[IMG:L]In this week’s Eagle Eye, two strangers (Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan) are forced into action by a mysterious voice on the phone commanding them to perform tasks. The reluctant hero is a staple of action movies. As cool as it is when cops or superheroes take down the bad guys, nobody’s more relatable than the everyman. Here are the 10 best:
10. Meg Altman, Panic Room
Jodie Foster as a neurotic divorcee Meg, who locks herself and her daughter in a panic room when burglars strike, is understandable. She doesn’t want to be a hero, but she has to improvise to not only keep them out and save her diabetic daughter–but stop them once and for all.
KEEP READING: Who’s wanted?…
9. Wesley Allan Gibson, Wanted
James McAvoy plays Wesley, a guy in an office cubicle who’s totally unprepared when bullet-bending assassins recruit him. He gets it eventually, but he actually never becomes super cool. There’s hope for him in the sequel.
KEEP READING: Who’s got a death wish?…
8. Paul Kersey, Death Wish
Charles Bronson made his name as a pacifist Paul Kersey, who turns violent when his wife and daughter are attacked. It is hard to believe he is still reluctant by Death Wish V, but the original Death Wish is essentially about a peaceful man who just simply won’t take it anymore when the violence hit home.
KEEP READING: Who’s on the run?…
7. Lola, Run Lola Run
This is an unexpected action movie, including its time-bending, ultra-stylistic heroine. Lola (Franka Potente) doesn’t want to be pulled into her boyfriend’s criminal activities, but now she has to come up with a load of cash to bail him out of trouble, using only her wits and speed.
KEEP READING: Who’s on the Express train?…
6. Dale Denton and Saul Silver, Pineapple Express
Calling these stoners (Seth Rogen and James Franco) heroes might be a stretch, but they do take down some bad guys. Just watching them panic through every chase sequence is such a riot and take reluctance to a whole new level.
KEEP READING: Who’s taking on the machines?…
5. Neo, The Matrix
When Keanu Reeves plays cops, he can expect to be called upon to save the day. But as computer hacker Neo, he gets pulled into a fight against the machines, he begrudgingly downloads kung-fu skills and learns how to see the Matrix.
KEEP READING: Who’s heading North?…
4. Roger Thornhill, North by Northwest
This Alfred Hitchcock classic is perhaps the original prototype for the reluctant action hero. Cary Grant plays an ad man mistaken for a secret agent, so he has to stop the bad guys without any James Bond skills. No easy feat.
KEEP READING: Who’s breakable?…
3. David Dunn, Unbreakable
In most of his movies, Bruce Willis is some kind of tough guy who’s ready to save the day. In Unbreakable, his David Dunn just wants to be left alone, but he survives a catastrophe unscathed and has to accept the fact he could very well be destined to be the superhero and rescue the innocent.
KEEP READING: Who’s saving the children?…
2. Theo Farin, Children of Men
Clive Owen plays Theo, a man resigned to watch the end of humanity. He ends up forced to protect the first pregnant women in 18 years who could save the human race. This underrated film should get recognition for its profound storyline and single-take cinematography. If it can only get credit for a reluctant hero, that’s a start.
KEEP READING: Who’ll be back?…
1. Sarah Connor, The Terminator/Terminator 2: Judgment Day
These two go together to really emphasize Linda Hamilton’s journey as Sarah Connor, from reluctant hero to ultimate badass. In the first film, she is a waitress with minimal training from her future-born protector, rising to the occasion to fight the terminator. It’s in the transition to T2 that you see how far she takes the hero thing in between films.