On 18th May the X-Men unite to bring down Apocalypse and his four Horsemen. Apocalypse, the original keeper of mutant villainy and destructive acts of evil grandeur vies for a place amongst the villainous elite. But what of his competition?
Featuring a crazed clown, disturbed cuddly toy, you-know-who, and a liquid assassin read on to find out who made the list of Ultimate Movie Villains.
Maniacal grin, mysterious origins, an agent of chaos: the Clown Prince of Crime has it all and yet there’s one characterisation that stands out above the rest, his timelessness. One of the most recognised comic book villains of all time the Joker has seen multiple incarnations including; Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto, and even Mark Hamill (yeah, Luke Skywalker!)
But it was Heath Ledger’s utterly disturbing but brilliant performance in The Dark Knight that raised the Joker to a new cultural status and earned Ledger a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the process. A menacing psychological instability verging on vulnerability left audiences stunned but Ledger’s distinct interpretation just goes to show the versatility of the character. The Crown Prince of Ultimate Villainy.
Toy Story put Pixar on the map in a big way. Jam packed with originality, magical storytelling, comedy and tragedy it had something for everyone. Toy Story 2 upped the ante and Toy Story 3 had the necessary heartbreaking ending. Stinky Pete was bad enough with his dreams of pristine museum life but nothing could prepare us for Lotso.
Fluffy on the eye and delicious on the nose this huggable bundle of cuddles ruled Sunnyside Daycare with an iron fist and a toy mallet. No amount of huggin’ could redeem this fated tragic villain whose lost innocence turned him into a sour icon of dashed dreams full of atrocity and hate.
Die Hard has earned its wings as a Christmas cult classic. Hardly a heart-warming competitor to Home Alone or It’s A Wonderful Life, Die Hard thrives on the personalities of both hero and villain. Bruce Willis as modern cowboy hero John McClane, takes most, if not all of the plaudits for his laugh-in-the-face-of-danger attitude. But without Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber there would be no Die Hard. An ultimate movie villain for his dumbing down of the terror he is inducing. Constantly referring to his audacious plan as a “heist” there’s something disturbing about the lengths to which this man will go for an easy paycheck. His ruthless dispatch of … after drinking a can of coke is the most chilling moment.
“There is no escape. Don’t make me destroy you. “ *shudders*. When the dust settles and Vader’s identity becomes known to Luke Skywalker this ultimatum shows how much Vader has been consumed by the temptations of the dark side. As Vader’s Star Wars story progresses his status as an, if not the, ultimate villain, is confirmed. It’s not just his stone cold dispatch of Admiral Ozzel and other insubordinates but his complex allegiance to the force, both light and dark, that propel Darth Vader to the annals of ultimate movie villains. An icon of cruelty within Star Wars lore and an icon of great villainy.
You know…Voldemort, Tom Riddle, the lord of evil and oversized cape sleeves. Harry Potter’s wizarding destiny demands a final showdown with his nemesis Voldemort who possesses what only ultimate villains do. He’s a legitimate threat, a discomforting curse on the magical moments that make the Harry Potter series so enchanting. All the magical, mystical allure of Diagon Alley can be done away with in the swiftest of flicks from Voldemort’s wand. He has the ability to bring destruction and death, nightmare and corruption, fear and doubt to all corners of the world and yet it’s his tragic relationship with Potter that makes him more menacing than ever.
Corrupting the mind of your nephew to overthrow your brother’s kingdom is pretty dark for a Disney film. To then place the blame upon young Simba’s shoulders and coax him to “run, run away” earns Scar a place on this list. His cruelty, violence and corruption make him visibly and morally darker than his altruistic brother, Mufasa. His laughing disciples and complete moral disregard give him a sinister edge that almost has you wincing at his fiery demise. To inspire such hatred and emotion in both child and adult viewers with sinister foreshadowing and inexcusable betrayal propel Scar to ultimate villain status.
James Cameron’s cybernetic coming-of-age action thriller, Terminator 2: Judgement Day is frequently cited as a rare example of a sequel done properly. It expands on the sprawling franchise potential offered by The Terminator and this time Arnie returns as the killer robot from the future, but with a twist. This time he’s been sent to protect John Connor from a new threat, the T-1000, an advanced terminator made of “mimetic metal poly-alloy”. With the ability to take on the appearance of anyone it touches or form objects out of its liquid metal make-up the cold-hearted T-1000 is more than a match for Arnie’s lumbersome shoot-first-ask-questions-later approach. Truly a great villain with ultimate staying power as one of the genre’s finest.
Like The Matrix wasn’t awesome enough with its Ghost in the Shell references, gun-fu, and Keanu Reeves revival: audiences were treated to one of the most menacing, perplexing, mesmerising villains of the 20th Century. Agent Smith, played to perfection by Hugo Weaving, is the leader of powerful sentient programs that enforce the reality of The Matrix. Neither robot nor human his unnerving personality, droll monotony and mirthless grin are a constant source of dread highlighted in his most disturbing moments involving cookies and interrogations.
X-Men: Apocalypse hits cinemas 18th May.