Personally, we at The Smoking Jacket don’t harbor too much hate for Short Round. While he seemed like a somewhat out-of-place sidekick for an Indiana Jones movie, it’s hard to argue he was anything other than the perfect Goonie.
Also, the perfect wallpaper.
Unfortunately, such is not the case for far too many movie characters that, unlike Short Round, don’t really have any redeeming qualities even if you change the scenery. We’re talking about annoying characters that don’t really belong in films of any kind, never mind some of the most entertaining movies of all time.
7. Tia Russell, Uncle Buck
If John Hughes had a failing, it was that he always had this awkward urge to unnecessarily make some of the funniest films in his library more depressing than a war crime for at least 1/3 of the picture. Don’t believe us? Picture what Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure would have been like if it was a John Hughes movie. It would have ended with both characters learning how to connect with their parents through time travel. Back to the Future? It would have ended with a freeze frame of Marty hugging his family because he loves them.
This film would have ended with everyone spending Christmas together.
With that said, there is no John Hughes character more unnecessarily forced into their film than Tia Russell, the older sister in Uncle Buck who gives John Candy a hard time for no other reason than because she’s a teenager.
More or less, she’s the recluse from The Breakfast Club.
While we understand Hughes felt the need to show some sort of tension between Uncle Buck and his family, why the hell did he choose the single most boring teenage archetype to serve as the film’s closest thing to a villain. Yes, her boyfriend Bug is funny as hell, but that’s because he spends most the film getting beaten up by John Candy rather than giving dirty looks for no reason. Thanks to Tia’s emotional baggage, nearly half of Uncle Buck remains an emotionally awkward film to watch with your friends despite the hilarious ass-kicking of Pooter the Clown.
6. Mary Corleone, The Godfather, Part III
Just because The Godfather is often touted as the greatest American film of all time should in no way imply that Francis Ford Coppola is the greatest filmmaker ever.
Yes, classic filmmakers like Scorsese, Kurosawa, Kubrick, and even Chaplin have made movies that paled in comparison to some of their best, but even they never a move as asinine as when Coppola cast his untrained, undertalented daughter Sofia as Mary Corleone in The Godfather, Part III.
At least she has the good sense to stay behind the camera these days.
5. Bubo, Clash of the Titans
Depending on who you ask, Bubo ended up saving this movie since his role is to serve as a literal deus ex machine in this film. However, it is kind of a cop out when you have villains as awesome as this…
If Swamp Thing boned Goro.
…Being foiled by this.
Screenwriting has never been so easy.
However, what makes Bubo completely useless is that Zeus ends up using good ol’ deus ex machina in the film anyway, thus making the entire unwanted character a complete waste of then-amazing special effects. And yes, for those of you wondering, the film’s creators swore Bubo’s booping and beeping was in no way a rip-off of R2-D2.
Well, at least they cast Mickey as C-3PO.
4. Prissy, Gone with the Wind
If you’re making a film about how glorious life was in the Old South before the Thirteenth Amendment, it’s only inevitable that characters as gut-wrenchingly awful as Prissy from Gone With the Wind will show up.
How bad was Prissy in a film widely considered one of the greatest of all time? Malcolm X probably described it best: “When Butterfly McQueen went into her act, I felt like crawling under the rug.”
3. Mr. Brown, Reservoir Dogs
There’s a reason why Quentin Tarantino is a famous director and not a famous actor/director: He’s the worst part of just about every scene that he’s in.
Except for “The Bonnie Situation,” which required an actor as annoying as he was.
Unfortunately, he did not yet realize that his proper place on a stage was behind the camera when he cast himself alongside a whole ensemble of veteran actors in Reservoir Dogs. When forced next to Tim Roth and Steve Buscemi, Tarantino’s “Like a Virgin” hypothesis comes across as poorly as if Kevin Smith had a speaking role in Glengarry Glen Ross.
2. M. Night Shyamalan, Every [Good] M. Night Shyamalan Movie
There’s a damn good reason why Alfred Hitchcock did not speak in any his films: He knew he could not act.
But Jesus Christ, could that man eat.
To make matters worse, as Hitchcock’s popularity surged, he legitimately grew concerned that his cameos were becoming distractions for his audiences from his already complicated pictures. As such, it was both sensible and necessary for him to show less and less of himself in his movies. M. Night Shyamalan, meanwhile, comes from a school of cinema called the exact opposite.
If only this whole film was a cameo, it would have been over quicker.
What is most baffling about M. Night Shyamalan’s frequent insertion of himself into his films is how his roles grew larger and more essential to the storyline as time went on. For a man who directed a film called The Sixth Sense, he has remarkably shitty sensibility over how the worst thing about his movies is and always has been himself. That, or is insatiable ego which has completely taken over his career.
“In this scene, you walk up to me and say ‘Wow, you’re an amazing writer’ a dozen times.”
1. Ruby Rhod, The Fifth Element
Bruce Willis’ reaction to Chris Tucker’s Ruby Rhod in The Fifth Element was appropriately shared with the audience: ‘What the hell is this guy doing in this movie?’
Now, before you bring up how The Fifth Element is a movie about taxi drivers and opera-singing space aliens, ask yourself: What kind of a film is a character like Ruby Rhod supposed to be in? Seriously, think hard about that.
The truth is he’s as out of place in this film as he would be in Blade Runner, or The Matrix, or just about any sci-fi movie out there with the enormous exception of Brazil. That’s how useless a stock character Ruby Rhod is. He’s like a clown that shows up for a funeral who only knows how to scream.
Trust us, you don’t want to click here.
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