Maximus Decimus Meridius
Russell Crowe, "Gladiator"
After leading his men to victory against an army of German barbarians, the last thing Maximus was ever expecting was a demotion, let alone an attempt on his life. True, the tough-as-nails general managed to elude his would-be murderers, but his wife and son weren’t so lucky, so you can understand why he’s feeling a little vengeful around childhood pal Commodus, who masterminded the whole betrayal. Still, Maximus wasn’t the emperor’s go-to guy for nothing. His leadership skills in the ring are legendary (without him, the rest of those gladiators were toast against the Roman legion), and his work with a rusty blade tends to result in a bloody good time. Tragic hero? Maybe. Absolute badass? You bet.
Definitive badass moment:
Going up against Rome’s undefeated champion obviously isn’t challenge enough, as Maximus is also forced to ward off a pack of bloodthirsty tigers at the same time.
Classic badass line: “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”
Occupation: General turned gladiator
Strengths: Deadly with a sword, a master strategist
Weaknesses: Lets his emotions get in the way
Bracket History: Defeated #7 Sonny Corleone in round 3, 82%-18% / Defeated #15 James Dalton in round 1, 89%-11%
Conan the Barbarian
Arnold Schwarzenegger, "Conan the Barbarian"
Conan isn’t the only movie character to ever have his parents slayed and village burned right before his very eyes, but the fact that his mother was beheaded while still holding his hand definitely explains why he’s so hell-bent on destroying anything and everything that stands in his way. Not unlike fellow contestant Maximus, Conan the Barbarian was also sold into slavery and transformed into a powerful gladiator, but while the former’s search for revenge ultimately ended in his death, Conan destroys the evil Thusla Doom and lives to tell about it in another adventure. Oh yeah, and he gets the girl, too.
Definitive badass moment:
Sensing that the end of the movie was near, Conan decapitates Doom in front of his loyal supporters, thus killing his longtime enemy and disbanding the wicked Snake Cult in one fell swoop of the sword.
Classic badass line: “Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, and why we died. All that matters is that today, two stood against many. Valor pleases you Crom, so grant me this one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then the hell with you!”
Strengths: Arms the size of oil barrels and a broadsword as big as a tree trunk
Weaknesses: Big and slow, he’s an easy target
Bracket History: Defeated #3 Hannibal Lecter in round 3, 52%-48% / Defeated #11 Casey Ryback in round 1, 76%-24%