A hero is more than just their weapon, but it never hurts for their weapon to be pretty spectacular. Some of the implements of destruction wielded in films have taken on an iconic nature of their own — sometimes even more than the characters who wield them.
Debates about which weapons can beat which weapons are commonplace, but there are some iconic weapons that are clearly more dangerous than others. When divorced from their most common wielders, some of the most iconic weapons in cinema turn out to be less dangerous than anticipated while others make their lethality clear.
10 Indiana Jones’s Whip Is More Of A Tool
The whip is best associated with Indiana Jones — although he has made use of a number of other weapons. The whip forms part of his iconic image alongside his fedora hat. Jones makes use of the weapon in every film despite it not being a weapon readily associated with heroes.
Although Indiana Jones does use the whip in combat, it has a number of other uses — including being a climbing and swinging tool. In a direct fight, the whip lacks stopping power, being better used to scare away or disarm foes. Even Jones himself prefers to draw a gun in a truly dangerous situation.
9 The Ghostbusters’ Proton Packs Are Better Against Ghosts
When it comes to the job they were designed for, the Proton Packs are an invaluable weapon. Unleashing a stream of protons to counteract the negative charge of ghosts in the Ghostbusters world, they are unquestionably the most effective tool when it comes to busting.
The Proton Packs are very narrowly useful, however. Against ghosts, there is nothing finer, but they are clearly not designed to fight humans. They can output some kinetic force and create a shower of sparks, but their function is clearly limited.
8 Captain America’s Shield Is Both Defensive & Offensive
Of all of the weapons wielded in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, none quite manages the iconic status of Captain America’s star-spangled shield. Wielded by several characters throughout the MCU, the shield is recognized as a powerful symbol both in- and out-of-universe.
The main strength of Captain America’s shield is its defense — it’s able to protect against nearly any other weapon. It still has value as an offensive tool, being capable of both cutting and blunt force, but it is very much secondary compared to its defensive potential.
7 Beatrix Kiddo’s Hattori Hanzo Katana Is The Sharpest Sword On Earth
The katana forged by Hattori Hanzo is used in some of the most iconic fights in the Kill Bill movies, most notably Beatrix Kiddo’s battle against the Crazy 88 and in her duel with O-Ren Isshi. Although Kiddo uses a number of weapons in her vengeful rampage, it is the katana she is best associated with.
The katana from Kill Bill is considered to be the finest work ever produced by Hanzo who is considered the greatest swordsmith in the world. Said to be able to cut God himself, the weapon is able to finely cut through Isshi’s skull after being used in a several minutes-long swordfight.
6 Wolverine’s Claws Can Cut Nearly Anything
As the central weapon of the de-facto protagonist of the X-Men film franchise, Wolverine’s claws are one of the most widely recognized weapons in cinema.
The claws were plenty lethal when they were just made of bone and were easily capable of killing humans, but it is after Wolverine’s skeleton is coated in adamantium that they take on their truly iconic form. Given wicked edges in addition to points, they become capable of cutting through nearly any substance on Earth.
5 Dirty Harry’s Magnum Is A Hand Cannon
The central character of Dirty Harry is an interesting case: Harry Callahan’s weapon is almost as iconic as Harry himself. The weapon is central to the best-known scene in the series. The gun Harry uses in his crusade against crime is a Smith and Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum revolver.
The Magnum featured in Dirty Harry was briefly the most powerful handgun in the world and nowadays it is still an exceedingly lethal gun. It’s capable of putting down anything that moves — and doing so at range. Even if the handgun might seem more mundane than other iconic movie weapons, the Magnum is unquestionably lethal.
4 The M41A Pulse Rifle Can Slay Xenomorphs
One of the biggest changes in the story and tone of Aliens, compared to its predecessor Alien, is that individual Xenomorphs are not unstoppable threats that are near-impossible to kill. Instead, despite being incredibly dangerous, they are killed in large numbers in numerous scenes in the film.
The key reason is that the Colonial Marines are far better equipped than the crew of Nostromo, with their most notable armament being the M41A pulse rifle. The rifle is a reliable weapon with an excellent reputation that fires caseless ammunition. The M41 A pulse rifle is capable of battling back the apex predator of the galaxy.
3 The Lightsaber Is An Elegant Weapon For A More Civilized Age
The lightsaber from Star Wars is one of the most iconic weapons in all of fiction. The blade is made of plasma, capable of cutting through nearly anything, and wielded by the Jedi Knights and their adversaries in the Sith. The lightsaber has taken on a life of its own in popular culture.
There is no denying the lightsaber’s lethality as a weapon. It’s made of superheated plasma and able to deflect blaster bolts which makes their wielders almost unstoppable.
2 Wands Are More Than Weapons — But Very Capable Nonetheless
In Harry Potter, a wizard’s wand is integral — it is how the vast majority of witches and wizards channel their magic for nearly everything in their day-to-day lives. A wand is more than just a weapon: it is a multitool.
Wands are versatile weapons; they’re able to inflict damage in dozens of ways — spells can cause pain, death, incontrollable laughter, levitation, and mind control. Wands are one of the most dangerous weapons in fiction.
1 The One Ring Contains The Power Of Sauron
The Lord of the Rings’ central plot device is the One Ring and its terrible power. The One Ring bears a significant amount of the power of the fallen Maia Sauron. It’s more powerful than all of the other Rings of Power and it is said that a capable person bearing the Ring could overthrow Sauron himself. However, such a person would become corrupted into a new Dark Lord.
Anyone who acquired the One Ring and made full use of it would be difficult to stop. If Sauron were to have acquired it in The Lord of the Rings, it would have been an apoclolyptic scenario.
NEXT: Final Fantasy: 10 Most Iconic Weapons In The Series, Ranked