Many different branches of military and several different military’s around the world have been featured in films. Even flicks like Avatar and Starship Troopers where futuristic military’s have been made up. Some have been funny like Sgt. Bilko and some intense like Sgt. Foley. Hopefully this is a fun and diverse enough list for you, if not I’m sure you’ll add any that I forgot or haven’t seen myself.
HONORABLE MENTION: CASEY RYBACK
Branch: Navy Seal
There is a reason some of us still regard the overweight Steven Seagal as an ultimate badass. In his earlier career his uber long stares and deep breath’s of discontent with his opponent were pretty cool, not to mention he actually kicked some serious ass back then. Under Siege is likely my favorite Seagal flick and a fun role as a Navy Seal kicking some arse.
Branch: Naval Aviator
In Top Gun Tom Cruise brings sexy and swag to the military as this naval aviator who likes to live dangerously…. dangerously in the 80′s. We still love Mav and all his exaggerated bravado.
9. SFC WILLIAM JAMES
Branch: American Explosive Ordinance Disposal Squad (EOD)
Jeremy Renner playing the insane bomb specialist SFC William James. One of my favorite male performances of the year and the mystery of his character resonated as profoundly tempting. There is very little unveiled about James, yet the layers of depth and the small bits and pieces of emotion given through subtle details by Renner made this performance ridiculously understated. The overall film was without question incredible, but the enigma of James made it worth it.
8. SGT. APONE
Branch: Colonial Marines
If you need ask he’ll make you yell that you’re marines and absolutely bad asses. In Aliens Sarge makes his exit in the first act but not without finely imprinting his toughness before the demise. Also makes smoking a cigar look fucking cool.
7. JOHN RAMBO
Branch: Special Forces (Green Berets)
Stallone even comes back nearly 30 years later makes this character bad ass as ever. This guy is more wicked with a bow and arrow than most men are with guns, and while disturbed by his past and duties, he is truly an enigmatic military character.
6. COL. HANS LANDA
Christoph Waltz was certainly not a good guy, but he was a feared military bad man nonetheless. Landa was cold blooded tactical and maniacal killer with the most impeccable manners. As vicious as he was it was amazing each time he entered the screen. An opportunist to his final moment never showing an ounce of humanity or fear, he is a villain you love to hate and made Inglorious Basterds an unforgettable film.
5. JORDAN ONEIL
Branch: U.S. Navy SEAL
A bit self righteous for it’s own good at times and unfortunately wavering from some of the action that many of us craved G.I. Jane wasn’t the greatest military flick of all time, but Demi Moore’s character Jordan Oneil was as tough as they come and her tale of surviving SEAL training, considering the most difficult in the military world, her character was no joke, and if you think it was, you better suck her dick.
5. CAPTAIN STEVEN HILER
Branch: Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornets Pilot
Hiler wasn’t just your run of the mill pilot that kicked ass when ass kicking became pertinent for the survival of humanity, he took it as a personal insult and started busting those ugly aliens asses and eventually brought that ass kicking to the mother ship where shit got real.
3. GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON
Branch: U.S. Army
One of my favorite War epics with George C. Scott, and one of my dads favorite flicks ever. George S. Patton is played by George C. Scott in one of the best performances of all time. Wars have been shown threw the eyes of soldiers, the enemies, and the people, but seldom an interpretation through the general that had a huge part in the failure or success of that war, and Patton while hated by some and revered by others is one of the most compelling Generals in our history.
Branch: Delta Force
There were some serious stand out roles in Black Hawk Down, in particularly Eric Bana’s portrayal of “Hoot”, the man from Delta Force that just kept going. His low key attitude towards the situation at hand separated him from a man who was there trying to fulfill his mission, to what I call a real modern warrior. He didn’t love what he did, but he did it because it was necessary.
1. Colonel Nathan Jessup
It’s no secret I’m fully enamored with good ole jack in this role. You expect Marines to be tough, so one expects a Marine Colonel to be as tough as a human can possibly be. Jack Nicholson as Col. Nathan Jessup personified that Marine ideal to a point so tough and powerful, you may find yourself bleeding from biting your lip so hard in anticipation of what he would say or do next. Jessup is only in the film for a few brief scenes, but they are the scenes that make this movie so remarkable. Adapted from play, the final courtroom scene with Jessup is easily in my top ten moments in film history.