• Total Nerd

14 Redshirts In Action Movies Who Help The Heroes And Then Quickly Die

List RulesVote up the side characters you knew were doomed all along.

Minor movie character deaths can be so much more affecting than audiences expect, especially if the characters go out helping the heroes save the day. Redshirts, those side characters who are marked for death before the first act is even finished, tend to be get bounced out of a movie with neither pomp nor circumstance, but in some cases, even the demises of these foot soldiers can be important.

You can slice action films into as many subgenres as you want, but they all have one thing in common: redshirts. If there's some kind of skirmish in whatever movie you're watching, you can guarantee that some character with one or two lines is going to bite the big one at a climactic moment.

None of the redshirts here are major characters, even if they're played by well-known actors (hello, Hudson and Agent Coulson), but they all make an impact with their deaths that audiences are still talking about to this day.

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    Hudson, 'Aliens'

    In a film filled with redshirts, Hudson stands out above the rest. He's not the bravest space marine stranded on LV-426, but he's the one everyone in the audience can identify with. Aside from being the guy in the horror/action/science-fiction movie who says what everyone's thinking, he's also so close to leaving the service that you want him to escape so he can just go home and get some R&R.

    As far as redshirts go, Hudson holds out for longer than you'd think. He survives the first wave of Xenomorphs, only to be dragged through a grate in the floor by one of the bugs he's been hunting. The creatures cut the power to the base before dragging him through a grate in the floor in one big, brutal flash as he stands his ground against the bugs he's been so afraid of. Hudson may be kind of annoying, but after spending an hour and a half with him, it's hard to see him go. When you think about it, that's really the best thing you can say about a redshirt.

    Never had a chance?
  • Neo may be the One, but Mouse is the character in The Matrix that everyone can identify with. He may be fighting against the machines that have trapped humans in a prison of their own making, but he's also fascinated with the possibilities offered by the technology of the Matrix itself. In some of his earliest conversations with Neo aboard the Nebuchadnezzar, he's open about his belief that humans are meant to explore everything possible, including the world inside the simulation.

    After Cypher betrays Neo and the rest of his crew, Mouse is the first person to feel the wrath of the agents. In the middle of a routine trip into the Matrix to see the Oracle, the gang gets ambushed by a SWAT team and all of their exits are cut off. Mouse does his best to hold off their pursuers while wielding twin double-barreled shotguns, but it's no use. It's a heartbreaking end for such a sweet side character.

    Never had a chance?
  • It doesn't matter if audiences around the world love him, Agent Coulson might as well be wearing a big ol' red poncho in every frame of The Avengers. As Nick Fury's right-hand man, Coulson not only helped put Earth's mightiest heroes together, but he was their biggest fan throughout their conception.

    His love of the Avengers is what makes his demise on the Helicarrier at the hands of Loki so upsetting. As much of a bummer as it is to watch Coulson go down, he gets a genuine fist-pumping moment when he blasts Loki through a wall with a destroyer gun just before passing in Fury's arms. Of all the redshirts in modern action movies, Coulson may be the one audiences were most connected with. That's probably why it didn't take long for the MCU to bring him back through some kind of experimental MacGuffin in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

    Never had a chance?
  • Hagen is one of the many barbarians who have been captured and forced to fight under the tutelage of Proximo, but Hagen is given the job of testing a slave's fighting ability. It's not a job he relishes, but he does it because he literally has to, with death as the only other option.

    After meeting Maximus, Hagen is inspired to join up with the leader's gladiator army to fight againt the tyrannical Commodus. He fights bravely against Commodus's men until getting barraged with arrows and falling down in the dirt. His demise gives Maximus time to escape and rendezvous with his former servant, Cicero. It's one of the most rad redshirt moments in cinema history.

    Never had a chance?