New STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Still Reveal Who Owns the Pair of Hands on the Glass SPOILERS


POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD

The following still was just released from STAR TREK INTO THE DARKNESS.

Kirk and Spock on the same side... with Cumberbatch on the other...
Kirk and Spock on the same side… with Cumberbatch on the other…

This still reveals that it is not Spock and Kirk pressing their hands against the glass as the did in STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN.

Continue reading “New STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Still Reveal Who Owns the Pair of Hands on the Glass SPOILERS”

More Reasons Why STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Is Either Gary Mitchell OR Something New (NOT KHAN!!!!!)


KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!… cannot be in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS.

I already wrote one blog about why Benedict Cumberbatch is most likely playing Gary Mitchell. But that was before the “Announcement” teaser dropped, so now I have even more to go on.

First off, let’s dispel the rumor of a young Khan once and for all…

Khan is also Indian... Just sayin'...
Khan is also Indian… Just sayin’…

1) Khan has NO super powers. He is genetically superior to the average human, altered into a Napoleonic genius with a thirst for conquest, but he’s not psychic; he can’t cause mass destruction without a starship or army. The synopsis for INTO DARKNESS calls the villain a “one-man weapon of mass destruction.” That ain’t Khan. Some of the destruction Cumberbatch creates in the teaser is well outside the abilities of Khan.

2) Khan, at least in the original canon, was from 1999 (I believe), one of the genetic “super-humans” (again, in intellect and strength, NO actual superpowers) marooned in space after attempting to conquer Earth. That was long before Kirk or Starfleet’s time. And Cumberbatch’s character seems to want revenge against both.

THIS WOULD NOT HAVE CHANGED IN THIS NEW TIMELINE. After all, it happened long before Nero and Spock returned from the future, changing the fate of Kirk and his crew.

Looks to me to be misdirection... It's in the trailer, but why do the same scene from the first "Star Trek 2" aka "Wrath of Khan"
Looks to me to be misdirection… It’s in the trailer, but why do the same scene from the first “Star Trek 2” aka “Wrath of Khan?” That’s Spock on one side, but who says it is Kirk on the other?

3) J.J. and crew would be fools to touch Khan. It’s like redoing the Joker… but Abrams is NO Christopher Nolan. Just watch the steaming pile of SUPER 8.

Now, more reasons (in addition to the ones in my past blog), why it looks to be Mitchell…

The blond from the INTO DARKNESS trailer looks a lot like Dr. Elizabeth Dehner from "Where No Man Has Gone Before"
The blond from the INTO DARKNESS trailer looks a lot like Dr. Elizabeth Dehner from “Where No Man Has Gone Before”

1) The girl with the blond hair (Alice Eve). Look at her. Though so-far nameless, she looks an awful like Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, the only other Enterprise crew member to receive psychic powers with Mitchell during the magnetic storm encountered while trying to exit the galaxy in THE ORIGINAL SERIES (TOS) episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before.”

Now, Dr. Dehner was not in the IDW comic version of “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” which is officially canon with the new timeline, so she never received powers herself. But… she has a history with Mitchell… and Bones… regardless and is key to the original episode. The only reason she is not on the ship at the time of the accident in the comic is because Bones is already the Enterprise’s top physician, at the start of the comic, where in TOS she was his predecessor.

The comic also mentions the two have had a romantic past which is why she and Bones were not both assigned to the same starship.

dehnerSo what does Mitchell want with Dr. Dehner now (assuming it is Dehner)? She’s powerless. Does he love her? Do his powers allow him to somehow remember the other timeline where they were empowered together? Driving him to seek a way to transform her as well so they can be together? Or does he simply sense the minor TK (LOOPER speak for telekinesis) in her already. Either way, she’s totally in peril at some point… and is featured in the teaser more than many classic crew members.

In the uniform and THE chair!
In the uniform and THE chair!

2) Cumberbatch wears a Starfleet uniform and even is sitting in a Captain’s chair in parts of the trailer. Khan was never a part of, nor never wanted to be in Starfleet. Though he did steal the Enterprise and would destroy the rest the fleet with glee, I can’t see him dressing in uniform of his enemy. On the other hand, Mitchell is a former member of Starfleet and a personal rival of Kirk’s.

What glee it would bring Mitchell to prove he is the better Captain after all.

It's a little worrisome that Bones is only seen on the "red" planet in the teaser. After all, he's my favorite crew member...
It’s a little worrisome that Bones is only seen on the “red” planet in the teaser. After all, he’s my favorite crew member…

3) Bones said it. On a press junket for DREDD, Karl Urban aka STAR TREK’s Bones said Cumberbatch is “awesome, he’s a great addition, and I think his Gary Mitchell is going to be exemplary.”

Sure, this could be misdirection, but what are the odds he would plant it months ago only to have the trailer seemingly support his claim? That’s too intricate, even for an Abrams secret.

Loose lips sink starships, Bones McCoy!

4) Mitchell’s been in the IDW comic series that is canon. Khan has not (unless he is the focus of the new “Countdown To Darkness” mini-series, in which case my theories are fucked).

Sure, he dies, but he also has powers no one, not even Spock understands. It’s not outside STAR TREK logic to think Mitchell was already unkillable when Kirk thought he did the deed. In which case, how in the world will they defeat him this time?

Maybe it’s neither Mitchell nor Khan.

What if this is what Abrams wants? All this speculation between Khan and Mitchell when it is someone completely different?

After all, how does this quote from the Japanese teaser apply to Mitchell?

“Is there anything you would not do, for your family?”

The line could simply be Mitchell questioning Kirk’s allegiance to his “family” aka crew, though it almost sounds like an explanation for his own actions. Perhaps this character is not Mitchell and is seeking revenge for his own lost family (though that’s a lil’ similiar to Nero’s plight).

NeroI guess we’ll all know soon enough. There will be 9 minutes of INTO DARKNESS on THE HOBBIT Imax Friday, with a real trailer for the film following on the 17th.

Better Class of Criminal (Part III)- Romulans, Nazis, and Moriarty, Oh My!


The villain of STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS seems to fit the current mold.
The villain of STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS seems to fit the current mold.

Possible SPOILERS follow for any movie mentioned.

Villains are no longer underwritten stereotypes to be trifiled with. They are now the stuff supporting-actor-Oscars are made of.

As discussed in Part II of “A Better Class of Criminal”, the academy award-winning-villains Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) and the Joker (Heath Ledger) were really the catalysts that transformed the average blockbuster movie villain into the eccentric, playful, oh-so-personal, well-spoken masterminds of today.

This post, we will journey up to 2012, wrapping up next time with the likes of Bane, Silvia, and future villains including IRON MAN 3’s Mandarin and STAR TREK INTO THE DARKNESS’s mysterious villain (whom I still assume is Gary Mitchell).

I’ll cover the antagonists who followed 2008’s Joker prior to the current year, including Col. Hans Landa from INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS and A GAME OF SHADOWS’ Moriarty.


Nero2009
 –  Captain Nero (Eric Bana), STAR TREK

Nero is not a fantastic villain; he shouldn’t necessarily be on this list. Eric Bana disappears into the role, but Nero is pretty one-dimensional, due to the filmmakers’ wise decision to focus on introducing the crew of the USS Enterprise in this origin story.

Deleted Klingon from STAR TREK (2009)
Deleted Klingon from STAR TREK (2009)

(A fairly long deleted scene features more back-story – and J.J. Abrams’ Klingons! –  adding to his character.)

Still, the make-up looks badass (suck it, Darth Maul), and Bana is clearly having a great time chewing the scenery; “Hi, Chris. My name is Nero.” Nero is lots of fun, though in most other ways he is not the prime example of a 21st century antagonist. He’s not all so scary and lacks the intricate plans of most of his modern peers.

Nero isn’t the ultimate baddie, but he does indicate Abrams has the potential to do something special with Cumberbatch’s antagonist in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS.

“James T. Kirk was considered to be a great man. He went on to captain the U.S.S. Enterprise… but that was another life. A life I will deprive you of just like I did your father!”

Gotta' love the pipe!
Gotta’ love the pipe!

– Col Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

Another Best Supporting Academy Award win for a villain actor (following Javier Bardem and Heath Ledger)! Also like Bardem, Christoph Waltz is another foreign actor who seemed to come out of nowhere!

Milk must lead to strong bones... and Oscars
Milk must lead to strong bones… and Oscars

Waltz is simply perfect, injecting quite a bit of fun into a very serious role; after all, his nickname is “the Jew Hunter.” Again, we have a scary man who always has the time to stop and drink a cool glass of milk.

Landa is so scary because he is relaxed and matter-of-fact, hiding a very violent, short-temper underneath (as illustrated when he snaps and strangles Bridget von Hammersmark).

Waltz is the heart of many incredibly acted scenes: Landa calmly smokes from an over-sized pipe (he upstages all opponents in every way, always) as he draws information about hidden Jews from a poor, sweating farmer who doesn’t stand a chance against Landa’s charismatic/terrifying persona. Landa also has quite the chat with Brad Pitt and Ryan from THE OFFICE (B.J. Novak).

Landa is nearly always smiling, enjoying his game.

The game?  Ensuring he ends up on the winning side.

Truly a slime-ball of a villain, a man that has no code except ensuring his own survival, only Waltz can pull off Hans Landa, flawlessly switching between more than a few different languages, sounding fluent and poetic in all.

Landa may just be the 2nd best villain on this modern list… behind Anton Chigurh, of course.

“That’s a bingo!”

Actor Mark Strong always pleases.
Actor Mark Strong always pleases.

– Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), SHERLOCK HOLMES

I have a soft spot for Mark Strong. He’s not quite Bardem or Waltz, but he’s still great in nearly everything -KICK-ASS, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY,  BODY OF LIES, ROCK’N’ROLLA – you name it he’s great in it. (I haven’t seen 2010’s ROBIN HOOD, smart-ass.)

In the first SHERLOCK HOLMES, Blackwood is a decent villain for Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) to cut his teeth on, though he is no Moriarty.

Blackwood ticks nearly every modern villain box; he gives great, menacing speeches, he’s got a sprawling plan that keeps him streets ahead of Holmes, and he’s even got a Bond-villain style deformity (those fucking teeth!). I just wish Blackwood took a little more joy in his scheme. Especially since his plan is great fun, involving “dark magic” and “supernatural powers,” a great challenge for even the world’s greatest detective (of the 19th century – we’ll get to Batman’s baddies again next time…)

I always love exchanges between villains and heroes, especially when the antagonist cockily taunts and foreshadows coming events that the hero cannot comprehend. The interplay between minds like Holmes and Blackwood makes you glad most of today’s villains are “master-minds.”

“Holmes, you must widen your gaze. I’m concerned you underestimate the gravity of coming events. You and I are bound together on a journey that will twist the very fabric of nature. But beneath your mask of logic I sense a fragility. That worries me. Steel your mind, Holmes. I need you.”

Holmes gets to deliver an equally astounding monologue as he “Scooby-Doo’s” Blackwood’s plan, breaking each supernatural trick down, one-by-one.

Lord Blackwood even "cheats death."
Lord Blackwood even “cheats death.”

Besides the supernatural elements, Blackwood has a great plan indeed. What’s better than world domination, the old fashioned way?

“My powers and my assets were given to me for one purpose. A magnificent, but simple purpose: to create a new future. A future ruled by us. Tomorrow at noon, we take the first step towards a new chapter in our history. Magic will lead the way. Once the people of England see our newfound power they’ll bow down in fear. Across the Atlantic lies a colony that was once ours. It will be again. Their civil war has made them weak. Their government is as corrupt and as ineffective as ours… so we’ll take it back. We will remake the world. Create the future.”

Don't Invite Jerry In!
Don’t Invite Jerry In!

2011 – Jerry (Colin Farrell), FRIGHT NIGHT

Colin Farrell just kills it in a horror/comedy with just the right vibe.

Again, smooth and charming on the surface, yet animalistic and dangerous underneath. Le package totale.

Farrell, like Waltz, has so much fun with the role, and his character takes great pleasure and malice in his work. In this case, it is almost entirely the acting that makes another one-dimensional villain (as written) an absolute joy to watch.

Jared Harris as Moriarty– Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris), SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME SHADOWS

Holmes: Are you familiar with the study of graphology?
Moriaty: I have never given it any serious thought. No.
Holmes: The psychological analysis of handwriting. The upwards strokes on the p, the j, the m indicate a genius level intellect. The flourishes on the lower zone denote a highly creative yet meticulous nature. But if one observes the overall slant and pressure of the handwriting there is a suggestion of acute narcissism, a complete lack of empathy, and pronounced inclination toward moral insanity.

Perhaps the original criminal mastermind, Sherlock Holmes has been come up against his arch-nemesis time and time again, though we had to wait for 2011’s GAME OF SHADOWS to watch Robert Downey Jr.’s Holmes face off against his intellectual equal (possible better).

Having the two most brilliant men on the planet face off is a recipe for awesome, and Jared Harris’ interpretation of the rotten Professor does not disappoint one bit.

Throughout the film, the two men encounter each-other 3 times. Knowing my love of hero and villain banter, these scenes obviously strike quite a chord with me (the HOLMES franchise is quite good at this, apparently). The fact both men respect each-other’s genius while considering himself the other’s better, makes everything all the more interesting and tense. May the best man win…

The two geniuses meet for the 1st time.
The two geniuses meet for the 1st time.

Their 1st encounter comes in Professor Moriarty’s office, involving some damn-delicious dialog, introducing the fish metaphor and setting the rules of their most-dangerous “game.” Moriarty promises he won’t leave Dr. Watson out of “the equation” even though he is on honeymoon, while also revealing to Holmes that he has already murdered his love, Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams). If I didn’t mention it last time with the Joker (who- SPOILER – killed Bruce Wayne’s “main squeeze”), I’ll say it now; personal is always better.

Moriarty has made it very personal.

Holmes is exactly where Moriarty wants him at the Opera
Holmes is exactly where Moriarty wants him at the Opera

And so, the game is afoot! And what a game it is, with Moriarty appearing to always be one step ahead of Holmes in a way that would make the Joker proud.

While the Joker planned to be caught, Moriarty instead sets up a serious of false clues to lead his rival to the Opera, all while his plan is going off without a hitch across Paris.

Their second encounter gets uglier, with Holmes in Moriarty’s possession. Holmes has figured out Moriarty’s world-wide-scale mastermind plan, but the professor literally has his hook in him. Moriarty is having a great time as he tortures Holmes. And the fish metaphor continues.

“You are…familiar with Shubert’s work? The trout is perhaps my favorite. A fisherman grows weary of trying to catch an elusive fish. So he muddies the water; confuses the fish. It doesn’t realize until too late that it has swum into a trap.”

Finally, the pair play chess.

Here comes the reversal; unlike Batman, Holmes was actually one step ahead of his villain’s plot nearly the entire time. In fact, he’d been scouting Moriarty months before the two officially met.

Check-mate.

Be Careful What You Fish For
Be Careful What You Fish For
"Come now, you really think you're the only one who can play this game? "
“Come now, you really think you’re the only one who can play this game? “

Holmes stops the plot, but Moriarty himself is not-so-easily defeated. Just like Holmes, he sees the world a different way; he sees all possible outcomes and knows he actually has the advantage if the two are to fight to the death. Holmes sees it too, which is why he “sacrifices” his own life to defeat the most dangerous man in the world, his intellectual equal but physical superior.

What villain’s better than that? Moriarty’s personal, brilliant, and morally insane. He is Holmes’ equal so much so that Holmes need kill himself to defeat him.

“I wonder, which one of us is the fisherman and which the trout?”

In actuality, there are villains better than Moriarty.

We’ve already discussed three of my favorites thus far – Anton Chigurh, Col. Hans Landa, and Joker, yet some of the best are yet to come next time!

In 2012, we’ve watched three of the greatest villains in cinema, including the aforementioned Bane and Silva (as well as a nice surprise!). They continue the traits we’ve discussed, making them all surprisingly similar while each attempts the erase memory of the last.

Ben Kingsley as IRON MAN 3's Mandarin
Ben Kingsley as IRON MAN 3’s Mandarin

Part IV will also anticipate three upcoming villains including those of IRON MAN 3 and STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, suggesting they will continue the pattern established while bringing something even newer to the table.

After all, crime never sleeps. Though masterminds might… (and I do).

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Teaser 1


Benedict Cumberbaugh
Gary Mitchell? Is that you? Khan never had super powers…

http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/paramount/startrekintodarkness/

I still think he’s Gary Mitchell

https://breakinggeek.com/2012/12/05/star-trek-into-darkness-synopsis-totally-confirms-villain-why-so-curious/

Especially with the cute short-haired blond, and the first officer threads worn by Kirk in STAR TREK (2009). He’s back to wreak havoc on all the puny mortals, for now, Mitchell is a God.

Kirk reacting to the return of an old college? Or the death of a friend (very little Bones in the trailer, which worries me).
Kirk reacting to the return of an old college? Or the death of a friend (very little Bones in the trailer, which worries me).

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Synopsis Totally Confirms Villain. Why so curious?


I want to start by apologizing if this subject has already been written to death. I’m not all-too-present on the internet these days, but light research suggests very few similar articles/blogs have the same confidence and evidence that Gary Mitchell is the villain in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS.

INTO DARKNESS Poster“When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.

With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.

As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.”

STAR TREK ONGOING COMIC BOOK/THE ORIGINAL SERIES SPOILERS AHEAD!

People have suggested this synopsis confirms Gary Mitchell or Khan as the film’s villain, but I think the former is the only serious candidate.

GM as he appeared in TOS
GM as he appeared in TOS

Based on this synopsis, Benedict Cumberbatch (the actor playing the villain) has got to be Gary Mitchell! He’s from their own organization, the federation, and is a “one-man weapon of mass destruction” following his mutation at the edge of the galaxy. Khan matches neither characteristic (unless he is drastically changed… which is possible…).

Both possible villains do have a very personal score to settle.

In the comic series that  INTO DARKNESS writer/producer Orci is a consultant on (Orci promised the books would set up characters we would see in the film), Kirk did “kill” Gary Mitchell before he would become too powerful, as Spock feared. So what if Mitchell died in the comic? What if he was actually, already too powerful to kill?

Gary Mitchell as he appears in Orci's comic.
Gary Mitchell as he appears in Orci’s comic.

What if Mitchell returns to Earth, hailed as a first officer feared dead and given a promotion? Kirk, off “going where no man has ever gone before” can’t warn anyone as Mitchell is welcomed back, only to destroy the fleet with his even more evolved powers. The same powers Spock feared may manifest (like in TOS and the comic!).

As previously stated, Orci said the villain and other characters from the sequel would be introduced in the IDW ongoing STAR TREK comic. Gary Mitchell was the subject of issues #1 & #2, just as he was the center of the story in STAR TREK TOS’s second “1st” episode.

Nuff’ Said!

The only real doubt the synopsis suggests comes in its final line;

“…sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.”

I thought Kirk’s mother and (half?… step?) brother were still alive? She was simply “off planet” in the first film.

James T. Kirk and "brother."
James T. Kirk and “brother.”
James T. Kirks’ Pop (AND Thor!)

Will Kirk’s family play into the film, or am I simply reading into it too much?

After all, it could just be a sentimental reminder of the continuing “teamwork/family” theme of STAR TREK. And a reference to Kirk’s dad being dead in this timeline.

OR

Kirk’s family could fall victim first to Mitchell, leaving the Captain only the “real” friends of the Enterprise bridge crew (after all, “real” friends don’t kill other friend’s families and colleges, Gary!).

OR

This character could not be Gary Mitchell, and instead a different villain we’re all overlooking or have never heard of… perhaps a family member?

I suppose whatever is not revealed tomorrow in the trailer will be revealed in the STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS prelude comic from IDW.

"Star Trek Countdown to Darkness" Issue #1
“Star Trek Countdown to Darkness” Issue #1

A Better Class Of Criminal: Part I


“This city deserves a better class of criminal.”

Have you noticed a trend in your favorite blockbusters of late (well… “of late” meaning “the past 5 years or so…”)?

Are your villains more interesting? Do the actors portraying them have past Oscar nominations and/or can they overcome the action-movie stigma to achieve at least pipe-dreams of one? Are these bad guys crazier than normal? You know, more unique with a funny voice or passion for mayhem?

If you answered yes to any of those absurd questions, perhaps you, like me, feel that the past decade has produced some of the most memorable and unique villains in the history of cinema. (No, not just memorable because they’re recent, memorable because they’re so good it feels like they have  some real staying power.)

Javier Bardem as Silva in SKYFALL

2012 alone has been particularly giving, including last weekend’s SKYFALL, anchored by villain Javier Bardem. I’d like to take this time in “movie villain history” to recall past favorite villains of mine and compare them to the current crop that catch audience’s eyes for their originality (like Bane… that is some really bizarre shit).


Patterns will quickly emerge, suggesting that these modern villains we love to love for their originality, actually share quite a bit in common with one another. It’s less that each breaks the mold, more that each fits the current mold; a mold that itself has evolved from what came before. Even the mold is not original, it has simply built on our past, perfecting the traits of a great villains past rather than inventing them.

My personal favorite antagonists from decades past range from those widely-considered classics to a few lesser appreciated gems (especially recently)*:

*I am a lover of film, but I am also only 24 years old, so I apologize if my naturally limited knowledge of films before the 70s cause me to leave out an obvious villain for this list. Likewise, I am writing this all in one night (instead of sleeping); I’m confident that later today I will be like “oh fuck, I can’t believe I forgot ___________!”

*Also, to set up some sort of limits as to what qualifies as a villain/antagonist/bad guy, I’ve decided to draw the line at  live-action man. No sharks a la JAWS, dinosaurs a la JURASSIC PARK, no machines a la 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, and no animated baddies like Gollum. After all, though many (including myself) would argue three of the four preceding examples are incredibly emotive/iconic in their execution, are they really the same as an actor doin’ their thang’?

*Finally, to simplify shit even further, I eliminated any characters who may be imaginary, a la FIGHT CLUB.

TOP CLASSIC BADDIES

“No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”

1964 – Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) – Really set the mold for the classic Bond villain better than DR. NO and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE had established before. Besides keeping a light and witty rapport with the hero, Goldfinger seems to take great pleasure in his own eccentricities, something we will see time and time again in the Bond universe and elsewhere.

It is this pleasure in action I am trying to drive home today, this aspect that is essential for an interesting antagonist today.

1977, 1980, 1983 – Darth Vader, uhhhh I’m not even gonna say what movie he’s from cause I’m insulted – Obvious choice. No one is more ruthless than him. None more iconic. He’ll death grip the shit out of his own men. And look great doing it. The guy to imitate when it comes to getting results from your henchmen.

And even back in his day we were using tricks like interesting voices and masks (again, see Bane) to give villains identity in a world full of ’em.

1981Dr. Rene Belloq (Paul Freeman), RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK –  Rene Belloq is my favorite type of villain, the doppelganger; that is, a baddie who is very similar to our hero/nearly the mirror opposite. Belloq and Indiana Jones are both archaeologists, peers in their field, but they differ in methods. As Belloq tells Jones, “I am but a shadowy reflection of you, it would take only a nudge to make you like me.”
 

1982 – Khan (Ricardo Montalban), STAR TREK II: WRATH OF KHAN – It never hurts to make it personal, not for the audience at least.

Not JAWS 3 or TAKEN-I-want-my-daughter personal. More like the villain feels as though the protagonist has personally wronged them, personal. So, rather than the good guy going on a rampage limited by what makes him a good guy, you have a sadistic madman who don’t give a shit ’bout no’body out to settle a score, and no one will stand in his way. When this happens, there are no Innocent and the world (and/or the universe) burns.

So is the case with Kahn who seeks revenge on Kirk for marooning him on a baron planet, and so will be the case with one of the top villains of 2012.

1987 – Joshua (Gary Busey) with an assist by Endo, LETHAL WEAPON – Joshua is perfect parts crazy and loyal as proved by the classic flame-to-arm scene. Besides, it’s hard to forget that crazy cop on crazy mercenary beat-down with Riggs (Mel Gibson). Joshua would also be considered a doppelganger for Riggs (noticing some patterns here?).

And as far as Endo goes, one need only quote Mr. Joshua, “Endo here has forgotten more about dispensing pain than you and I will ever know.”

Live or die by that reputation, Endo.

Live or die.

1988 – Hans Gruber, DIE HARD – Fine, I admit that so far, very few of my choice are controversial or unknown. Don’t worry, that comes later, like in the 90s where nostalgia clouds my judgement.

Characters popular in the 80s are in-proportionality represented on this list because it’s a personal favorite time period in cinema. Like today, villains were quirky and took great joy in their “work.” Gruber didn’t just have a killer, well thought-out master-plan; he also had fun! (Sound familiar?)

1989 – The Joker (Jack Nicholson), BATMAN – Really, who has more fun killing people than the Joker? The Joker is supposed to be having the time of his life, even when things don’t go according to plan. Jack doesn’t disappoint, though his version still pales in comparison to that of Mark Hamill.  Goddamn it though if the man doesn’t commit.


1989
– The South African Consulate’s Minister of Affairs and his Henchmen, LETHAL WEAPON 2 – “Diplomatic Immunity,” really says it all, don’t it?

(Answer: “Yes, it don’t. It really don’t.”)

A little advice, don’t kill the hot South African chick Riggs is fucking AND THEN tell him you murdered his wife. That is, unless you want your house pulled down a mountain.

That shit’s just super personal, and Riggs goes the appropriate amount of ape shit, like 007 post-Vesper.

NOSTALGIA SETS IN: VILLAINS FROM MY FORMATIVE YEARS

1995 – Alec Trevelyan aka 006 aka Janus (Sean Bean), GOLDENEYE  – There’s a reason 006 was/possibly is still my favorite Bond villain. Again, everything’s super-personal (he’s Bond’s old friend, plus Bond scarred him by “setting the timers for 3 instead of 6.” He knows MI6 and is another perfect example of a doppelganger (perhaps the most perfect as Bean was nearly hired as Bond). All the correct chips are in play, driven home by all the witty banter between “006” and 007, up until the end.

006 for a new

millennium006 shares quite a few similarities with the still to be discussed Silva from SKYFALL, and is certainty a precursor for the new villain. His past drives him a different direction than “For Queen and Country” Bond, feeling a similar need for revenge to that of Javier Bardem’s character.

1995 – John Doe (don’t wanna spoil the surprise), SEVEN – He’s certainly one of the most quirky/sadistic killers on film. And he knows how to deliver an unbelievable third act, important for any villain worth his salt (if that is even a saying).

Returning our attention to 006, while he’s always great, but it’s the combo of an incredibly strong introduction action scene and the finale showdown that cement his role in 007 history. Likewise, with an ending like that of SEVEN,  I doubt we’ll forget this serial killer soon.

1997 – Edgar (Vincent D’Onofrio), MEN IN BLACK – Really, unlike anything else I’ve ever seen, D’Onofrio’s performance of a space roach in an “Edgar” suit still astounds. Certainly one of the most “out there” threats. Again, fun work with the acting and voice make for fun times at cinemas.

1998 – Don Rafeal Montero (Stuart Wilson) &  Captain Love (Matt Letscher), THE MASK OF ZORRO – Double the doppelgangers, double the fun!

With old Zorro facing his old arch-nemesis (who just happened to accidentally murder his wife then intentionally -d’uh – steal his daughter) and new Zorro facing his brother’s killer, after years of training and dreams of revenge. Really, Nick Doll’s wet-dream.

From the director of the aforementioned GOLDENEYE and CASINO ROYALE, Martin Campbell, I like to think of MASK OF ZORRO as the movie Campbell made simple because he couldn’t, at that juncture, make a 007 movie. ZORRO follows all the rules of 007 from the detective work, to the “Bond” girl, to a madman with a country changing plot, Don Rafeal Montero, his lead henchman, Captain Love, and an epic, explosive finale.

2002 – Norman Osbourne (Willem Dafoe) aka The Green Goblin, SPIDER-MAN – “Work was murder”

Now, there’s an actor who chewed the scenery in the best way possible. Whether realistic or not, Dafoe’s approach to the over-the-top Green Goblin set the standard for modern comic book movie villains like those of the AVENGERS and DARK KNIGHT.

Limited by an expressionless mask, Dafoe does a lot with a little. His conversation with “the Goblin” is thing of super hero movie legend, making it ok for mechanical arms, black goo, sand, and lizards to talk to mad scientists in SPIDER-MAN sequels for years to come.

Talking to yourself is a unique place to go with your villain, and comics like Spider-Man nearly demand it.  What is most important and fun about the character though is, again, the extreme joy felt by “Gobby” whilst terrorizing Spider-Man and New York. This really laid the groundwork for silver screen villains like Loki.

If they were to cast Norman Osbourne in the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 tomorrow, I’d insist it remain Willem Dafoe. He embodied a comic character perfectly even before RDJ ever became Tony Stark.

We’ll continue this analysis of the modern blockbuster villain as derived from his aforementioned history next time on BREAKING GEEK in “A Better Class Of Criminal: Part II” including the final era of movie villains,  “Adult” Life: Nearly Modern To Today… And Beyond! 

Find out what Bane, Joker, and Silva all have in common!

Find out which villainous strategy is hot, hot hot! (clue: Joker, Bane, Loki, and Silva all recommend it!)

All this and more! On BREAKING GEEK!