This node has a very long title.

The guy who may as well already be dead and therefore doesn't care about the consequences of his actions and is able to move with perfect freedom for the remainder of what will likely be a tragically short life.

We should all be familiar with this guy -- he's ubiquitous. He is the simplest character to formulate for any sort of action film: virtually any amount of mayhem or borderline psychosis can be attributed to him. He is the stranger with nothing to lose. Often, he has recently had his family wiped out: The Punisher. Occasionally, he is a soldier trapped behind enemy lines: Rambo 2. On a few occasions, he is even someone who is aware of their inherent fatality and is striving forward with a fuck it all attitude: Fight Club. Now and again, he's someone so disillusioned that he's willing to toss his moral compass out the door: Falling Down. Sometimes, a debt of sorts is owed which forces the hero to sacrifice morality and society: La Femme Nikita.

The common theme in these characters is that they don't care if they live or die. They have discovered they will die, either through circumstance or deductive reasoning. This discovery has driven them to go completely against the rules of society and attempt to live -- either in the sense that they are surrounded by the enemy or in the sense that they have never properly "lived", but rather have existed by going through the motions. These people are all starting over with a fresh slate -- the social mores have ceased to apply to them, and these heroes revel in it.

In Hollywood, these guys are often characterised by their lethal habits. It helps bring out the mortality issue if your hero is a chainsmoker, a heavy drinker, a drug addict or a member of the USMC. These are the sort of people who think smoking is cool and who can down a bottle of tequila without a wince. Hemingway created guys like this -- guys in need of a war. To some degree, they mesh with the Fascistic Ideal, which is really just the hyper-extension of machismo.

If you watch for them, you can't help but see them.