Get Tickets to see Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga and witness her rise.

Iconic Movie Protectors

August 16th, 2023Iconic Movie Protectors

THE EQUALIZER 3 opens September 1st

Throughout the course of cinematic history, we have been introduced to all kinds of iconic movie protectors, those heroes who rose to the occasion to guide others through difficult and dangerous situations and didn’t think twice about putting their own lives on the line. Though not always the prototypical hero, these characters — and their actions — are more than deserving of praise.

Ahead of the release of THE EQUALIZER 3, which will see the return of Denzel Washington’s Robert McCall at an AMC Theatres location near you, we thought it would be a fun idea to break down some of the most legendary protectors who have done everything in their power to save the day or see a task through. The following list includes iconic sci-fi leads, dystopian heroines and some of the best overall characters to ever grace the silver screen.

Robert McCall - The Equalizer

When Antoine Fuqua’s THE EQUALIZER 3 arrives in theatres in September, we’ll see Robert McCall protect the community he calls home from the Sicilian Mafia, a criminal element that puts a quick end to his much-needed retirement. This isn’t the first time the former Defense Intelligence Agency operative has put himself in harm’s way to protect those he cares about.

In the first two EQUALIZER movies, McCall did everything from protect a teenage sex worker from sadistic members of the Russian Mafia to traveling across the globe to helping reunite a mother and child after the young girl was kidnapped by her abusive father and standing up for those who couldn’t face menacing threats on their own.

T-800 - Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Arnold Schwarzenegger will forever go down in history as one of the most iconic action stars, and a lot of that has to do with his role in James Cameron’s 1991 blockbuster, TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY. Unlike its predecessor, which saw Schwarzenegger take on the role of a cybernetic assassin sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), the sequel sees the actor play a reprogrammed T-800 model whose objective is instead to protect John Connor (Edward Furlong) from an even deadlier and more advanced Terminator.

T-800 becomes the father figure the young John never had, doing everything in his power to see that T-1000 (Robert Patrick) doesn’t complete its mission. He’s not human, and he can’t feel love, but there’s no denying the retooled Terminator’s bond with John is humanity’s best shot at survival.

Ellen Ripley - Aliens

After being trapped in stasis and floating in space for nearly 60 years after the Nostromo incident, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) discovers that not only did she miss out on most of her daughter’s life, her child has also since passed away during the years she’s been gone. However, Ripley gets a second shot at motherhood in James Cameron’s ALIENS when she travels with a group of Colonial Marines to LV-426 to investigate the mysterious disappearance of an entire colony.

Back on the planet where her story with the Xenomorph first started decades earlier, Ellen comes in contact with a young girl named Newt (Rebecca Henn), whom she protects until they can escape the doomed colony, defeat the alien queen and get to safety. This proves to be no easy task, but the fearless protector is more than up to the challenge.

Man (Viggo Mortensen) - The Road

In terms of post-apocalyptic thrillers about a father and child walking through the American landscape in hopes of finding a better tomorrow, few, if any, compare to John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s bleak survival story, THE ROAD. The movie, which follows a man (Viggo Mortensen) and his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) as they attempt to survive in the fallout of an unspecified catastrophe, features one of the darkest yet most hopeful stories on this list.

Mortensen’s character is cold, closed-off and exhausted to his core, but everything he does is to ensure that at least his son is able to survive the barren and ash-coated wasteland. He’s not happy and doesn’t tell jokes, but he protects, no matter what it takes.

Furiosa - Mad Max: Fury Road

Though Max Rockatansky’s (Tom Hardy) name is in the movie’s title, the real hero of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a deadly and dedicated protector for a group of women fleeing their husband and captor, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). George Miller’s high-octane and chrome-fueled action spectacle is full of unforgettable characters and action sequences that are just as beloved nearly a decade later, but it’s Furiosa who we can’t stop thinking about.

She’s tough, has an incredible backstory, doesn’t give in to anything or anyone and puts it all on the line to protect those in her party. That being said, it should come as no surprise that the character will soon get the prequel treatment in Miller’s FURIOSA.

Alan Grant - Jurassic Park

Alan Grant (Sam Neill) starts his journey in JURASSIC PARK as an ultra-serious paleontologist who isn’t too fond of the modern world or children. In fact, the character gives off the vibe that he’s entirely opposed to the idea of children. That all changes over the course of Steven Spielberg’s 1993 classic, as he becomes the protector of Lex (Ariana Richards) and Tim Murphy (Joseph Mazzello) after they are stranded in the middle of the offline dinosaur park.

Pulling Timmy from a Ford Explorer high up in a tree, ensuring the children get a night’s rest after nearly being eaten by a T-Rex and making sure they not only make it back to the Visitors Center but off the island are just some of Dr. Grant’s heroics in his transformative story.

Each of these iconic movie protectors did something to become a hero in their own unique way. Though we don’t know when or if we’ll get to see some of them in the future, it will be a completely different story for Robert McCall when THE EQUALIZER 3 comes to an AMC Theatres location near you in September.

 THE EQUALIZER 3 opens September 1st

Get Tickets to Titles in this Article