Movies are often made to inspire us. Maybe it’s the arcs of the characters, the emotions of the settings, or the events within the story that really touch and move us. Sometimes, however, the characters are just plain cool. We’ve often heard the line about a movie character where people say that the women want to be with him and the men want to be him. I’ve certainly come out of the cinema several times, walking with a bit of a more confident swagger in my walk, as I imagine myself being the character in the film I’ve just watched. I remember Brad Pitt’s character of Tyler Durden having that effect on me after seeing Fight Club. But other times I’m just very jealous of the skills or abilities that a movie character has. So here’s a fun look at some of the skills of movie characters that I would love to be able to emulate. Most of these are real life skills. I’ve tried not to go too crazy with sci-fi or superhero skills that could never happen.

Honourable Mention – MacGyver
First of all, let’s start with an honourable mention from TV. MacGyver, played by Richard Dean Anderson. Angus MacGyver is the ultimate all-rounder, jack of all trades, useful guy to know. He has a genius level IQ, can speak multiple languages and can build a bomb out of kitchen products. In one episode he even showed that he knew how to juggle, and that inspired me to learn how to juggle myself. I still haven’t learn how to make a kitchen bomb though. But to want to have MacGyver’s level of skill, knowledge and ingenuity would be a given, I think.

James Bond
Next up has to be James Bond. An easy one to want to emulate. Bond really does seem to be one of those people that is just good at everything. He knows a lot about everything, perhaps not the intricate level of science that MacGyver knows, but he does have amazing physical prowess skill, knowing how to skydive, snorkel, scuba, rock-climb, ride motorbikes, parkour, martial arts, fly helicopters and planes, and just about every other activity you can think of. Not only that but he is incredibly debonair and charming. And in at least two of the original Ian Fleming Bond novels he is remarkably chosen for his assignment for his ability to play cards and gamble! With his gambling skills I could go into any casino, or online at somewhere like and hopefully, more often than not, come out a winner. Before going to the bar for a vodka Martini of course. But if nothing else, Bonds ability to look good in a tux would definitely be something I would want to emulate.

Michael Dudikoff – American Ninja
Bond always had decent self-defence skills but he never seemed to be an absolute expert in hand to hand combat, often relying on a judo chop to beat his foes. I’ve always wanted to do martial arts properly and for a long time have been fascinated with ninjas, whether it was Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow in GI Joe or Action Force, or computer games like The Last Ninja. And the American Ninja film series was one that I really loved. Michael Dudikoff always looked like a pretty cool dude. No-one can wear a wetsuit body glove like that man. I’d be happy to just emulate that, let alone the additional ninja skills.

Martin Riggs – Lethal Weapon
When talking about cool dudes, action men and people with fighting skills etc I always think of Martin Riggs. Funny, handsome, cool, lethal. Yeh sure perhaps psychotic too, but hey, he was funny and handsome and cool. He’s just one of those cool action characters that you kind of want to emulate in some ways. Expert with all weapons, whether it’s a gun or a nightstick, and I always loved his fighting style. I think it was a mix of Jiu-jitsu and Eskrima. And who’s not envious of that hair, huh?

David Lightman – WarGames
A little bit more cerebral now. I’ve always loved the idea of being a computer hacker. The power at your fingertrips, typing in code and using your phone to break into companies, banks and governments. Pretty exciting stuff to a teenage boy who just got an 8-bit computer. I’ve always loved the film WarGames, and watching Matthew’s Broderick character trying to break into Protovision to play their games, was the stuff of dreams. To be honest I would be pretty nervous to try anything like that these days. I think computer hacking now is a totally different ballgame from the early 80s. But it would have been exciting to have been an expert in computer hacking back then. I often wonder what happened to David Lightman’s character after the events of the film. Did he go on to become a teacher or lecturer in computing? Or maybe he was given a ban from ever touching a computer again in his life. That would be pretty sad.

Phil Connors – Groundhog Day
In Groundhog Day, Phil Connors had the luxury of something that most of us don’t have. Time. Granted, he seems to have so much of it that it becomes hell on Earth for him. Some articles report that he might have had anywhere up to 10,000 years stuck in his purgatory. But he made good use of some of his time, learning to play the piano, ice sculpt, write poetry, speak French and several other artistic ventures. If I had more time on my hands I would definitely love to learn the piano and several languages. I don’t fancy being stuck in purgatory for 10,000 years, but maybe 1 year would be nice.

Bodhi – Point Break
Back to another action one. I love the movie Point Break. There are lots of great things about it, but Bodhi’s zen-ness is certainly one of them. Despite being a highly wanted armed criminial he seems a very chilled kind of guy. And I am very envious of his surfing skills. I’ve never tried surfing and I don’t think I every probably will as I’m not hugely comfortable in the sea, but if we’re talking blue sky wishes here, then yeh, I’d love to be able to surf (and skydive) like Bodhi.

Neo – The Matrix
Now let’s cut to the chase, throw reality out of the window (by taking the red pill) and imagine we could plug a metal spike into the back of our heads and ‘know Kung-Fu’. How great would that be? I definitely know that many skills are only earned via the discipline required to learn them in real life. I’m cool with that. But even if you could just read loads of books in milliseconds, or learn University courses at the drop of a hat. That would be pretty incredible. What skills would I learn and subjects would I read about? Too many to mention, but definitely a nice daydream subject to think about (whilst I work on my Martin Rigg’s hair).