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The 25 Coolest Movie Crews - The greatest movie gangs you'd want to be a part of...


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Empire did a feature on the greatest collection of characters in the movies; and here it is...

 

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25: The Average Joes - Dodgeball (2004)

Proof that nice guys can finish first, the motley crew that comprise the clientele of Peter La Fleur's Average Joes at first more than live down to the name. They're hapless, socially inept, gawky geeks, including a guy who thinks he's a pirate, who can't dodge a wrench, let alone a ball. Yet there's something lovable about La Fleur and his men, a never-say-die group who come together to poke body fascism firmly and squarely in the eye, with the help of an irascible if doomed coach, some new-found self-belief and some S&M outfits.

 

Roll call: Peter La Fluer (Vince Vaughn), Steve the Pirate (Alan Tudyk), Justin (Justin Long), Gordon (Stephen Root), Owen (Joel David Moore), Kate (Christine Taylor), Dwight (Chris Williams), Patches O'Houlihan (Rip Torn)

 

MVP: Gordon - Root's put-upon Gordon, who not only comes up with the idea to enter the tournament in the first place, but who also keeps the team in the competition by tapping into deep, boundless reservoirs of rage during the semi-final when he finally tires of being treated like a doormat by his lovely Thai bride.

 

Defining Moment: What else, but the dodgeball final itself, in which Average Joes defeats the preening, posing White Goodman and his terrifying, possibly lab-engineered Globo Gym Purple Cobras.

 

 

24: The Toys - Toy Story (1995)

Wall-E aside (and even there you could make a strong case), Pixar's entire output has been one long series of brilliant buddy movies. It's arguable, though, that the chemistry was never finer than in their debut movie, Toy Story, in which a group of toys that come alive when their owner isn't looking came fully-formed as a readymade family, with Hanks' affable Woody at the head of the table, the sarcastic Mr. Potato Head the crabby grandfather, Hamm the embarrassing uncle, and Potts' Bo Peep the MIL… well, let's not go there.

 

Roll call: Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), Rex (Wallace Shawn), Slinky Dog (Jim Varney), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), Bo Peep (Annie Potts), Sergeant (R. Lee Ermey), Hamm (John Ratzenberger)

 

MVP: Buzz Lightyear - He's not part of the crew when he first arrives, but it's gotta be Tim Allen's Buzz Lightyear, the new Alpha Male who wins over most of the toys with his unswerving self-belief and, of course, a little light that blinks.

 

Defining Moment: The climax, in which the toys work together to rescue Woody and Buzz, and thwart the evil Sid.

 

 

23: The Seven Samurai - Seven Samurai (1954)

Perhaps the original movie crew, Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai are certainly the most influential, spawning a horde of impostors (some of whom are also on this list) and rip-offs ever since. A disparate bunch led by Shimura's grizzled old veteran Shimada, the Seven are recruited by a gang of cowardly villagers who are under threat from a gang of vicious bandits. Despite the fact that many of the villagers hold samurai in open contempt, the samurai fight against overwhelming odds in the name of honour, that prevailing preoccupation of the Japanese during the feudal era. During the longeurs, the samurai are by turns stoic and playful, noble and impetuous (one even falls in love with a peasant girl), but when the arrows start flying, they're a truly awesome sight to behold.

 

Roll call: Kikuchiyo (Toshiro Mifune), Kambei Shimada (Takashi Shimura), Gorobei Katayama (Yoshio Inaba), Shichiroji (Daisuke Kato), Heihachi Heiyashida (Minoru Chiaki), Katsushiro Okamotot (Isao Kimura), Kyuzo (Seiji Miyaguchi)

 

MVP: Kikuchiyo - Mifune's hot-headed Kikuchiyo, source of many of the movie's most comedic moments and - spoiler! - arguably its most heartbreaking too.

 

Defining Moment: As with so many of these movies, the final battle, in which the stakes are high, the group suffers real losses, and yet struggles manfully on.

 

 

22: The French Resistance - Top Secret (1984)

Just when you think that Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker's fusion of Elvis movie spoof and World War II flick parody can't get any more insane, the French Resistance turn up around the halfway point. Nothing insane about that in a WWII flick - except this one takes place in East Germany, sometime after the Jimmy Carter presidency. And what a motley and hilarious crew it is that Val Kilmer's devil-hipped hero Nick Rivers encounters, from the smooth, sculpted but strangely effete leader Nigel (Villiers), to Latrine, who makes a habit of turning up sporting seemingly mortal wounds and reams of exposition, to Tagoe's magnificent Chocolate Mousse, a spot-on parody of bad-ass blaxploitation heroes long before Robert Downey Jr. and Tropic Thunder ever got in on the act.

 

Roll call: Nick Rivers (Val Kilmer), Nigel (Christopher Villiers), Hillary Flammond (Lucy Gutteridge), Déjá vu (Jim Carter), Du Quois (Harry Ditson), Chocolate Mousse (Eddie Tagoe), Latrine (Dimitri Andreas)

 

MVP: Déjá vu - Jim Carter's Déjà vu, a Frenchman more clueless than Clouseau. From his opening words to Kilmer - "have we not met before?" - he's a one-man case of comedic TNT, enlivening every scene with his doltishness and penchant for surreal non-sequiturs.

 

Defining Moment: The Nazi attack on the Resistance's headquarters at the Potato Farm, home of M. Albert Potato. Featuring, in no particular order, a chorus line dance routine, a game of noughts and crosses played with bullets, and the funniest high-five in cinema history, it's a couple of minutes of demented genius.

 

 

21: The Knights of the Round Table - Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Although every member of the Python team plays multiple roles in their first - and funniest - narrative-based movie, it's their turns as the brave Knights who accompany Chapman's King Arthur on his quest for the Holy Grail that we'll consider here. From Cleese's impetuous Lancelot, wiping out entire wedding parties to save someone who's not worth saving, to Palin's gallant Galahad, forced to endure the sexy horror of the scantily-clad girls of Castle Anthrax, to Jones' bookish Sir Bedevere and, of course, Gilliam, gamely banging coconut shells together as Arthur's trusty servant, Patsy. There may be funnier roles for all the Pythons in Holy Grail, but as a team of bold, brave knights, the teamwork has never been better.

 

Roll call: Sir Lancelot (John Cleese), King Arthur (Graham Chapman), Sir Robin the Not-So-Brave (Eric Idle), Sir Galahad (Michael Palin), Sir Bedevere (Terry Jones), Patsy (Terry Gilliam)

 

MVP: Sir Robin - Idle's cowardly Sir Robin, if only for his frank admission during the Battle of The White Rabbit, that he soiled his armour. Well, you would…

 

Defining Moment: The confrontation with the Knights Who Say Ni where, by a bold mixture of bravery and not knowing what the hell they're doing or saying, King Arthur and his men win the day.

 

 

20: The 'Con Air' Cons - Con Air (1997)

As Band Aid, Audioslave and Automatic Baby have proved, it's not unheard of for legendary musicians to come together to form a supergroup. Well, the line-up of bad guys in Simon West's 1997 action movie is kinda like that, only with rapists and criminal masterminds and psychos instead of drummers and guitarists and Mike Mills ruining One with atonal backing vocals. Led by Malkovich's sneering, scheming Cyrus the Virus, the poster child for the criminally insane, West's have-its-cake-and-not-only-eat-it-but-shoot-the-shit-out-it-in-glorious-slo-mo movie also includes Rhames' black radical Diamond Dog, Trejo's nasty rapist Johnny 23 and Chinlund's growly Billy Bedlam. Then it lets them hijack a plane and run riot, to be thwarted only by Nic Cage's rippling abs, wispy hair extensions and ludicrous Southern accent.

 

Roll call: Cyrus "The Virus" Grissom (John Malkovich), Diamond Dogg (Ving Rhames), Johnny 23 (Danny Trejo), Garland "The Marietta Mangler" Greene (Streve Buscemi), Swamp Thing (M.C. Gainey), Pinball (David Chapelle), Billy Bedlam (Nick Chinlund)

 

MVP: Garland Greene - Garland Greene, the seemingly ordinary celebrity serial killer, played by Buscemi with detached amusement. A world-class nut who gets the best lines, yet the film not only paints him in a sympathetic light, but it lets him roam free at the end. In Vegas...

 

Defining Moment: The standoff with the cops in the desert airstrip, in which every bad man gets his moment to shine.

 

 

19: The Three Amigos - The Three Amigos (1986)

In what is, to date, the funniest spin on the Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven template, three of SNL's finest alums (although, curiously, Short and Chase both only did one season on the show, and Martin has only ever hosted) came together for this gloriously daft comedy in which their three dim-witted and unemployed silent movie stars are roped in to save a Mexican village from the infamous (that's more than famous) El Guapo. Along the way, they discover what it is to be true heroes, of course, but they also have a nice line in songs, dancing, absurd one-liners and, most memorably, killing invisible swordsmen.

 

Roll call: Lucky Day (Steve Martin), Dusty Bottoms (Chevy Chase), Ned Nederlander (Martin Short)

 

MVP: All three - Many have tried to single out one of the Three Amigos! for praise. All have failed. The perfect trio, they complement each other perfectly and each get superb stand-out moments. We couldn't choose a favourite anymore than we could turn down a duet with the Singing Bush.

 

Defining Moment: The My Little Buttercup routine in the Cantina, where Messrs. Nederlander, Bottoms and Day encourage the clientele to join in their jaunty little ditty, completely oblivious to the fact that the locals, for circumstances too complex to go into here, think they're hardcore killers and are, to put it mildly, bricking it.

 

 

18: The D.I.V.A.S - Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 (2003)

In Pulp Fiction, Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) tells Vincent Vega (John Travolta) about a TV show pilot she once shot called Fox Force Five, about five kick-ass female secret agents. The pilot was never picked up, but Quentin Tarantino clearly didn't forget about it, because in Kill Bill he recalibrated the quintet as a quartet of all-girl assassins - oh, and Michael Madsen's Bud, despite his errant Y chromosome - each proficient in swordsmanship, small arms fire and being absolutely smoking hot (oh, and Michael Madsen's Bud). Their name? The rather apt D.i.V.A.S. Not even Girls Aloud could hold a candle to this lot.

 

Roll call: Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman), Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah), O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Lui), Vernita Green (Vivaca A. Fox), Bud (Michael Madsen)

 

MVP: The Bride - Do you even have to ask? Uma Thurman's The Bride, the doyenne of destruction. You can bury her, you can shoot her, you can stab her and blast her with rock salt, but you just can't kill her

 

Defining Moment: Sadly, we don't really get to see the D.i.V.A.S in action as a group in Tarantino's revenge thriller, but many tales are told of their legend. The closest we come is when Fox, Hannah and Liu - oh, and Madsen - pay a visit to their former colleague, Beatrix Kiddo's wedding and come bearing gifts of the high-velocity kind.

 

 

17: The X-Men - X-Men (2000)

Well, you have to have some superheroes on the list, don't you? X-Men 2 is the better film, of course, but there's something about the purity of the team that Bryan Singer assembled for his first stab at Marvel's merry mutants. Hugh Jackman's Wolverine is our eyes and ears in this strange new world, and it's through him that the chemistry begins to flow: the sexual tension with Famke Janssen's Jean Grey, the plain *****ly tension with Cyclops ("you're a dick!"), and the fatherly attitude towards Anna Paquin's Rogue. Here, the heroes actually work together as a team, rather than part two where they're scattered to the four corners, and part three where billing issues dictated that Jackman and Berry come to the fore, combining to take down Magneto and co. at the end.

 

Roll call: Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Storm (Halle Berry), Cyclops (James Marsden), Jean Grey (Famke Jannsen), Rogue (Anna Paquin)

 

MVP: Professor X - Wolverine is the focus, of course, but we're going to plump for Paddy Stewart's kindly, benign and hyper-intelligent Professor X - a character so powerful that each X-Men film found an excuse to take him out of the action early doors. It's just a shame he never found the opportunity to shout, 'To me, my X-Men!' at any point.

 

Defining Moment: That Statue of Liberty finale, when Jean Grey holds Wolvie in the air, while Storm whips up a wind to lift him towards Magneto, and then Cyclops zaps the mutant baddie from a distance as Wolverine slices his machine to bits. Now that's teamwork.

 

 

16: The Dirty Dozen - The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Rapists. Thieves. Murderers and murdering, raping thieves. And that's just the good guys in Robert Aldrich's dark WWII tale, the finest guys-on-a-mission flick to yet grace the silver screen (Mr. Tarantino, the bar remains high for you and your Inglourious Basterds), in which Lee Marvin - as if he wasn't hard enough on his own - assembles twelve of the dirtiest, scummiest, skuzziest bar stewards this side of Goodison Park, trains them and sets them upon a Nazi citadel for a mission so suicidal and so dangerous that normal soldiers just won't do. As ever, there are various personality types here, from Bronson's granite-hewn Wladislaw, to Savalas' nutso Maggott and Walker's gentle giant (until pushed) Posey, but Aldrich somehow manages to flesh most of them out and generate genuine emotion when the climax comes and most of them don't make it.

 

Roll call: Major Reisman (Lee Marvin), Wladislaw (Charles Bronson), Frank (Jim Cassavetes), Jefferson (Jim Brown), Maggot (Telly Savalas), Jiminez (Trini Lopez), Posey (Clint Walker), Pinkley (Donald Sutherland)

 

MVP: Victor Franko - John Cassavetes' Victor Franko, an anti-authoritarian livewire (much like Cassavetes himself) who manages to stand out even in this company, and become somewhat redeemed and something of a team player. When he buys the farm while celebrating victory, it's achingly sad.

 

Defining Moment: The war-game run-through, when the denigrated Dozen come together to beat their regular soldier rivals and rub it in the face of snippy, snooty Colonel, Robert Ryan.

 

 

15: The Crew of Serenity - Serenity (2005)

It helped enormously, of course, that the crew of the rust bucket Serenity had had a TV show - albeit a short-lived one - to work out character kinks and conjure up some chemistry. So, by the time that Joss Whedon managed to persuade Universal to turn Firefly into a feature, Fillion's roguish Reynolds and his band of malcontents were a *****ly, pally, pure delight, from the brutish Jayne (a never better Baldwin), to the tortured relationship of the good doctor Simon, always keeping an eye out for his killing machine sister, River. And the big screen allowed Whedon to not only unleash his trademark dialogue, but up the emotional ante too, savagely killing not only Shepherd Book but Alan Tudyk's Wash - arguably the series' most likeable character and one-half of a genuinely affecting and strong marriage with Torres' Zoe

 

Roll call: Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), Wash (Adam Tudyk), Zoe (Gina Torres), River (Summer Glau), Jayne (Adam Baldwin), Simon (Sean Maher), Kaylee (Jewel Staite), Inara (Morena Baccarin), Shepherd Book (Ron Glass)

 

MVP: Captain Malcolm Reynolds - It has to be Fillion, that perennial Empire fave, showing here the reasons why he's just that. Chiefly, we like him because he's a scoundrel.

 

Defining Moment: The climax, facing off against the evil Reavers, when it seems that every single member of the crew faces certain death. Nevertheless, they hang in there, long enough for River to snap out of her stupor and bring the pain.

 

14: The Usual Suspects - The Usual Suspects (1995)

Famously born when (amongst other factors), Chris McQuarrie and Bryan Singer started conceptualizing movie posters while bored in a cinema lobby (what about one where five guys are in a line-up?), the Usual Suspects are five criminals thrown together by fate into the same holding cell (or are they?). From there, they become the perfect team (or do they?), before falling foul of a criminal mastermind called Keyser Soze (or is he?) who sends them on one last job, very dangerous (Or is it? Etc. etc.) Spacey won an Oscar for his portrayal of the crippled narrator Verbal Kint, but the rest of the ensemble, from del Toro's incoherent Fenster, a character McQuarrie admits exists only to die, to Baldwin's fiery McManus. And admit it, the way Kevin Pollak holds a gun sideways is really, really cool.

 

Roll call: Dean Keaton (Gabriel Byrne), Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey), McManus (Stephen Baldwin), Fenster (Benicio Del Toro), Todd Hockney (Kevin Pollack)

 

MVP: Dean Keaton - Byrne's beleaguered ex-cop Dean Keaton, a good man trying to live a good life, but brought down by circumstance and conspiracy. Oh, and he's a red herring so big and red that Byrne himself thought he was Keyser Soze right up until seeing the movie for the first time.

 

Defining Moment: The iconic line-up, where the whole bunch, hardened criminals all, are forced to step forward and read the line 'hand me the keys you ****ing cocksuker.' Despite the seriousness of the charges and the threat of incarceration, not one of them can keep a straight face.

 

 

13: The Regulators - Young Guns (1988)

The Brat Pack-heavy retelling of the legend of William H. Bonny, aka Billy The Kid, and his gun-toting gang may have lacked something in the authenticity stakes (in Young Guns II, it's revealed that Estevez' Billy lives to a ripe old age, for example), but more than made up for it with sheer A-list star power, at a time when it seemed entirely possible that Messrs. Estevez, Sutherland, Phillips and Sheen (although he's very much the youngest of the guns here, and the first to die) would rule the world, and not merely end up as fixtures on TV.

 

Roll call: Billy the Kid (Emilio Estevez), Doc (Kiefer Sutherland), Chavez (Lou Diamond Phillips), Charlie (Casey Siemazsko), Dirty Steve (Dermot Mulroney), Dick (Charlie Sheen)

 

MVP: Doc - We've got a soft spot for Sutherland's big, bearded Doc, dispenser of wisdom, lead justice and terrible poetry.

 

Defining Moment: Billy's reaction to the death of his friend Alex during the final battle, when he comes back into the heart of danger to off the bad guy, Murphy - decisive and deadly, not to mention risky, it bears all the unshakeable confidence of a young gun who thinks he can never die.

 

 

12: The Wolverines - Red Dawn (1984)

John Milius' delirious right-wing fantasy version of a WWIII in which the Russkies invade America showed a dark side to the Brat Pack. The Wolverines - a group of schoolkids who make it into the mountains while all hell is breaking loose, and who then proceed to mount a fight-back against Ivan - would eat the Breakfast Club for, well, breakfast. And lunch. And dinner as well. Marshalled superbly by Patrick Swayze's stoic, older Jed and, briefly, Powers Boothe's level-headed pilot, the Wolverines evolve from gauche kids to, especially in the guise of C. Thomas Howell's psychotic Robert, gun-toting (and rocket-launching) guerillas. We're putting it down to the restorative powers of drinking fresh deer blood. Mmm… deer blood.

 

Roll call: Jed (Patrick Swayze), Matt (Charlie Sheen), Robert (C. Thomas Howell), Erica (Lea Thompson), Toni (Jennifer Grey), Daryl (Darren Dalton), Danny (Brad Savage)

 

MVP: Jed - Swayze's, a born leader who manages to restore the frightened rag-tag bunch to something approaching sanity. And he even has time to follow the last request of his imprisoned father, Harry Dean Stanton: "Avenge meeeee!"

 

Defining Moment: They're outgunned, outmanned, and they've even been betrayed. But that doesn't stop the Wolverines from giving it a damn good go when the Russians come to town for the climactic battle.

 

 

11: The Magnificent Seven - The Magnificent Seven (1960)

 

 

The crew that brings back memories of lazy Sunday afternoons spent in front of the TV as a kid - Charlie Bronson getting cut down in a hail of gunfire while protecting kids, Robert Vaughn's gunslinger getting his nerve back just in time to regain his honour and manhood before losing his life, the heroic nick-of-time by Dexter, the one that causes most problems in pub quizzes. And that's not even counting the contribution of the two big star turns, Brynner and McQueen, as the cowboys recruited by a poor Mexican village to ward off bandits. The first, and best, Seven Samurai tribute, it imbues each member with distinct personalities and story arcs in John Sturges' masterful Western.

 

Roll call: Chris (Yul Brynner), Vin (Steve McQueen), Bernardo O'Reilly (Charles Bronson), Chico (Horst Buchholz), Lee (Robert Vaughn), Harry Luck (Brad Dexter), Britt (James Coburn)

 

MVP: Chris - Brynner's Chris, as striking as his bald head, and as commanding as they come. You'd have to be to outrank Steve McQueen.

 

Defining Moment: When the Seven: apart from Dexter, setting up that last-minute return - decide to go in and fight against the Mexican bandit, despite overwhelming odds.

 

 

10: The Channel 4 News Team - Anchorman (2004)

Has there ever been a funnier crew than the perfectly complementary, fiercely (mostly) loyal Channel 4 News Team, who bestrode the world of San Diego news in the 1970s like bespoke-suited colossi? Don't answer that - rhetorical question. A ridiculous and riotous assembly of men-children, the joy of Anchorman is that Will Ferrell was selfless enough to let the spotlight move away from his blustering Burgundy and fall on Rudd's sleazy Brian Fantana, Koechner's closeted Champ Kind and, of course, Steve Carell's Brick Tamland, each of whom get classic comedic moments. Bodes well for Anchorman 2.

 

Roll call: Ron Burgandy (Will Ferrell), Brick Tamland (Steve Carrell), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), Champ Kind (David Koechner)

 

MVP: Brick Tamland - The immensely thick, but lovable Brick Tamland, whose every barmy utterance is pure comic gold. Note how he's the only one who stays loyal to Ron during his Jerry Garcia phase.

 

Defining Moment: The perfectly executed leap of joy when Ron suggests they go shopping for new suits. Every group of friends should be able to feel this bliss.

 

 

9: The Untouchable - The Untouchables (1987)

One of the more compact units in movie crew history - in real life there were, of course, more than just four Untouchables. After all, it takes more than four guys to bring down a criminal empire. But for the purposes of their eulogy to Eliot Ness and his crimebusters, director Brian De Palma and screenwriter David Mamet narrowed the focus to just four guys. Or, if we're being brutally honest, just two: Costner's uptight, by-the-book Ness and Connery's ballsy mentor, Malone - the guy who teaches Ness everything he needs to know about catching criminals. Garcia, as crackshot George Stone, and Smith, as the doomed number-cruncher Wallace - the first Untouchable to prove a misnomer - make decent impressions, but this is the Connery/Costner Show.

 

Roll call: Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner), Jimmy Malone (Sean Connery), George Stone (Andy Garcia), Oscar Wallace (Charles Martin Smith)

 

MVP: Jimmy Malone - Connery's Malone. There's no mystery why this was the role that bagged the former 007 his only Oscar. Malone is a no-nonsense, charismatic real man, who doesn't suffer fools gladly, shoots first and dispenses wisdom like a foul-mouthed Yoda.

 

Defining Moment: The first real act of teamwork from the gang, as they mount an unannounced raid on a Chicago booze factory, their act of courage in the face of corruption earning them the Untouchable sobriquet.

 

 

8: Neil McCauley's Crew - Heat (1995)

Robert De Niro's no-nonsense crew reflects the personality of Heat director, Michael Mann: obsessive attention to detail, elimination of anything extraneous or distracting, whip-smart. They're sharp, on the edge, where they gotta be. From the off, when they mount their first heist in a bubble of virtual silence, De Niro, Kilmer, Sizemore and Trejo act with the efficiency and teamwork of guys who've been doing this for a long, long time - a testament to the Method research that they did for the film, which actually involved casing a joint without being detected. We're not sure if it's impressive or scary that Robert De Niro could probably rob your house and not get caught.

 

Roll call: Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro), Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer), Trejo (Danny Trejo), Michael Cheritto (Tom Sizemore), Donald Breedan (Dennis Haysbert), Waingro (Kevin Gage)

 

MVP: Neil McCauley - It can't be anyone other than De Niro's McCauley, the ice-cool thief who is brought down by a fatal inability to adhere to his own rules.

 

Defining Moment: The precision-timed bank heist, in which Dennis Haysbert briefly replaces the betrayed Trejo as the getaway driver, and the resulting street-set shoot-out, still one of the finest of all time.

 

 

7: Gruber's "Terrorists" - Die Hard (1988)

The easy route for director John McTiernan to take with Die Hard would have been to make Hans Gruber's coterie of Eurotrash thieves (not strictly terrorists, remember) a faceless, personality-free bunch of drones, just waiting to get on the wrong end of one of John McClane's bullets. But, as with his preceding movie, Predator, McTiernan infuses just enough of the crew with personalities to make us, bizarrely, invest in their fates, from the intense rage of Karl over finding out that his brother Tony has been killed, to the cockiness of computer hacker Theo (the only member to survive) and even faux security guard Eddie, able to switch off the forced bonhomie and go into cold killer mode in an instant.

 

Roll call: Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), Karl (Alexander Godunov), Theo (Clarence Gilyard, Jr.), Franco (Bruno Doyon), Tony (Andreas Wisniewski), Alexander (Joey Plewa), Marco (Lorenzo Caccialanza), Kristoff (Gerard Bonn), Eddie (Dennis Hayden), Uli (Al Leong)

 

MVP: Hans Gruber - The brooding, charismatic, perfectly coiffed and utterly magnificent Hans Gruber, the daddy of the bunch, and a criminal mastermind who, refreshingly, likes to get his hands dirty.

 

Defining Moment: The brutal efficiency of the group's takeover of Nakatomi Plaza, sliding into the office party almost unnoticed.

 

 

6: Ocean's Eleven - Ocean's Eleven (2001)

With Messrs. Damon, Clooney and Pitt taking care of the cool, it's up to the rest of Steven Soderbergh's revamped Eleven to bring the quirk. And, from the warring Malloy brothers (Caan and Affleck, so physically dissimilar that it suggests an adoption somewhere back down the line) to the sweaty electronics expert Livingston Dell (Jemison) to the technical know-how of alleged Cockney Basher Tarr (Cheadle) and the gnarled wisdom of Carl Reiner and Elliot Gould's old hands, the quirk is brought in spades. It's hard now, three movies into the franchise, to imagine that there was a time when Soderbergh and Clooney were going all-out for A-list names, from Luke and Owen Wilson to Bill Murray and Jet Li, to fill the line-up.

 

Roll call: Danny Ocean (George Clooney), Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt), Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon), Turk Malloy (Scott Caan), Virgil Malloy (Casey Affleck), Livingston Dell (Eddie Jemison), Yen (Shaobo Qin), Frank Catton (Bernie Mac), Saul Bloom (Carl Reiner), Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould), Bashar Tarr (Don Cheadle)

 

MVP: Rusty Ryan - Brad Pitt's Rusty Ryan. OK, so it's Ocean's Eleven, but Rusty is the brains behind the organization, and so impacably cool that he makes liquid nitrogen look like hot coffee.

 

Defining Moment: Because there are very few scenes with all Eleven together at any one time, we're going for the beautiful moment where, post-heist, the gang watch the fountains erupt at the Bellagio before melting away into the night.

 

 

5: The (Original) Enterprise Crew - Star Trek 1-6 (1979-1991)

Choosing an Enterprise crew is tricky, what with the Next Generation lot of Picard, Riker, Data et al mounting a good challenge. But with JJ Abram's Trek reboot coming up, it's not hard to remember the unique chemistry that made Kirk, Spock, Bones & Co. the original and best. The Holy Trinity undoubtedly dominated both the TV show and the movies, with their pointed but affectionate banter, but there was always room to hand over the spotlight at various points to Doohan's gruff Scotty, Koenig's excitable Chekov, Nichols' grounded Uhura, and Takei's commanding Sulu.

 

Roll call: Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), Bones (DeForest Kelley), Scotty (James Doohan), Checkov (Walter Koenig), Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Sulu (George Takei)

 

MVP: Kirk - Bold, charismatic, swaggering and the glue that held the Enterprise crew together. Here was a man that, you sensed, his colleagues would follow into Hell, if that's where their five-year voyage boldly took them.

 

Defining Moment: Spock's funeral in The Wrath Of Khan. Inarguably The Shat's finest acting moment, but the grief etched on the faces of Spock's crewmates showed the esteem in which the Vulcan was held and, by extension, the closeness of the colleagues.

 

 

4: The Goonies - The Goonies (1985)

Friendship lasts forever and Goonies never say die. Perpetual talk of a Goonies sequel is always intriguing, because it would be fascinating to find out if Mikey, Mouth, Chunk, Data and friends stayed true to their maxim. But the joy of Richard Donner's film is in the interplay between the intrepid Goonies, with the earnest Mikey, cocksure Mouth, naïve and bumbling Chunk and the indefatigable inventor Data (a rare example of an Asian character in a big movie, and commendably an even rarer case where his race isn't commented on at any point) blending brilliantly as they search for the treasure of unfortunately-named pirate One-Eyed Willie. Unusually for a movie like this, there's no need to contrive circumstances where the friends fall out and learn valuable life lessons - instead, Donner and Spielberg know that there's enormous fun to be had from watching kids acting like kids: fearless, foolish and funny.

 

Roll call: Mikey (Sean Astin), Brand (Josh Brolin), Data (Ke Huy Quan), Mouth (Corey Feldman), Chunk (Jeff Cohen), Andy Carmichael (Kerry Green), Stef Steinbrenner (Martha Plimpton)

 

MVP: Chunk - Astin, Brolin, Feldman and Quan all remained in the film business. Only Jeff Cohen got out, but his Chunk is the heart and stomach of The Goonies, if only for the Truffle Shuffle.

 

Defining Moment:The superb opening credits, where a car chase introduces us, one by one, to the Goonies as they each show off their particular characteristics.

 

 

3: The Colonial Marines - Aliens (1986)

When James Cameron decided to add an 's' to Alien, he knew that he needed to pit the drooling xenomorphs against characters who were more than just cannon fodder-in-waiting. Enter, then, a squadron of space marines, equipped to deal with any situation and any threat. Well, almost. Cameron's genius, of course, was in setting up the soldiers as ultra-confident killing machines, and then sending them into battle against true killing machines, who rip half the marines apart in mere seconds, allowing Cameron to focus on the contrasting personalities of the survivors. Hicks, Hudson, the cowardly Gorman, the embattled Vasquez and, of course, honorary member Ripley all get their moments in the spotlight, but Cameron's achievement was in giving virtually every member of the ensemble something to do - a good line here, a stand-out death there - so each one of them feels fleshed out and individual.

 

Roll call: Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), Cpl. Hicks (Michael Biehn), Pvt. Hudson (Bill Paxton), Pvt. Vasquez (Jennette Goldstein), Lt. Gorman (William Hope), Sgt. Apone (Al Matthews), Pvt. Drake (Mark Rolston), Pvt. Frost (Ricco Ross), Cpl. Dietrich (Cynthia Dale), Pvt. Crowe (Tip Tipping), Pvt. Wierzbowski (Trevor Steedman), Cpl. Ferro (Colette Hiller), Pvt. Spunkmeyer (Daniel Kash)

 

MVP: Hudson - Bill Paxton's Pvt. William Hudson, whose wisecracking exterior hides a scared shitless, little boy lost interior. He also gets all the best lines.

 

Defining Moment: When the crew wakes up on the Sulaco, and instantly falls into a well-worn routine of crabby, testing banter.

 

 

2: The Reservoir Dogs - Reservoir Dogs (1992)

The coolest gang of thieves in movie history only share a couple of scenes, but the first in particular - the Like A Virgin/no tipping debate in the coffee shop pre-heist, in which Quentin Tarantino gives himself the film's opening line - is utterly indelible. Dogs may have been his debut, but Tarantino was smart enough to know that he needed his crew to be instantly iconic, and so in came the black suit uniform, and the colour-coded nicknames (appropriated from The Taking Of Pelham 123). But it was the personalities of the Dogs, from Keitel's decent but tortured Mr. White, to Buscemi's motormouth Mr. Pink and Roth's laidback but duplicitous Mr. Orange, that helped most to achieve cult status, as the surviving members of the gang turn on each other like, well… wild Dogs.

 

 

Roll call: Mr White (Harvey Keitel), Mr Orange (Tim Roth), Mr Blonde (Michael Madsen), Mr Pink (Steve Buscemi), Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn), Mr Blue (Eddie Bunker), Mr Brown (Quentin Tarantino), Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney)

 

MVP: Mr Blonde - Michael Madsen's wild card, Mr. Blonde, an unpredictable and softly-spoken psycho who's bad news from the moment he enters, sucking on a shake, until the moment he exits, chest torn to ribbons with bullets after his impromptu ear-slicing dance.

 

Defining Moment: The title sequence, in which each member is introduced in ultra-cool slo-mo, while Little Green Bag blares out on the soundtrack.

 

 

1: Dutch's Rescue Team - Predator (1987)

As Johnny Cash drawled in his signature tune, A Boy Named Sue, "I tell ya, I've fought tougher men, but I really can't remember when…..." Sentiments the Predator can surely agree with after tangling with Major Dutch Shaeffer and his gang of gorilla-sized grunts: arguably the hardest pack of bastards in movie history. But merely being hard isn't enough to secure the top spot on this list - although we are talking here about soldiers so tough they don't have time to duck, or bleed. No, they get the number one position for their charisma, their bad jokes, their handiness with big guns (Old Painless, for example, is supposed to be mounted on a helicopter!), and their sheer bloody-mindedness in the face of an alien adversary who has them outgunned, outfought and outmatched. Not to mention the skillful, slyly economical way in which each team member's characteristics - the nerdish Hawkins (Shane Black, who bagged the role as part payment from producer Joel Silver for his Lethal Weapon script), the swaggering Blaine, the intense Mac - are sketched in just a few seconds.

 

Roll call: Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Dillon (Carl Weathers), Billy (Sonny Landham), Mac (Bill Duke), Poncho (Richard Chaves), Hawkins (Shane Black), Blaine (Jesse Ventura)

 

MVP: Billy - Although Arnie's Dutch dominates the group, it's Sonny Landham's Billy, the Native American tracker who intimates from the off that the group is not long for this world, who really stands out. Built like the proverbial brick shithouse, he's massive and massively impressive at going quietly, suicidally loco. On set, Landham was such a loose cannon that the production had to hire security guards to protect his fellow castmates. Now that's an MVP in our book.

 

Defining Moment: The orgy of destruction as the gang decimate mother nature with their enormous arsenal. All in an impotent rage at the sudden demise of their good buddy, Blaine. Next time you watch this, never forget: real jungle, folks, being really blown to shit.

Edited by DC
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On a related note Cracked.com did a list of the 8 Least Intimidating Gangs from Movie History

 

8.Red Triangle Circus Gang from Batman Returns

 

The entire Batman franchise is responsible for some seriously awful gang activity. None so heinously combined our fear of gang violence with our terror of carneys as the Red Triangle Circus Gang as portrayed in the second Batman film.

 

Answering to the Penguin, this gang was a random bunch of freaks who apparently were so moved by a deformed Danny DeVito that a life in the sewers spent strapping cartoony explosives to aquatic, flightless birds seemed all too beautiful a dream for them.

 

So with clown makeup, fire eaters and a tiny poodle that catches Batarangs, they left their big-top roots behind and went to work trying to fulfill their vision of whatever the **** it is a group of malevolent circus freaks thought they'd accomplish by making their dumpy leader mayor of Gotham.

 

 

7.The Greasers from The Outsiders

 

Nothing epitomizes badass street cred like rolling with Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise and C. Thomas Howell. Unless C. Thomas Howell is playing a character named Ponyboy, in what apparently isn't meant to be anything overtly homoerotic.

 

Following the same gang format that has existed since Shakespeare made it popular, The Greasers fall in love with some chicks from the other side of the tracks and that means someone really wants to drown Ponyboy, which is understandable. Instead the Karate Kid does some stabbing and the foolish gang violence is soon replaced with two skinny boys on the run, both of whom look like they'd lose a boxing match to Hannah Montana.

Then it degrades into burning school house heroics and poetry, along with deeply profound deaths and other assorted girly aspects of gang life that make it seem like semi-organized crime really isn't all it's cracked up to be.

 

 

6.Los Locos from Short Circuit 2

 

While not prominently featured in the film, this gang has a memorable turn as the bad asses that turn Johnny 5 into a streetwise thug. Which, in a talking-robot movie targeted towards middle-class white people meant the gang was a group of singing minorities who live on the streets and commit no actual crimes beyond some graffiti and using the word "balls."

 

5.The Regulators from Young Guns

Undoubtedly conceived as cool by some people in a studio somewhere desperate to make teenage girls of the '80s want to watch a western, Young Guns was a veritable Calvin Klein underwear ad of a movie featuring men who were at the time considered young and popular.

 

Little did anyone suspect that only Kiefer Sutherland would ever salvage something close to a respectable career while both Lou Diamond Phillips and Emilio Estevez would live out their days having cashiers at the 7-11 ask them if they used to be famous while they try to trade food stamps for porno (only Charlie Sheen suffered a worse fate, dying and getting sent to Two and a Half Men).

 

While we don't want to question their pistol-handling abilities, the fact remains that if these four came up behind us in a dark alley, we'd probably fear they were just going to steal our Chapstick.

 

 

4.The Cowboys from Tombstone

 

Tombstone was a pretty kickass movie that made Kevin Costner's Wyatt Earp look like Kevin Costner's The Postman. Even Val Kilmer was good in this movie, something most people can't say about many Kilmer movies with a straight face unless they happen to own a lot of Hummel figurines or let their dogs eat from their mouths.

 

Unfortunately, for all the bad-ass appearances that the villainous cowboy gang brings to the movie, it's hard not to notice that they're the only thugs in a town of about 1,000 people, and they get their asses handed to them by four men. Four men including eternal ass hat Bill Paxton, septuagenarian Sam Elliot and a tubercular, half-drunk Val Kilmer.

 

Suddenly the gang of badasses, lead by Curly Bill and Johnny Ringo, seems decidedly less impressive and more like a group of dicks who couldn't shoot Kurt Russel even when they have him surrounded, in the open, just inviting death as he walks across a river yelling, "No!"

 

 

3.The Albino Gang from Vamp

 

An '80s horror movie starring the frightfully mannish Grace Jones that was seen by fewer people than the number that currently have the plague in the United States, Vamp is remarkable for having the most incredible gang fight in the history of cinema: A fight between vampire strippers and asshole albinos.

 

Scary as shit actor Billy Drago, who you may recognize as not being an albino, leads a gang of albinos who apparently like women with terrible dental work and have no idea there's a club full of vampires next door.

Nothing instills fear quite like a group of people who burn easily in the sun, have observation skills on par with patients from Awakenings and get their asses handed to them by small girls.

 

2.Tranny Ninjas from Escape from LA

 

Proving John Carpenter is madder than a shithouse rat strung out on Drano, the sequel to Escape from New York is supposed to demonstrate the decay of society and some shit about criminals and whatnot in LA. All we saw was a terrible CG tidal wave, bizarre Bruce Campbell and Peter Fonda cameos and Pam Grier playing a transsexual gang leader named Hershey. All of it makes us feel soiled.

 

While the rest of his/her gang just appear to be small Asian men, we can only assume they're Thai lady boys and we're far deeper in the rabbit hole than even Snake Plissken realizes at this point. What any of the gangs in LA are up to in this movie is just one of many questions Carpenter never chooses to answer. Seeing Snake and his tranny friend fly into a Disney World knock-off on hang gliders shooting machine guns makes this gang the most flamboyantly ridiculous of the lot.

 

 

 

 

1.The Hi Hats/The Furies/The Punks from The Warriors

 

In fairness, this whole article could be about the Warriors, a semi-classic, full of the worst gangs ever conceived of and put to film.

 

But in the interest of variety, we'll merely make mention of some of the most egregiously stupid ones. Making only minimal waves in the film are The Hi Hats, a gang of mimes who wear top hats.

 

Why--in a New York overrun with gang violence, when everyone is at war with everyone else and turf needs to be defended violently--anyone would allow a gang of mimes to exist is a question that cannot be logically answered

 

That the Furies, or Baseball Furies, are also allowed to roam free is a mystery as well. On the other hand, when you consider how lame the titular Warriors are, it seems like New York is full of fancy lads so maybe it's reasonable that a gang of baseball fans who take the time to slap on jerseys and paint themselves with random team colors before heading out into the night exists.

 

The Punks may not be as flamboyantly horrifying as the rest of the gangs, but there's still something off-putting about grown men in tight overalls and roller skates that is hard to express in words.

 

Seeing this gang roll on screen, all form-fitting denim and early '80s hair, it almost seems like fear would be a natural reaction. Maybe not fear of gang violence at this point, but a real fear nonetheless that somehow, some way, after these punks are through with you, you'll be rolling away in a vibrant blue pair of overalls too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:lol

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