10 Movie Mentors Who Were Actually Complete Morons

9. Ra's Al-Ghul -€“ Batman Begins

Warner Bros.

Liam Neeson owns the mentor role like few others before him. Looking every part the sage as he does the warrior, he occupies the much-envied halfway-house of actors able to age gracefully. He knows he can€™t make a convincing action star except when being past it is the whole point, such as with the Taken franchise.

So when you need a guy to train Batman, Neeson expertly embodies everything needed. This isn€™'t like when we saw Sylvester Stallone slip on the boxing gloves again for Rocky Balboa;“ you could really believe that Neeson could kick all the behind he wanted to, and that he was wise enough to impart that knowledge. And for the most part, he does his job extremely well €“ physically, he trains Bruce Wayne up to an impeccable standard. While before he could only beat up petty criminals, Bruce becomes a bonafide butt-kicker of the first degree under Ra's Al-Ghul'€™s tutelage.

But what of the mental training? The League of Shadows is predominantly a society based on an uncompromising ideology, and it€™'s a divisive ideology at that. It takes a lot to adopt it, and true to form, Bruce doesn€™'t want to. Yet thanks to Ra's, he now has the physical training to escape their headquarters, blowing everything up in the process. Good going, Neeson. Frankly, R€™a's would have been better off mentally indoctrinating Bruce first -€“ at least that way when you confront him with a man who needs to be murdered he won€™t flip out and use ninja skills against you. Doing it the other way round just seemed sloppy.


Durham University graduate and qualified sports journalist. Very good at sitting down and watching things. Can multi-task this with playing computer games. Football Manager addict who has taken Shrewsbury Town to the summit of the Premier League. You can follow me at @Ed_OwenUK, if you like ramblings about Newcastle United and A Place in the Sun. If you don't, I don't know what I can do for you.