See, the whole problem with our top 10 list this week is no one wants to use the phrase “Top 10 Terrorists.” In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s against our site charter. Though to be fair, I was pretty hungover when we were going over that whole thing.
Still, there’s something to be said for the bad guys (and occasional good guy) who act as the instigating incident in our favorite movies. There have been many, many more cinematic terrorist attacks than there have been in real life, and by no means are we making light of actual attacks. But we have to acknowledge that they are a real part of our culture, so much so that we create fanciful stories about horrible deeds being done to justify some actiony heroics by Chuck Norris will put an end to. And, of course, we should take a moment to consider this: At one point, even American’s were considered terrorists when they fought for their nation.
So let’s take a moment to consider the 10 most memorable terrorists to grace the silver screen. Sure, most of them are pricks, but they made it possible for our heroes to rise to the occasion and save the day, and we have to respect that.
10. Brigadier General Frank Hummel (The Rock)- Speaking of terrorism, how about that Michael Bay? All joking aside (…most joking), Bay created a sympathetic character who resorted to extreme measures for the sake of his fallen men. It’s one of those causes for which you can’t really hate the man for of his ends, but you certainly can for his methods. Then again, there’s a lot about The Rock you could hate. Still, he’s probably one of the more unique terrorists on film (at least for the time) simply because he was one of the good guys, and one hell of a good guy to get a rank like brigadier general. Plus, he show he’s not 100 percent devoted to the taking of innocent life when he destroys a missile heading toward San Francisco, which earns him the nickname “The Reluctant Terrorist” in my book.
9. Jackson Rippner (Red Eye)- Some terrorists fight Arnold Schwarzenegger on the wing of an airplane, and some sit in first class washing their hands with hand sanitizer and drinking foamy glasses of Airborne. Cillian Murphy plays the latter in Wes Craven’s story about a man holding a woman hostage at 30,000 feet. Sure he’s not exactly the cold-hearted killer we all associate with the men that make up the rest of this list – I mean, he kinda got his ass handed to him by a girl with a field hockey stick, and that’s not very BAMF (you’d think a terrorist might be a little more skilled at fighting off a civilian with a stick). Still, Rippner (play on Ripper) used fear as a means for his ends. It was the threat of harm that made him so terrifying. Sure, it’s not a flashy weapon, but it works.