Let none of you Screened Pups come in with any soon-to-be-dashed expectations--RoboCop ain't on this list. Everybody and their uncle would expect that, so where would the fun be in it? See, most times when you've got a tough guy in you're sci-fi thriller, he's either going to be a vigilante, a lawman or some cocktail of the two. Of course, even if he is a badge-bearer, you won't always find a guarantee that he'll be a good guy or a bad one... and that's part of the game, isn't it? Without further ado, let's count down some of the coolest lawmen who're packing something much more powerful than the usual billy club and standard issue revolver.
Eyes of the hawk. Ears of the wolf. Strength of the bear. Speed of the puma. Those of who you know, know that this man is the unsung hero of the 80s. Those of you don't know already, will never, ever understand.
5. “Kevin” Ka-Kui from Supercop
Yeah, yeah… Police Story 3: Super Cop isn’t labeled a science fiction film. Whatever. I insist on believing that every character Jackie Chan has ever played is supernaturally empowered, because there's no way a regular guy could pull off all that acrobatic “wire fu” without some added mojo helping him. Think of this as the HK crime cinema equivalent of spotting a pro baller who’s doping.
4. William J. Johns from Pitch Black
Granted, one of the several great character surprises that Pitch Black offers later in the game concerns Johns not being quite the "do-right lawman" he seems to be. If we’ve learned anything from Dog Chapman, though, it’s that there’s only a few degrees of legality separating a legit police officer from a rule-breaking bounty hunter. You all know how much of a mark I am for the Chronicles of Riddick, so I’ve got great fondness for this drug-addled hardcase. His escalating back-and-forth with the most dangerous killer in the galaxy is some priceless fun.
If only he’d ghosted him when he had the chance, though.
3. Max Walker from Timecop
Mention JCVD and perhaps you’ll think of Bloodsport, Universal Soldier or Hard Target, but it’s Timecop that’s actually his biggest role ever. Go on and check out Box Office Mojo. This one’s the big money maker. I put Walker on here in consideration for what goes through the head of a time criminal when he’s about to be booked for crimes of chronology. Put yourself in his shoes. You’ve successfully beat the system. You’re back in the 1920s and you’re using your fancy future knowledge to exploit the market for all its worth. Then the fuzz shows up at your door--a Belgian all-American with a curly mullet and a habit of doing the splits in his underwear. Of all the men in the space-time continuum, this is the one who's going to kick your ass for all the bad you've done.
2. The Operative from Serenity
Chiwetel Ejiofor is an outrageously underappreciated actor and, as much I loved his turn in Red Belt, this is my favorite role of his, hands down. Whedon couldn’t have said it any better when he described this relentless pursuer of the Serenity as “the gentlest, kindest, most thoughtful person who ever killed a bunch of people.” For an archetype that’s filled with so many venom-spewing pug dogs and coldly-disaffected snakes, there’s something positively chilling about a dangerous heel with the polite demeanor of a guidance counselor and the alarming self-awareness of a proud porn addict.
1. Joe Dredd from Judge Dredd
Even if I did put Officer Murphy on this list, I’d still rank Dredd higher. “But why?!?!” you Screened pups shriek. "RoboCop is so beloved while that Stallone movie is reviled". Normally, I try to treat these Screened features as if they exist in some parallel universe where comics don’t exist so I'll avoid too much wire-crossing throughout these Whiskey sites. I’ll break that conceit today and put Judge Dredd, the comic book character, on top here because he’s the most unrelenting badass of them all. That's regardless of how this reboot with Karl Urban shakes out; it's even regardless of how the writers' tongues are planted in their cheeks for most of his stories. And get this--RoboCop was inspired by Dredd. That’s reason enough to lay off the “Stay out of trouble” today and instead roar a resounding “I AM THE LAW!”