2021 may only barely be half over, but the year has certainly delivered its fair share of great movies and, more to the point, compelling characters who audiences couldn’t stop talking about.
From unexpected show-stealers in glossy reboots to entirely original creations in promising new movie IP, to the surprise comic relief we all needed, these 10 characters charmed the hell out of audiences and left them clamouring for their returning presence in a sequel.
While some of these films will absolutely be one-offs, many of them have already had sequels mercifully confirmed, and others have laid a fertile enough foundation that a sequel could be on the cards if the audience support is there.
For the most hilarious, badass, and creative characters from the first six months of the year, look no further than this lot, whether heroes, villains, or somewhere in-between.
But before we begin, it’s worth knowing that this list is generally concerned with new movie characters – or, at least, brand new interpretations of classic characters – so don’t expect to see any returning heroes or villains featured here…
Whether you vibed with the new Mortal Kombat movie or not, it’s tough to argue with the unexpected show-stealer that was Kano (Josh Lawson), who far more than any other “kombatant” in the movie commanded the screen every time he was on it.
A much-needed comedic ballast compared to his more self-serious comrades, Kano drops riotously inappropriate one-liners with the best of them while being an insanely badass fighter.
What he lacks in strategic intelligence he more than compensates for with his self-aware quips – best of all, asking Liu Kang (Ludi Lin) if the leg-sweep is the only move he knows – and savage brutality.
It’s a fine example of an actor who is clearly having a blast with a role and allowing that sense of fun to transpire through to the audience. It’s just a shame the movie as a whole didn’t strike quite the same tone.
Though Kano “dies” at the hands of Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee), it seems highly likely he’ll get magicked back to life somehow if a sequel does indeed materialise.