5 Fan-Favorite Movie Heroes Who Deliberately Broke the Law (but No One Even Cared)
What’s that saying? “You either die a hero or live long enough to become a villain?” Well, villains or not, these protagonists deliberately broke the law on their whim.
5. Doc Brown
When it comes to sci-fi and time travel, few movies are as iconic as Back To The Future. The absolute staple of the genre, this film revolves around Doc Brown and Marty McFly who manage to put together a working time machine and set out on an adventure with noble goals…but incredibly questionable methods and means.
Doc Brown needed plutonium for DeLorean, and what did he do? He acquired it from terrorists! By this alone, Doc broke a dozen laws about nuclear materials and terrorism. And don’t even get us started on all the child labor and general labor laws Doc broke when hiring 17-year-old Marty as his unpaid (dangerous) lab assistant.
The first Top Gun (1986) movie was a sensational action film; the second, Top Gun: Maverick (2022), built upon its legacy and allegedly saved theaters amid the pandemic. As grateful as we are to Tom Cruise and his character, Maverick would have been in real trouble if he were a real-life military pilot and not a movie hero.
Some of Maverick’s defining qualities are his recklessness and disregard for rules and standard procedures. But that’s exactly what would have had him executed on several occasions in the real army: Maverick endangers others with his reckless acts, ignores direct orders, and breaks the protocol all the time. That’s military, man!
3. Edward Cullen
Twilight became a huge breakthrough for several great actors, including Robert Pattinson who later built an outstanding career. He had to get rid of the association with Twilight’s Edward Cullen that stuck to him — but in the end, he made it. His character, on the other hand, wouldn’t have made it anywhere but to prison.
As romantic as fans find Bella and Edward’s love story, it’s problematic for more than one reason, including being straight-up illegal. Pattinson’s character is over a century old while his girlfriend is only seventeen — and both of them seem completely unaware of the age of consent. Their love broke both the natural and actual law.
2. Tony Stark
Before Marvel fans rebel, let’s make it clear: we appreciate Robert Downey Jr. and Tony Stark’s starting the MCU. We truly do. Iron Man was an amazing character and the real highlight of every Marvel movie he was part of, but it doesn’t mean he was entitled to openly break the law which he did in oh so many ways with his suit.
Tone Stark’s Iron Man suit was an advanced tech that broke a plethora of military and airspace laws. In terms of its weaponry, it bypassed multiple regulations (by being totally unregulated, that is), and by using the US airspace including cities at dangerous speeds and altitudes, Stark endangered citizens…and upset the FAA.
1. Bruce Wayne
While we’re at it, let’s also call out another superhero whose primary ability is a fat bank account; this time, it’s DC’s Bruce Wayne. Batman was a real asset to Gotham, and he wouldn’t have been able to stop so many villains and criminals without his hi-tech toys — but talking about assets, do you recall how he funded those toys?
All the cool Bat-things in Batman’s arsenal were directly paid for by Wayne Enterprises. Secretly. Using company funds for personal purposes has a legal name: it’s called corporate embezzlement. And, you guessed it, it’s very much not allowed. While Bruce Wayne was trying to help others, he also broke the law every single day.