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John Preston (Christian Bale)
- The Ace: Considered this amongst clerics in combat as well as his ability to find hidden emotional content. Not so much in his ability to actually realise people are feeling though.
- Badass Longcoat: The Grammaton Cleric's standard combat outfit is a longcoat.
- First Time Feeling: Hits him hard, not least because, at the time, he's found and is listening to an old vinyl album of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, one of the most tremendously moving pieces of music ever produced by the human species. Even the script describes this introduction to human emotion as 'unfair'. (But it does a lot to explain his subsequent actions.)
- Guns Akimbo: He almost always wields two guns simultaneously.
- The Gunslinger: He's an absolute expert in armed combat and the most lethal gun-wielding character in the film.
- Man in White: In the climax he's clad in a completely white cleric's ceremonial uniform.
- Offhand Backhand: Pretty much any shot Preston makes falls under this trope, since Gun Kata eliminates the need to actually aim.
- The Only Believer: Events of the film show that no other characters in the film who are involved with the regime (with the possible exception of the mooks) actually believe in the propaganda. Partridge has come to reject the philosophy of Libria and quietly rebels against it, Brandt and DuPont are hypocrites who don't take Prozium themselves and have selfish motivations for running the state, and others like Preston's son aren't truly taking Prozium or killing their emotions, they're just pretending to so that they are left alone by the state.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He goes on a rampage after DuPont reveals his deceit, slaughtering dozens of minions in the hallways. Minus the "roaring" part, as gunkata requires emotional control.
- Showy Invincible Hero: The director finds it boring when the villain "gets a few good licks in" on the hero because he has no intention of subverting audience expectations with a Bad Guy Wins ending, and thus, there's no point in making it seem like the villain has an advantage at all when the result is a foregone conclusion. He does acknowledge that not everyone likes this approach. And yet, for all Preston's physical invincibility, he turns out to be incredibly emotionally vulnerable.
- The Stoic: After starting as one, he quickly turns Not So Stoic as he struggles with having and hiding emotions. He even suffers a Heroic B.S.O.D., but becomes The Stoic again before the final battle.
- Tranquil Fury: Four words: "No. Not without incident."
- Unwitting Pawn: For DuPont and Brandt, who manipulated Preston into delivering the Resistance and himself to them after becoming a sense offender.
Mary O' Brien (Emily Watson)
- Murder by Cremation: She's killed as a sense offender by being burned alive in the Hall of Justice's cremation chambers.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: She has rather distinctive blue eyes and fully embraces her emotions.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one (with a dose of What the Hell, Hero?) to Preston during her interrogation.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Witnessing her death provides Preston with the impetus to take down the government. Could also be read as Stuffed in the Fridge since she's basically the only female character in the movie...this movie does not pass the Bechdel Test.
Andrew Brandt (Taye Diggs)
- Badass Longcoat: Like all Grammaton clerics, this is his signature outfit, doing all his gun kata fights in them.
- Bald of Evil: He's skull is clean shaven.
- Bodyguarding a Badass: In the final fight, he guards DuPont even though it is clear after Preston cuts off his face that DuPont is a master at Gun Kata.
- Diagonal Cut: How he died, with the front of his skull sliced off by Preston's katana.
- The Dragon: He's in fact Vice Council DuPont's most trusted lieutenant and like his master, is also not using Prozium.
- Large Ham: Slips into this right after he catches Preston, going on a loud tirade that he's found the infiltrator within the clerical order.
- Slasher Smile: He has a big smile while summarily executing sense offenders. This is used to foreshadow that he's off his meds.
- Straw Hypocrite: Both DuPont and Brandt are off prozium, but they advocate the prosecution and execution of all sense offenders with fanatic zeal.
- Tear Off Your Face: Preston kills him by slicing his face off with a katana.
Errol Partridge (Sean Bean)
- Cultured Badass: Reads and quotes from William Butler Yeats' Poem 'Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven'.
- Decoy Protagonist: At first it seems like he would be the hero of the story.
DuPont (Angus Macfadyen)
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He's one of the greatest masters of gun kata. He puts up much more of a fight in the climax than his Dragon, Brandt, does.
- Big Bad: He's the real leader of the Libria police state, with Father's image being nothing more than a political tool after he died.
- Dragon-in-Chief: The de facto decision maker as Father is too old for much of the work required in running their dictatorship. In actuality, he's the real leader as Father is long dead.
- Evil Brit: If his accent is any indication.
- Guns Akimbo: He's a Gun Kata master.
- The Man Behind the Man: He's the real leader of Libria, acting under the nominal authority of the long-dead Father.Don't look so surprised, Preston. Why should Father be more real than any other political puppet?
- Mouth of Sauron: Described as "Father's Voice". Turns out to be a subversion: the real Father died years before, and DuPont is actually running things while pretending to be the Mouth of Sauron.
- Oh, Crap!: Gets progressively more unnerved as he watches Preston defeat each layer of his defenses.
- Straw Hypocrite: Both he and Brandt are off prozium. While Father sincerely believed he was creating a utopia, DuPont, when confronted, doesn't even hide that he's simply running an oligarchy.
- The Stoic: He's always calm because he doesn't feel any emotions. He's just a lot eerier than the trope is usually played since the topics he usually discusses is brutal repression and mass murder. Subverted, as he isn't on prozium.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: When he confronts Preston that a sense offender has infiltrated the Grammaton clerics' ranks, he suddenly shouts "ARE YOU PLAYING WITH ME, CLERIC?!" This is foreshadowing that DuPont himself is no longer using Prozium.
Father (Sean Pertwee)
- Big Brother Is Watching: The society he built uses very constant surveillance to monitor its subject. Not through having literal surveillance placed everywhere, but by citizens spying on others.
- Dead All Along: He died years ago. DuPont has since taken on his authority while maintaining the fiction that Father is still in charge.
- Evil Brit: If his accent is any indication.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: He believed removing all human emotions would mean the end of war. He ended up creating something just as bad instead.
Jurgen (William Fichtner)
- Chekhov's Gunman: He's one of the speech attendants at the beginning of the movie.
- La Résistance: He's the leader of a resistance movement that believes experiencing emotions is worth the danger of war and seeks to overthrow's Father's police state.