19 Movie Characters Who Are (Almost) Impossible To Kill
All movie characters need obstacles to overcome or trials to endure, and sometimes that means getting put through the wringer and taking a lot of punishment. However, in some cases, characters prove they aren't just tough - they are basically immortal. This isn't something that only happens with supernaturally immortal slasher monsters or unnaturally impervious superheroes, either. A lot of films have totally ordinary mortals who prove to be extraordinarily death-proof.
While it seems to be most common among action movie heroes - because you can't have a franchise without a durable protagonist - the trope of the virtually indestructible character spans all genres, from drama to comedy to sci-fi horror. Whether it's for comedic effect - like Red from Pineapple Express - or a byproduct of being around for such a long time and part of so many films (like everyone's favorite martini-drinking British spy), being functionally unkillable adds a unique dynamic to the character's entire existence. Vote up your favorite indestructible characters.
- 1449 VOTESPhoto: John Wick / Lionsgate
This assassin who has come out of retirement, played by Keanu Reeves, is a virtual killing machine who can mow down entire squads of mercenaries with quick tactical maneuvers and almost impossible headshot combos. In some cases, being impossible to kill means taking insane amounts of damage and shrugging it off - which Wick also manages to do - but sometimes it simply means being an unstoppable force of nature who can take on as many adversaries as are thrown at them.
During the course of the first three films in the John Wick franchise, the eponymous hitman kills a combined total of over 299 people on screen through a blend of handgun artistry, machine gun skill, hand-to-hand combat, and creative explosions. Oh, and horses.
- 2410 VOTESPhoto: Dr. No / United Artists
With an onscreen career spanning over 26 films in total - including two non-canonical productions - James Bond is unkillable both onscreen and in terms of being an intellectual property cash cow. Throughout his long career as a secret agent, Bond is faced with numerous injuries, traps, and logic-defying circumstances that should have rendered him a goner, but only left him inconvenienced. In Skyfall, Bond (Daniel Craig) gets shot with a high-velocity sniper rifle that knocks him off a moving train and sends him falling a hundred feet into a river - and that's at the start of the movie!
Over the course of the record-setting franchise, he gets poisoned, he gets his manhood bludgeoned, and the sinister Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) literally drills into his skull. In Goldfinger, the villainous Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe) ties Bond (Sean Connery) spread eagle to a metal table and attempts to cut him in half, slowly, with a laser. In Die Another Day, a bearded Bond (Pierce Brosnan) flatlines his own heart and restarts it using just his will power and a lot of suspension of disbelief. Point is, when you've been battling insane maniacs hellbent on world domination since 1962, you're going to need to be pretty indestructible.
Now, skeptics might counter by pointing out that Bond did, in fact, kick the bucket at the end of No Time to Die, closing out Daniel Craig's run as the character without any possibility of a reprisal. Then again, Bond producers followed that death up by getting to work, as usual, on the process of casting the next James Bond. And what is that if not resurrection? The point stands.
- 3360 VOTESPhoto: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom / Paramount Pictures
The world's introduction to Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) set the stage for his whole shtick, which is surviving impossible odds. The beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark sees the iconic history professor turned tomb desecrator nabbing ancient relics while dodging poison blow darts, spike pits, and a huge, hurtling boulder that nearly crushes him (a trap that makes very little sense from either practical, engineering, or reusability standpoints).
Over the course of his adventures, Jones escapes from a viper-filled chamber, jumps out of a plane on an inflatable raft, defeats hundreds of Nazis, survives the literal magical wrath of God, fights more Nazis, and outsmarts the traps protecting the Holy Grail. And that was all decades before a much older, disappointing Indiana Jones survives a nuclear explosion by hiding inside a lead-lined refrigerator in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
- Photo: Cinema 5
While the Black Knight (John Cleese) only makes a brief appearance in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, his entire existence in the classic comedy is predicated on his stubborn refusal to perish. When King Arthur (Graham Chapman) is traveling through the woods, he attempts to cross a comically small bridge over a stream, which is guarded, for some reason, by the mighty Black Knight, who refuses to let Arthur pass. Arthur reluctantly agrees to duel the Black Knight for the right to cross the bridge, and the fight has only just begun when Arthur cuts the knight's arm clean off his body.
The Black Knight, however, says it is "but a scratch," refuses to even acknowledge the seriousness of a missing limb, and continues the duel, all to Arthur's disgust and utter bafflement. The skirmish continues, leading Arthur to sever his other arm, which he naturally assumes means he's won the fight - except the Black Knight, hemorrhaging blood, decides to just start kicking Arthur instead of giving up. Eventually, both his legs are cut off, as well, and the Black Knight is left as just a torso and a head, screaming at Arthur to come back and fight like a man, and threatening to bite his legs off.
- 5305 VOTESPhoto: Kill Bill Vol. 1 / Miramax Films
Beatrix "The Bride" Kiddo (Uma Thurman) is a revenge-driven super assassin trained by the greatest martial arts master and honed into a weapon of destruction. In the Kill Bill saga, the Bride is unkillable in many ways, but most notable is that she takes a handgun blast to the head, at point-blank range, and survives.
After suddenly snapping out of a coma, she seeks retribution, which leads to a journey in which she wins a swordfight against the Crazy 88, gets a shotgun blast (albeit filled with rock salt) to the chest, gets buried alive and punches her way out, and finally gets paralyzed by a tranquilizer dart and still manages to mark off everyone on her hit list. It only goes to show you that you don't betray someone who is a bottomless well of vengeance-fueled rage.
- Photo: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest / Buena Vista Pictures
The charismatic, rum-loving pirate Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise built his reputation on escaping death by the skin of his teeth. Apart from the tales told of him being marooned on an island and training sea turtles to carry him to safety, we also see him escape the gallows at the last moment, fight off a horde of undead buccaneers, and literally face off against a giant Kraken with only his sword.
This actually does lead to him perishing, and ending up in a surreal limbo from which he is eventually rescued. So even when he does expire, he doesn't. He outwits cannibals, magic sorceresses, and the squid-faced Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), all through what seems like supernaturally powerful dumb luck and half-drunken charm. In the end, it took Depp's real-life messy divorce and a lot of courtroom drama to finally end the popular pirate's reign.