6 Heroes Weaknesses That Proved To Be Their Downfall
Any high school English student can tell you about the concept of a hero's weakness - that one tragic flaw that leads the hero to his inevitable fate. Hamlet had indecisiveness, Macbeth had ambition, Nixon had jowls. And these six movie heroes have these six complementary weaknesses. Collect them all!
Larry Talbot, Lycanthropy, "The Wolf Man"
OK, so as tragic flaws go, turning into a wolf-man in the light of the full moon isn't exactly universal. In fact, it's pretty much restricted to werewolves and Larry here, the iconic protagonist of the Universal "Wolf Man" movies. All Talbot wants to do is die so the curse can be lifted, but Wolf Men are famously hard to kill, especially when there are sequels involved. Plus, without a silver mine nearby, those regular bullets don't do much besides piss the Wolf Man off. Got to have those precious metals!
Charles Foster Kane, Egomania, "Citizen Kane"
Orson Welles' famous citizen might have too many flaws for just one to be the tragic One, but most of them stem from his rampant self-absorption. Which, if you think about it, isn't terribly unlike Orson Welles himself. He spent his whole life looking for love and never finding it, because he only wanted "love on his own terms" as one character puts it. Who cares though, he was rich, right? Wrong. Did you even watch the movie?
Ethan Edwards, Violence, "The Searchers"
Sometimes, particularly in times of trouble, it's your fatal flaw that makes you of value to people in the first place, and once you've served your purpose, there's no place for you to go. That's the general idea of "The Searchers," in which John Wayne's Edwards is brought in to rescue his niece from some particularly nasty Comanches. He does it, but he remains alienated from his family and friends because of his violent nature. Oh, and the racism probably didn't help either.
Batman, Obsession With Vengeance, "Batman"
This goes for pretty much every serious big-screen depiction of the Caped Crusader, which tends to emphasize his psychological torment over avenging his parents' death. The bottom line is that even though he has all these gadgets and cool hangouts, it isn't much fun being Batman. And before you say he doesn't have a downfall, consider this: There's always a new psycho for him to take down. No escape for Batman. Poor Batman.
Steve Zissou, Revenge, "The Life Aquatic"
Bill Murray's Steve Zissou isn't interested in science as much as he is in revenge. Namely, he wants to hunt down the giant jaguar shark that killed his friend Esteban. He's also not much of a hero, but he's the main character here, so dammit, it counts. His quest for vengeance tends to overshadow the other aspects of his life, such as his probable son played by Owen Wilson and his friend/rival played by Jeff Goldblum.
Walt Kowalski, Being Old, "Gran Torino"
Clint Eastwood's loveably cranky hero in "Gran Torino" has his share of problems. He's poor, racist, living in a terrible neighborhood, and is kind of an a-hole. But the thing that ends up doing him in is his advanced age - just too long for this world, apparently. Or at least, it would if he didn't take it upon himself to make the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good. Sometimes a fatal flaw can bring out the best in you.