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Good Is Not Soft / Film

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    Films — Animated 
  • In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, The Joker is actually furious to learn that, unlike "the real Batman," Terry is willing to fight dirty.
  • The Book of Life:
    • Manolo Sanchez is a Nice Guy and loves to play the guitar. Don't piss him off.
    • La Muerte is a sweetheart. But, has her limits. And when they are pushed, she is one not to be messed with.
  • Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam shows us what happens when you push a nice guy too far. When Black Adam tries to murder a hostage, the newly empowered Captain Marvel has no problem delivering a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to the villain. Beware the Nice Ones in the extreme.
  • Pretty much any Disney hero falls into this, but a special mention should go to Simba from The Lion King (1994). He's kind and playful with his friends and after finding out that Scar killed his father and made him look like he did it (even to himself, which he had been running away from since he was a kid), he still forgave his life and let him go...however, he's more than willing to fight for his kingdom, he beat Scar quite good before letting him go and when he fell to the fire and the hyenas ate him, Simba made no gesture to help him or care about him.
  • In The Incredibles, there's Bob and Helen Parr, better known as Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl, respectively. They don't believe in using lethal force, do their best to protect civilians and save lives, and even exchange a sigh of "I love you" in the middle of a battle. But just because they don't kill doesn't mean that they can't—they choose not to, and there's a big difference (see: Bob taking out a massive group of Mooks in a few seconds, or Helen knocking out a robber with a single punch without even looking at him). And God have mercy on your soul if you dare to touch their children. Not to mention every time a hovercraft explodes with one of Syndrome's henchmen inside.
    • It seems as if the trope is going to be subverted when Bob is captured by Syndrome for the first time and (mistakenly) believes Helen and the kids are dead: he tries to grab the villain, but ends up snatching Mirage instead (and only because Mirage protected Syndrome by pushing him out of the way). Bob threatens to crush Mirage if Syndrome doesn't free him, but the villain calls his bluff, calling him "weak" when he lets her go. This leads to Mirage bringing up the trope with Syndrome later, pointing out that valuing life isn't a weakness, and not valuing it isn't a strength, and eventually leads her to a full-on Heel–Face Turn later in the film. Unfortunately, by that point, Bob's had some time to think about his family's death, and he's now more than willing to very slowly squeeze Mirage's throat so that she'll feel every second of her death. It's only by gasping out that his family survived that she's able to survive herself. Later, when Syndrome kidnaps Jack-Jack, Bob's solution is to throw a freaking CAR at the villain, which blows up his aircraft and inadvertently kills him.
    • Frozone follows a similar policy—he doesn't use deadly force either, and is a polite, cheerful, wisecracking guy. But he's also perfectly willing to completely encase someone in ice, leaving them completely immobile, but alive and aware of their surroundings. The movie does go out of its way to prove that this isn't lethal—the policeman who gets this treatment is clearly shown moving his eyes, and other officers discover him immediately afterward, so it will probably be a question of quickly defrosting the guy. But still, the potential side-effects (hypothermia, etc.) and deeper implications (what happens if the cops don't defrost him correctly?) mean he's plenty capable of doing real damage.
    • Heck, even Edna Mode falls under this trope. She's a fashion designer for superheroes, and serves as a large source of comic relief in the film. But she also gets two moments of pure harshness. When she asks if Helen really knows what Bob has been up to, all semblance of joking vanishes as she repeats the question so pointedly that it sounds like a statement: "Do you know where he is." Later, when Helen has a Heroic BSoD upon discovering Bob's secret return to heroism, Edna smacks her around a bit and tells her that she needs to pull herself together and save her husband.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Hermit the Old Wizard in Adventure In Kigan Castle is a kind old man and a force for good, but he's not to be trifled with. When Granny the Old Witch disguises herself as Queen Izato to try and break the hero, Osami, out of the dungeon so he can join forces with her her, she realizes that Hermit put Osami under a sleeping spell so that she can't get to him.
  • A general theme in a lot of crime movies is that cops that are honest, nice, and humane are a lot more effective at dealing with crime than cops that are corrupt, arrogant, or brutal... and should not be crossed. Ask Frank Serpico, Lester Ybarra, and Martin Prendergast.
  • Just about every Jackie Chan character fits this trope.
    • Character, not actor.
  • John Russell (George C. Scott) in the 1980 horror film The Changeling. He is a composer of classical music and a thoroughly nice individual. But he's pretty much impossible to frighten. Probably one of the toughest protagonists in the genre of horror.
  • Like the Steve Rogers example below, the DC Extended Universe version of Superman is every bit the altruistic and compassionate individual one expects him to be, as demonstrated in his rescue of the soldier firing at him during the battle of Smallville. He also does not hold back his phenomenal strength in his battles with similarly superpowered opponents like the Kryptonians and Doomsday, frequently throwing devastating shockwave-creating punches; and when left with absolutely no choice, snaps Zod's neck.
  • The Legendary Pictures Incarnation of Godzilla from the MonsterVerse is one of the more benevolent versions of the character. For example, in the ending of KOTM, he repays Dr. Serizawa's Heroic Sacrifice by improving ecological damage through the Titans' powers, helping humankind and wildlife together. However, disrupt the natural order of things and you will pay. He's variously impaled the Male MUTO on a building, killed the Female MUTO by burning her head off with his atomic breath, killed the Prime MUTO by stomping its head in, and burned King Ghidorah to a crisp before chowing down on and finally incinerating the alien dragon's surviving central head. There Is No Kill Like Overkill doesn't even describe it!
  • Dirty Harry has no qualms about working outside the law or even torturing suspects, but he does try and lead a normal life.
  • Samuel Gerard in The Fugitive and its Spin-Off sequel U.S. Marshals. Sam is sweet and caring toward his team and innocents, but threaten someone dear to him and you're playing with fire.
  • In addition to the examples of this trope taken from the novels, the film incarnation of Harry Potter is slightly more ruthless than his book counterpart — most clearly demonstrated from the exchange he shares with Umbridge in Order of the Phoenix before the latter is dragged off to an unseen fate by a herd of centaurs.
    Umbridge: Potter, do something! Tell them I mean no harm!
    Harry: Sorry, Professor. I must not tell lies.
    • Deathly Hallows Part 1 also has the disturbing sequence where happy-go-lucky Ron Weasley advocates for the killing of a Death Eater and kind-hearted Hermione appears to almost agree, ultimately compromising and performing a Mind Wipe on the mook instead, which the film leaves unclear as to whether she just turned him into a vegetable or not.
  • Peter Jackson's Middle-earth Universe:
    • Gandalf. Old man with a humorous streak and a frail appearance, loves children, warm and good-hearted person throughout. Also a Physical God wizard who has no qualms with slaying trolls and orks by the thousands, or contemptuously knocking out Denethor with his staff when the latter starts raving for his troops to abandon their posts and flee.
    • Bilbo Baggins is generally a friendly and polite fellow who prefers to use his wits to get out of a situation rather than use a sword. But when Thorin is about to be decapitated by an orc leader, Bilbo flings himself at the orc and kills him.
    • Frodo Baggins tames Gollum by pointing his sword at his throat, threatening to cut it if he does not release Sam.
    • A more subtle example: Aragorn, probably the most noble human character, sees Boromir pick up the Ring. He orders him to give it back to Frodo—with one hand on his sword, prepared to attack Boromir if the Ring's power takes control of him. Which happens near the end of the movie, when Aragorn isn't around. Elrond, on the other hand, is shown to have not been capable of friendly fire when the Ring hypnotized Isildur during the previous battle with Sauron.
      • Elrond's inaction might be justified in that attacking a friend in order to claim ownership of the Ring, even for the purpose of destroying it, while at the very center of the Ring's power, is probably a good way to end up under the Ring's control.
  • The titular character in the film adaptation of Madeline is this. She's quite friendly, if mostly a Deadpan Snarker, towards her classmates, and happens to smile at the good, and frown at the bad. However, she soon develops a hatred towards her new neighbor, Pepito, and even attacks him at one point. She's not afraid to confront Lord Covington over his plans to sell the "Old House in Paris", and also goes to confront the Big Bad after seeing him kidnap Pepito. And don't forget about her famous line to the tiger at the zoo.
  • Steve Rogers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is shown to be one of the nicest, sweetest people you would meet. However, when fighting HYDRA and the invading Chitauri he is merciless, including throwing HYDRA soldiers off airborne aircraft and hacking off Chitauri arms.
    • Also Black Widow, who is capable of showing great kindness and affection (in particular to Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, and the Barton family) and is capable of joking with Steve about setting him up on a date while at the same time mercilessly killing mercenaries and HYDRA mooks. Played with slightly in that she is legitimately disturbed by some of her past kills.
  • In Mirror, Mirror, the sweet Snow White convinces the Evil Queen to accept defeat by eating the poisoned apple that was meant for Snow, essentially committing suicide.
  • Dalton from Road House, who tells his fellow bouncers to always "Be nice, until it's time to not be nice."
  • Robocop follows three directives: serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law. Nothing is said about not coldly blowing away killers, or not brutalizing a suspect before bringing them in (laws concerning how to handle arrested criminals have changed slightly in future Detroit). In the second film, he is programmed with several hundred more directives aimed at improving OCP PR, but those directives make him a terrible police officer. Instead of arresting criminals, he starts lecturing them on the immorality of their actions, while they happily go about their criminal business.
  • Most of the Enterprise crew in the reboot Star Trek (2009) franchise are friendly and decent people who would go out of their way to help others but they can and will break protocol, especially if it means protecting one of their own. And you're screwed if you piss them off.
    • After his offer to help Nero and his crew (who had kill hundreds of Starfleet cadets and officers, tortured Pike and destroyed Vulcan) was rejected, Kirk wasted no time ordering to fire on the Narada to make sure they don't survive.
      • Not to mention Spock being quite willing to kill every crew member on that ship to save Earth.
    • In the sequel, Spock loses it when Kirk died and proceeds to beat the living crap out of John Harrison/Khan, including brutally breaking his arm.
    • Sulu convincingly threatened Harrison to stand down with the experimental torpedoes. Although Harrison knew something about those torpedoes that Sulu didn't...
      Leonard "Bones" McCoy: Mr. Sulu, remind me never to piss you off.
    • In Beyond, Kirk drops (half of) a starship onto the traitor who caused them to crash.
  • Star Wars plays with this trope, especially Return of the Jedi and Luke Skywalker. For a film that showed the heroes as more Incorruptible Pure Pureness, some viewers were surprised to see Luke using powers generally associated with the Sith like Force Choke. In this instance, it was used to demonstrate he was sliding towards The Dark Side.
  • Swordfish: If not the Trope Namer, close to it. Though the "Good" part is really questiinable.
    Gabriel: I like you, you're on my good side. But don't confuse kindness with weakness. (points pistol at Stanley's head) Now get in the car.
  • The Toxic Avenger: The tittle hero, Toxie. Formally a 98 pound wimpy mop-boy who worked at a health club. After a freak accident, he was mutated into The Toxic Avenger. He uses his newfound power to help people — from saving lives to simply opening jars for people. And he is a very devoted boyfriend to his love interest, Sara — a blind woman who loves him as a person. He met her after saving her from being raped by robbers, and walks her home because those same robbers shot her guide dog. However Toxie is nowhere near as nice to villains. He has tromatons, which make it instinct to sense and destroy evil. But he kills in a very over the top manner, and seems to get sadistic glee from it. One example includes him tearing off a man's arm, laughing and hitting him across the head with it. Then later he shoves the man into a pizza oven.
  • Transformers: The Autobots are some of the nicest beings you'll meet, but they don't go easy on the Decepticons, and they rip them apart limb from limb.
    • In the third film, Optimus Prime himself brutally dispatches Megatron and then mere moments later, his fallen mentor Sentinel Prime — the latter while he's trying to explain his actions and begging Optimus not to shoot.
      Megatron: After all, Who would you be without me, Prime?
      Optimus Prime: Time to find out.
  • Andersonville: Limber Jim is a dependable ally towards Josiah and the other, works to protect the weak, and is responsible for ultimately defeating the Raiders, but afterwards wants to kill them outright, and is also ruthless towards anyone who tries to tell the guards about the tunnel.

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