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.