What’s in a name? Well, if the mercilessness of the school playground is any indication, then a hell of a lot. Luckily for the 15 characters on this list, they never had to suffer through the horrors of name calling, but we’re changing all of that today.
- John Matrix (Arnold Schwarzenegger – Commando)
I would like for you to count on your hands how many people you know that have the last name of Matrix. Put your hand away. The answer is none. Nobody has Matrix as a last name, unless they’re an action figure (which Arnie kind of was). And remember, this was 14 years before the Wachowskis made the term cool. Back in 1985, “matrix” was most commonly sandwiched between the words “dot” and “printer”.
- Knox Overstreet (Josh Charles – Dead Poets Society)
With the recent passing of Robin Williams, many people will be rewatching his work, especially the 1988 classic Dead Poets Society. Unfortunately, alongside Williams’ brilliance they will also discover this character who sounds like he was named after a civil engineering company.
- Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law – The Talented Mr. Ripley)
I would like to think that when Patricia Highsmith wrote the book upon which Anthony Minghella’s film is based, she was stumped for a name for this character, when suddenly she spied an old Garden of Eden painting featuring a very modestly attired Adam, and went “Wait, a minute…”
- Marion Cobretti (Sylvester Stallone – Cobra)
For a movie that oozes rampant machismo from every pore, it was a rather strange choice to have the always macho Sylvester Stallone have a character name that makes you think of a sweet Italian grandmother.
- Jericho Crane (Arnold Schwarzenegger – End of Days)
Arnold is a master of the bad character name, and few are as clunky as this one. I understand the biblical reference, particular in the context of the story, but in the end this just sounds like the name of a type of midlands bird.
- Renesmee Cullen (Mackenzie Foy – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2)
Nobody is ever going to accuse Stephanie Meyer of being a fantastic author, but even diehard fans did double-takes when Bella and Edward decided to name their half-vampire daughter after what sounded like a luxury line of shampoos.
- Mutt Williams (Shia LaBeouf – Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull)
Dr Henry “Indiana” Jones Jr took his nickname from his dog, so naturally his estranged son is called Mutt. Of course.
- Pollux & Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage/John Travolta & Alessandro Nivola – Face/Off)
This one is a twofer or even a threefer, if you take in Face/Off‘s body swapping gimmick. No matter which way you come down on this arithmetically though, this pair of mythologically induced names (Pollux and Castor from Roman Mythology, and Troy from the Greeks) just sound rather dumb in a John Woo movie *COUGH*tequila*COUGH*
- Scut Farkus (Zack Ward – A Christmas Story)
It’s not enough to have possibly the most punchable smirk in movie history, you also need a name that sounds like slang for a particularly moist bout of flatulence.
- Igby Slocumb (Kieran Culkin – Igby Goes Down)
Having an older brother in real life who is a poster child for the downward spiral of poster children is bad enough. There’s no reason why you also need to get a character name that sounds like on-set instructions yelled out by a porn director.
- Dr Christmas Jones (Denise Richards –The World Is Not Enough)
This was a character given a ridiculous name purely so that James Bond could crack a rude joke in the film’s closing minutes. They weren’t even trying on this one. The “they” in this case, by the way, being Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, the same guys who just rewrote the script for the next Bond movie. Just FYI. Oh and did I mention that Denise Richards is a nuclear physicist in this movie? No really, she is.
- Cypher Raige (Will Smith – After Earth)
There are a lot of dumb things in M. Night Shyamalan’s 2012 sci-fi flick, but this one is by far the dumbest. Because, you see, he can control his emotions (like, say, his rage?), and how he did it was initially not very well understood (so, like a cypher?).
- Flipper Purify (Wesley Snipes – Jungle Fever)
I think Spike Lee was busy with a totally different type of joint when he dreamt up this one. It’s like Wesley Snipes’ character has one of those portmanteau-ish monikers where the mom and dad’s names are slammed together. Except in this case his parents were a dolphin and a religious zealot rapper.
- Steven Seagal
No that’s not an editorial mistake in that heading. I did not forget to include the character names and movie titles. It’s just that Steven Seagal has seemingly made a career out of nom de plumes that are more nom de poo, if you you know what I mean. So go ahead and pick your favourite from this list of plonkers: Jonathan Cold, Casey Ryback, Orin Boyd, Paulie Trunks, Tao, Gino Felino, Sasha Petrosevitch, Frank Glass, Billy Ray Lancing, Mason Storm, and my personal fave, Forrest Taft.
- Most of the cast of all 3 Expendables movies
Yes, this one is a franchise collaborative effort, but that’s what it takes to beat out Mr Segal. So let me just list all the members in this tag team of terrible titles: Lee Christmas, Yin Yang, Gunner Jensen, Church, Trench Mauser, Toll Road, Hale Caesar, Jean Vilain (because it’s JEAN Claude Van Damme playing the VILLAIN!), Billy the Kid, Doctor Death, Bonaparte, John Smilee, Mars, Conrad Stonebanks… Do I need to go on?
Last Updated: August 14, 2014
August 14, 2014 at 12:11
August 14, 2014 at 12:22
Nah man! There is method to the Expendables madness:
1. They are a bunch of mercenaries. So real names (even in their own little clubhouse) would be a no no. You never know whose listening.
2. Say what you want. Call ’em D-list actors and what not, but the fact is, most of these guys are epic MEN. Not pretty little boys like that snot nosed kid that played Edward Cullen. They deserve epic names. They REQUIRE Bad-Ass names. Getting stabbed by a guy called Gunner Jensen wielding a knife that is two centimetres short of being called a sword sounds so much better than getting stabbed by a man called Neo or Morpheus or Bruce Wayne…