Cinema's most laughable bad guys

0

Comments

Add +

Mickey Rourke as dreadlocked S

Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) in ‘Avatar’

Fiendish plan: To wield the immense firepower of the Earth’s military scouting team and get a tribe of blue rainforest beatniks to skedaddle off of some mineral assets. In 3D.Standing in the way: Hollywood movie convention and Sam Worthington plugged into a computerised pod and taking charge of the body of one of said rangy azure tree-huggers.

What’s his weakness:
The fact that he’s a tired conflation of every bad guy movie cliché (including unsightly facial scar) in film history makes his unchecked aggression all too predictable.Chances for rehabilitation: Nah, you’d gradually wean him off the knives, grenades and all-male showers then he’d hear ‘In the Army Now’ on the radio and it’d be all back to square one.


Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman) in ‘The Fifth Element’

Fiendish plan: To control the universe through a combination of mystic energy and weird hair.
Standing in the way:
Plucky, Gaultier-clad cabbie Bruce Willis and his gibbering sidekick Milla Jovovich, plus a motley selection of overdressed new romantic oddballs – including Ian Holm, Chris Tucker and, um, Luke Perry – who all look like they’d rather be somewhere, anywhere else.What's his weakness: In a word, overacting. Oldman had already proven his silly-villain chops as pill-sniffing New York cop Stansfield in Luc Besson’s ‘Leon’, and the wacky Frenchman gave him even more rope to hang himself in this daft, DayGlo, gap-year sci-fi nightmare.
Chances for rehabilitation:
Could probably get a job doing catwalk security at Paris Fashion Week. Otherwise, slim.

Nuclear Man (Mark Pillow) in 'Superman IV: Quest for Peace'

Fiendish plan: To kill off both Superman and ‘Superman’…Standing in the way: Well, Superman, obviously, plus occasional hindrance from supposed cohort Jon Cryer and the distraction of his courtly she-he man-love for hulking naïf, Mariel Hemingway.What's his weakness: The dark side of the moon: Nukes is powered by the sun, so just draw the curtains and he’s as much use as a jam cardigan.Chances for rehabilitation: Last seen propping up the core of a nuclear power plant, so not good… not good.

Ziro the Hutt in ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’

Fiendish plan: To seize control of the Hutt crime empire from nephew Jabba.Standing in the way: The Jedi, the clone army, the Sith, Jabba’s gangsters, a total inability to run away – you wonder how these Hutts got so powerful in the first place, considering.What's his weakness: Well, the fact that he looks like a painted slug at a gay pride parade and talks like an oversexed gumbo chef may not actually be classified as weakness in the Star Wars universe. So we’ll go with ambition.Chances for rehabilitation: First step: weight watchers. 

Richie Madano (William Forsyth) in ‘Out for Justice’

Fiendish plan: Well, ‘plan’ is overselling it a little, as his aim appears to be to goad Steven Seagal’s chop-socky beat cop to breaking point by shooting up his family and friends for reasons relating to a childhood falling out. Standing in the way: Seagal, of course, who goes on a movie-length search-and-destroy mission which involves him striding into every low-life dive in town and showing who’s who with the help of an eight ball in a sock. Delivers the line ‘has anyone seen Richie?’ in vaguely patronising tones just over 800 times during the film.What’s his weakness: Apart from his heroic gak intake, it’d have to be his short temper. Trying to elude a killing-machine cop and then opening fire on women and children is hardly the stealthy comportment the situation might require.
Chance for rehabilitation:
Prior to him getting a corkscrew to the frontal lobe, the right concoction of downers might have made a respectable man out of him. 

Adolf Hitler (Martin Wuttke) in 'Inglourious Basterds'

Fiendish plan: Same old, same old.Standing in the way: Brad Pitt and his motley Anti-Nazi League of behind-enemy-lines cutthroats, heavy hitters and an expendable gaggle of faceless, tremulous, knock-kneed Upper East Side types. Good luck with that!What's his weakness: Self-aggrandisement coupled with ironically poor strategic nous. Locking himself and the entire Nazi High Command into a cinema in occupied France that’s guarded by Lenny and Squiggy from ‘Laverne & Shirley’ is just asking for trouble. Herr Hitler and his SS scurf eat leaden death over the supporting feature.Chances for rehabilitation: N/A

Prince Vigo the Carpathian (Wilhelm von Homburg) in ‘Ghostbusters II’

Fiendish plan: To transform New Yorkers’ seething proletarian rage into luminescent pink goo, and thereby escape from a painting. Seriously.Standing in the way: Clue’s in the title: three wisecracking Saturday Night Live alumni and one token ethnic with even less to do than in the first movie are on a mission to take Vigo down!What's his weakness: Well, being trapped in a painting doesn’t help. Plus he’s stuck with probably the most fawning, ineffectual sidekick in history, and let’s face it, the plan as a whole is pretty lame.
Chances for rehabilitation:
A sandblaster should do the trick.

ED-209 in ‘Robocop’

Fiendish plan: To shoot up the flick-knife wielding street toughs of Old Detroit and pave the way for the concrete-and-steel bourgeois nightmare of Delta City. And prove that there is a future for a state police force run by a shady arms conglomerate.  Standing in the way: A chrome-plated back-from-the grave bad-ass called Robocop. Now where's that baby food?What’s his weakness: Like the Daleks, ED-209 operates like a dream on level terrain, but the moment something like, say, a short flight of stairs come into the equation, it’s game over.  Oh, and he does occasionally kill innocent civilians for no reason, but they’re working on that.
Chances for rehabilitation:
Zero. He’s dismantled and used for cheap student shelving in time for the sequel. 

Kasper Gutman and Joel Cairo (Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre) in 'The Maltese Falcon'

Fiendish plan: To kill, maim and waffle their way to the fabled, jewel-encrusted winged raptor of the title.
Standing in the way:
Humphrey Bogart’s hard-bitten, two-fisted private dick, Sam ‘Bucket’ Spade, a mess of dead bodies and some spunky, blackhearted dames.
What's their weakness:
Verbosity and incompetence respectively: Gutman is the sort of chap who’d thank you even if you’d just thrown up over him and the lavender-scented Cairo is a self-hating ball of sexual confusion that’s just one hissy-fit away from total mental collapse. Neither of them could talk, force or otherwise cajole candy from an especially sleepy baby.Chances for rehabilitation: Good to very. Both were last assumed to be in police custody and facing serious limbo time, but neither are especially bad lads and a good spell in chokey should straighten them out.

TX (Kristanna Loken) in ‘Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines’

Fiendish plan: To obliterate the human race, paving the way for the second coming of McG.Standing in the way: The Governator, a lady vet and the John Connor no one remembers because he’s not young and dreamy like Eddie Furlong or grizzled and abusive like Christian Bale.
What's her weakness:
Sheer averageness. Seriously, did the producers really think we’d fall for that old Star Trek trick of ‘hey, we’ve got no new ideas, how about we just get a chick’? And that inflating breasts gag is just horrible…
Chances for rehabilitation:
Who’d bother?'Iron Man 2' opens in cinemas on April 30

Author: Adam Lee Davies, Tom Huddleston & David Jenkins



Users say

0 comments


Top Stories

Meet the dream team: a preview of ‘Les Misérables’

Meet the dream team: a preview of ‘Les Misérables’

Director Tom Hooper and his cast tell us how they turned the super-musical into movie blockbuster.

Oscar predictions

Oscar predictions

The Time Out film team weighs in on the nominees for the 2013 Academy Awards

January film highlights 2013

January film highlights 2013

Get ready for the big guns… Spielberg, Tarantino and Bigelow

October film highlights

October film highlights

Daniel Craig’s 007 comeback, a genius indie romcom and all the mysteries behind ‘The Shining’ unravelled.

The Time Out film debate 2012 highlights

The Time Out film debate 2012 highlights

The results of our study on the state of films and filmgoing in 2012.

Read 'Time Out film debate 2012 highlights'

Martin Freeman interview

Martin Freeman interview

'The Hobbit' actor tells us why he wouldn't have a pint with Bilbo Baggins.

Sam Mendes interview

Sam Mendes interview

Dave Calhoun speaks to the director of 'Skyfall' about the latest film in the Bond franchise.

Ang Lee interview

Ang Lee interview

The genre-hopping director tells us how he invented a new genre with 'Life of Pi'

Michael Haneke interview

Michael Haneke interview

The twice Palme d'Or-winning director discusses 'Amour'.

Read our interview with Michael Haneke

Thomas Vinterberg interview

Thomas Vinterberg interview

The Danish director talks about his powerful new drama 'The Hunt'.

Read our interview with Thomas Vinterberg'

Ten things the 'Twilight' movies did for us

Ten things the 'Twilight' movies did for us

Time Out looks back at the impact of the 'Twilight' saga.

Discover what 'Twilight' has done for us

On the set of 'Sightseers'

On the set of 'Sightseers'

Time Out heads to the Lake District to visit director Ben Wheatley on set.

Read about our visit to the 'Sightseers' set

Tim Burton interview

Tim Burton interview

The director talks about 'Frankenweenie', which he describes as 'the ultimate memory piece'.

Read our interview with Tim burton

The top ten Christmas films of 2012

The top ten Christmas films of 2012

Our pick of the best films showing over the festive period.

Read 'The top ten Christmas films of 2012'

What's your film guilty pleasure?

What's your film guilty pleasure?

Mean Girls? Dirty Dancing? Tell us your favourite film guilty pleasure.

Read 'Film guilty pleasures'

When teen stars turn serious

When teen stars turn serious

Ten young actors come of age on the silver screen.

Read 'When teen stars turn serious'

50 years of James Bond

50 years of James Bond

From Connery to Craig, we revisit all 22 Bond films.

Read '50 years of James Bond'

Paul Thomas Anderson interview

Paul Thomas Anderson interview

The director talks Scientology and working with Joaquin Phoenix.

Read the interview

Hilarious horror films

Hilarious horror films


Ten funny horror movies which went spectacularly off the rails.

Read 'Hilarious horror films'

Martin McDonagh interview

Martin McDonagh interview

The director talks psychopaths and theatre – 'my least favourite artform'.

Read the interview

Autumn horror films

Autumn horror films

We round-up the five best horror movies of Autumn 2012.

Read about this Autumn's best horror movies

On the set of Skyfall

On the set of Skyfall

Time Out visits Istanbul to see the latest Bond movie being made.

Read 'On the set of Skyfall'

Bond: then and now

Bond: then and now

Does Skyfall refresh or rehash the James Bond franchise?

Sally Potter interview

Sally Potter interview

The British director explains why 'Ginger and Rosa' is her most mainstream film yet.

Daniel Craig interview

Daniel Craig interview

'I’m almost as in demand as Brad Pitt’