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Top 10 Movie Heroes Who Made Things Worse

VO: Rebecca Brayton

Script written by Garrett Alden

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movie Heroes Who Made Things Worse. For this list, we’ll be looking at movie heroes and heroines whose attempts to do good, or otherwise improve a situation, only managed to do the opposite.

Special thanks to our users MikeMJPMUNCH for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest


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Script written by Garrett Alden

Top 10 Movie Heroes Who Made Things Worse

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movie Heroes Who Made Things Worse.
For this list, we’ll be looking at movie heroes and heroines whose attempts to do good, or otherwise improve a situation, only managed to do the opposite. Their actions could have been intentional or unintentional. Naturally, because these protagonists’ actions affect the plots of their respective films, there will be spoilers ahead.

#10: Dr. King Schultz
“Django Unchained” (2012)

Dr. Schultz spends most of the movie acting as the wiser and worldlier mentor to freed slave Django. The dentist-turned-bounty hunter teaches Django how to shoot, read and write, and helps him to reunite with his wife. However, it’s with this last endeavor that Schultz manages to make things go South, pun intended. After Django’s wife, Broomhilda, has been freed when they purchase her from her slave owner, Calvin Candie, the trio looks ready to make their getaway. However, Candie insists on shaking Schultz’s hand. But because he’s got a spring-loaded pistol hiding up his sleeve, Schultz just couldn’t resist shooting him. This action leads to Schultz’s death, as well as Candie’s and several others, not to mention the capture and torture of Django and Broomhilda.

#9: David Drayton
“The Mist” (2007)

When you’re the lead in an adaptation of Stephen King’s work, chances are things aren’t going to turn out well for you in the end. David acquits himself well enough throughout most of the film, navigating the paranoia induced by the titular mist and the monsters that lurk within and eventually leading his son and several others out of the store they’ve been trapped in. However, upon returning home, David finds his wife has been killed by the creatures. By all appearances, the mist monsters have taken over everything. So, rather than have his son and the others torn apart by the vicious things, David “saves” them from that particular fate… only to discover a few minutes later that the human army has turned the tide against the creatures.

#8: Evan Treborn
“The Butterfly Effect” (2004)

Time travel usually gets worse before it gets better. In Evan’s case, it doesn’t get better for a long time. After discovering his old journal, Evan finds himself able to travel back in time and change events from his past. However, his attempts to improve his life and the lives of his loved ones are rarely successful, and always have unintended consequences that ripple out of his smallest action in the past. These range from the deaths and disfigurement of his friends to him ending up in prison. So we’d say “making it worse” is an understatement.”

#7: Evelyn ‘Evie’ Carnahan
“The Mummy” (1999)

Oh, Evie. You fell for one of the classic blunders: never disturb an Egyptian tomb! This adventurous librarian, along with a whole mess of others, is excavating the city of Hamunaptra (HAW-munn-NAWP-truh) when they uncover the mysterious “Book of the Dead.” That night, in yet another classic blunder, Evelyn reads a passage aloud (come on, this is basic stuff here!); reviving the murderous high priest Imhotep, who proceeds to go on a killing spree and perform a resurrection ritual! It just goes to show that sometimes you should judge a book by its cover.


#6: Detective David Mills
“SE7EN” (1995)

When you look into the abyss long enough, the abyss stares back. David is a hotheaded detective who just moved to the unnamed city “Se7en” is set in, with his wife, Tracy, who was reluctant to relocate. However, unbeknownst to him, she is pregnant. Along with veteran detective William Somerset, David investigates a killer whose murders are based on the seven deadly sins. The killer, John Doe, targets David – not only because of the cop’s involvement in the investigation, but also because the murderer is envious of his happy life with Tracy. To see his plan come to fruition, Doe goads Detective Mills into killing him by murdering Tracy, fulfilling the final sin of wrath and ultimately ruining David’s life in the process.

#5: David ‘Dave’ Lizewski / Kick-Ass 
“Kick-Ass” (2010)

His intention was to become a superhero, so you can’t say that Dave didn’t mean well. Unfortunately, he kind of sucks at it - at least at first. Unlike Big Daddy and Hit-Girl, who are two actually competent superheroes trying to take down the mob, Dave gets all of the fame of a real-life superhero thanks to a viral video, despite having none of the ability. However, Kick-Ass’ insecurities about his abilities lead him to trust “Red Mist,” the son of the mob boss being targeted by the other heroes. Red Mist is merely posing as a hero to draw out those responsible. This ill-placed faith leads the mobsters to get a hold of Big Daddy and Kick-Ass, so they’re able to burn the former to death and severely beat the latter.

#4: Rachel Keller
“The Ring” (2002)

A journalist whose niece dies after supposedly watching a cursed videotape, Rachel, like so many other horror movie characters, just can’t leave well enough alone. Instead of leaving the tape where it was or destroying it immediately, she watches it and ensures her death will occur in seven days. However, there is an exception to this “rule,” since Rachel is able to avoid death because she makes a copy of the tape at the request of her ex – who, on the other hand, is not so lucky. In this case, the hero can be excused somewhat, as the bizarre rules surrounding the arcane video ensure that its victims have to pass it on. Even so, we’re still not sure why she didn’t just destroy the copy she made.

#3: Marty McFly
“Back to the Future Part II” (1989)

While it was tempting to include Marty’s screw-ups from the first and third films, his actions in the second film affect more people. In “Back to the Future Part II,” Marty buys a sports almanac in the future, with the intention of using it to get rich by betting on the results of games that are as-yet-unplayed in his present of 1985. Luckily, Doc manages to talk some sense into him. Unluckily, the McFly family nemesis Biff Tannen was eavesdropping on the situation. Since Marty didn’t dispose of the almanac properly, Biff manages to deliver it to his past self, who becomes wealthy and ends up turning Hill Valley into a lawless wasteland in an alternate 1985. Of course, had Doc never invented the time machine in the first place, NONE of that would’ve ever happened…

#2: Ash Williams
“Army of Darkness” (1992)

When it comes to reluctant heroes, we’ve got to say “hail to the king, baby.” Ash Williams, fresh off his first encounters with the Evil Dead and thrown back in time, just wants to get back home. However, it’s this impatience, and his memory that cost him and plenty of others. When the critical moment comes for him to remove the evil book, the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, from its resting place, Ash forgets the last part of the incantation. Because of this, the titular army of darkness awakens and begins to march on humanity. The fact that the army is led by an evil doppelganger of his is also largely Ash’s fault. 

Before we reveal our top spot, here are a few honorable mentions:
Harry Potter
“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (2007)
Johnny Utah
“Point Break” (1991)
Indiana Jones
“Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981)
“Dragonheart” (1996)
Wreck-It Ralph
“Wreck-It Ralph” (2012)

#1: Joy
“Inside Out” (2015)

The personified emotion of happiness inside a young girl named Riley, Joy takes the lead, both inside Riley’s head and in the film. This is partly due to the pride she has that Riley’s defining memories are all happy. It’s this conceit that leads her to overreact to the actions of Sadness, as Joy is worried about Riley, as well as her own importance inside of her. If Joy had been more willing to accept Sadness as an essential part of Riley’s wellbeing earlier on, which she eventually does, she could have avoided much of the film’s conflict and her many struggles. Then again, it would have been far less emotionally fulfilling if she had…
Do you agree with our list? Which movie hero do you think made things worse? For more well-intentioned Top 10s posted daily, be sure to subscribe to 

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