wife by disguising himself as an elderly Scottish nanny in a bid to gain regular access to his offspring.
He then makes them his accomplices after they discover his treachery, further brainwashing his kids against their mother, who has done nothing wrong other than adhere to the letter of the law.
Daniel is also the kind of guy who would attempt to disrupt his ex-partner’s love life by sprinkling pepper on her new boyfriend Stu’s food, even though Stu happens to be allergic to the stuff. Seriously, the guy could have died... but, yeah, apart from that he’s totally dad of the year material.
7 Obi-Wan Kenobi – Star Wars IV: A New Hope
The Star Wars saga continues to spark widespread debate among fans, but one issue a lot of Jedi fans appear to skirt around is the shady role Obi-Wan Kenobi plays in proceedings. However, it’s high time someone did, because Obi-Wan Kenobi may be the creepiest of creeps hiding in plain sight in the entire Star Wars universe-- and that includes Darth Sidiuous.
Not only is Obi-Wan the guy who played a pretty key role in the transformation of Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader, he’s also the guy who dumped baby Luke in the desert planet of Tatooine before disappearing for 20 years.
Except, he doesn’t disappear. Instead, he also stays on Tatooine, creepily watching Luke from a distance. When he does finally make contact, he takes the disturbing behaviour up a notch by concocting a story claiming that Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker were two separate people and that the former actually killed the latter. It’s part of the reason why Luke freaks out so much when he finally learns the truth. We’re glad Obi-Wan is dead.
6 Seth in Superbad
Jonah Hill announced his arrival in Hollywood as Seth in Superbad, though he’s spent much of the last few years desperately trying to outgrow his teen comedy roots with a series of dramatic roles.
Maybe that has something to do with the fact Seth is a pretty shady guy to be associated with. In fairness, the alarm bells really should have been ringing the moment Seth revealed his obsession with drawing pictures of dicks.
However, Seth’s creepiness really begins to crystalize once the plot of Superbad begins to play out. To summarize: Seth convinces best pal Evan (Michael Cera) that the only way they will be able hook up with a girl at Jules’ upcoming party is by purchasing enough alcohol for everyone present to have a good time. Still, by the end of the movie Seth has learned his lesson, right?
5 Farmer Ted – Sixteen Candles
It’s no great secret that John Hughes’ 1980s teen comedy classic Sixteen Candles has aged pretty badly. Anyone watching the film now will surely be horrified by the presence of Gedde Watanabe’s character, Long Duk Dong, possibly the most offensive Asian stereotype to grace the silver screen since Mickey Rooney’s Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast At Tiffany's.
Yet that’s really only the tip of the iceberg. The real disgrace comes via Sixteen Candles most beloved character, Farmer Ted. Anthony Michael Hall won plenty of fans for his geeky performance as Farmer Ted.
However, watching the film back now his actions come off pretty sinister. Like when the movie’s main good guy Jake Ryan hands his visibly drunk girlfriend Caroline off to Farmer Ted to look after. Farmer Ted takes full advantage, driving her home to who knows what. They appear to be on good terms the next day, kissing each other, but something doesn’t add up.
4 Steve Stifler – American Wedding
The transformation of Steve Stifler over the course of the first three American Pie movies must rankle among those with a particular fondness for the first movie.
In the first movie, Stifler is a chauvinistic, homophobic bully, with some misguided ideas about women and relationships. He’s set out as a clear antagonist, there to make the lives of the film’s principal gang of guys a misery.
This all makes his transformation into a loud, brash but fun-loving member of the gang in the sequel a strange one. Perhaps those behind the scenes saw the potential in making Sean William Scott’s character front and center but, whatever the case, by the time American Wedding, rolled around, he had started to revert to the Stifler of old.
He creates a persona from scratch to woo wedding guest Cadence (January Jones), eats a dog turd rather than tell the truth, and ends up sleeping with a senile old lady. That’s quite a hat-trick.
3 Castor Troy/Sean Archer – Face/Off
Trying to unpick the various acts of skulduggery perpetrated by FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) and freelance international terrorist Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) in John Woo’s frankly ludicrous Face/Off is a tricky one, mainly because the two characters swap faces and personalities.
There are certain things that can be ascertained, though: Firstly, Castor Troy sleeps with Eve Archer, Sean Archer’s wife, while wearing his old adversary’s face. Secondly, Sean Archer kisses Castor Troy’s ex-girlfriend Sasha Hassler, even though he’s a happily married man.
Lastly, Adam, Sasha’s son by Castor, ends up living with Sean’s family, even though there isn’t a branch of social services on the planet that would allow that crazy setup to happen.
When you consider that Castor ended up deactivating the bomb he originally planted in Los Angeles, you have to wonder: which of them is the bad guy here? Both of them?
2 Captain Jack Sparrow – Pirates of the Caribbean
Johnny Depp’s roguish Jack Sparrow is undoubtedly a pirate of some disrepute and an individual willing to screw over a friend for a few pieces of silver, but that doesn’t mean he has to be an overbearing creep around Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swann.
When he’s not fighting, chasing or doing some combination of the two, Captain Jack spends a lot of the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies trying to make a move on Elizabeth, while spouting all kinds of innuendo-laden pick-up lines. Then again, Jack Sparrow is supposedly based on a combination of Rolling Stones icon Keith Richards and Looney Toons cartoon character Pepe Le Pew.
Yet all of this comes despite the fact that Elizabeth is quite clearly romantically involved with Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), a colleague and supposed friend of Sparrow’s. He might be a cunning and resourceful pirate, but Captain Jack Sparrow is also an A-grade douchebag.
1 Rick Deckard – Blade Runner
Okay so we get it, Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard is a neo-noir detective-- he drinks a lot, he’s all over the place and he’s got a thing for the ladies.
However, regardless of whether you’ve seen Blade Runner 2049, his interactions with Sean Young’s Rachel is a tad troubling. One of Rick’s first encounters with Rachel results in her finding out she’s a replicant and that none of her memories are real.
Having dropped that bombshell, Deckard then goes and gets drunk in a bar before booty calling Rachel, inviting her to come out for a drink or maybe something more. Most normal people would think that Rachel might require a little space after finding out pretty much everything about her life is a lie, but not Rick.
Then, when the pair do finally get together, after Rachel saves Deckard’s life, Rick is pretty forceful-- forceful to the point where their initial love scene comes off as a bit disturbing.
What movie heroes turned creeps did we leave out? Have your say in the comment box.