Everybody loves a movie tough guy or gal – powerful characters with a reputation for being able to win virtually any fight. Yet a surprising number of these iconic fighters have actually lost almost as many battles as they’ve won (at least based on what we see on screen).

Of course, a large part of this is down to the way that films work. In order for a story to be compelling, our heroes need to struggle – and even occasionally lose! – despite their incredible martial prowess. Similarly, in most instances, villains need to be defeated before the credits roll – which means that they are predestined to be second best, ...

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