Like finding a small turd in a box of chocolates, an irritating movie character can make something pleasurable instantly sickening – a once enjoyable experience ruined by a performance so excruciating you’ll likely chew your fist off if they stay on screen a second longer. Most of the characters on this list find their place by being spectacularly misjudged when taken as a whole against the movie, some are here for failing to be in any way likeable, while one or two show that racism is alive and well in LALA land.
So without further ado, our turds in chocolates. Or, in the case of Transformers 2, a turd amongst turds.
Anakin Skywalker (The Phantom Menace, 1999)
While everyone else on the face of the Earth would plump for Jar Jar Binks we’ve instead opted for little Annie. While the floppy-eared twat faced the biggest brunt of the fan backlash, time, prescription medication and an Avid suite have all made it possible to cuts Binks out of memory. No such luck with baby Vader. Either crying “Yippee!” or throwing his ‘saber out of the pram, Jake Lloyd’s Tatooine tot is as irritating a movie child as there is. Episode II proved age didn’t help.
The Twins (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, 2009)
Wow. Just wow. But also, how? How did one of the biggest films of the year get released with two such offensive stereotypes? Not since The Birth Of A Nation has cinema had to apologise for such a gross misjudgement. As an extra insult as ‘The Twins’ were voiced by this guy. Probably the whitest man in the world.
Mater (Cars, Cars 2, 2006, 2011)
As prejudiced against the South as The Twins are against ‘Ghetto’ culture, Mater manages to bring down the unbeatable Pixar. A running streak of 10 great films was interrupted by the first Cars but absolutely decimated by its sequel. Much of the blame lays squarely on Larry the Cable Guy’s broad bonnet.
Mary Corleone (The Godfather Part III, 1990)
We couldn’t find a clip of Sofia Coppola’s bland turn as Mary Corleone on YouTube. We’re guessing that’s because even a website famous for showing people getting hit in the balls with stuff would find it degrading to repeat that performance. So here’s some ace Pacino instead. If anything it proves that III (to give it the correct Sopranos vernacular) could have been a much better film if we gave a single solitary shit about the boss’ daughter and her fate.
Robbie Weaver (Crazy, Stupid, Love , 2011 )
I have Crazy, Stupid, Hate for the child in this year’s reasonably entertaining rom-com. So much hate he’s the most recent character to appear in the list. Nauseatingly ‘grown-up’ (read: talks like the screenwriter) every time Steve Carell’s pre-pubescent proto-prick opens his mouth you’ll find yourself wanting to crush his larynx with your boot. As clear an argument for smacking children as we’ve ever seen.
Mr. Yunioshi (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961)
More classic Hollywood racism.
Ruby Rhod (The Fifth Element, 1997)
In some ways Chris Tucker deserves an Oscar for his work as the most irritating DJ since Chris Moyles. On paper he’s supposed to be a screaming, squeaking, squealing, squawking motor-mouth and on screen he’s every bit as awful as written. So really, everybody involved has done a great job. Except Luc Besson who wrote the part. God knows why.
Which characters really ruin films for you?