Who’s bad?

Most mem­o­rable movie vil­lains of 2013.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES - By BARRY KOLT­NOW

IS there a Hans Gru­ber in the house? Can Han­ni­bal Lecter come out and play? Darth Vader, please re­port to the prin­ci­pal’s of­fice.

You know where I’m head­ing with this – it’s our an­nual list of the most mem­o­rable movie vil­lains of the year.

He­roes are only as good as their vil­lains are bad. A wor­thy ad­ver­sary is nec­es­sary in mea­sur­ing the worth of our he­roes.

Ev­ery ac­tor will tell you that it’s more fun to play a vil­lain than a hero. The good guy must stay within a struc­ture and con­duct him­self by cer­tain rules of be­hav­iour, which can be con­fin­ing for an ac­tor. But a bad guy doesn’t have to play by the rules so it is in­her­ently more free­ing than a lead­ing man role. But not all vil­lains are cre­ated equal. Some vil­lains are das­tardly but de­light­ful, like the afore­men­tioned Hans Gru­ber, played so well by Bri­tish ac­tor Alan Rick­man in Die Hard. Like­wise, Han­ni­bal Lecter and Darth Vader are vil­lains we love to hate.

The flip side to those lov­able vil­lains, of course, are the movie char­ac­ters we don’t like so much but love to watch on the big screen. Amon Goethe, the sadis­tic Nazi camp com­man­dant of Steven Spiel­berg’s Schindler’s List, played with chill­ing ef­fi­ciency by Ralph Fi­ennes, and Nurse Ratched of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (Louise Fletcher) are not the kinds of peo­ple you’d like to meet in a dark al­ley, al­though you love them in a dark­ened movie the­atre.

The per­for­mance of a great vil­lain is etched in our movie mem­o­ries. Not-so-great movie vil­lains are for­got­ten be­fore you get to your car.

So, how does this year’s crop of movie vil­lains look? Do any of them have stay­ing power? Will any of them be re­mem­bered 10, 20 or 30 years from now? The only test is the test of time.

Here are our nom­i­nees for the most mem­o­rable movie vil­lains of 2013. Do you think any of them could be a clas­sic vil­lain like Auric Goldfin­ger? Or per­haps they will be dis­missed like Mel Gib­son’s Luthor Voz in Ma­chete Kills? the rea­sons is the film’s awe­some vil­lain.

Loki

Let’s see, sib­ling rivalry leads one brother to try to kill the other brother. Where have we heard that story be­fore? Tom Hid­dle­ston played Thor’s vil­lain­ous brother in Thor and The Avengers, and then reprised the char­ac­ter in the 2013 film Thor: The Dark World.

Gen­eral Zod

Like Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch, Michael Shan­non of Board­walk Em­pire fame had to deal with the ghost of the vil­lain’s orig­i­na­tor (Ter­rence Stamp in the 1978 film Su­per­man) when he pulled rank on the Man Of Steel.

Pres­i­dent Snow

Don­ald Suther­land is a politi­cian that every­body can hate in The Hunger Games: Catch­ing Fire, re­gard­less of which side of the aisle you sit.

The zom­bies

Re­mem­ber when I told you that a hero is only as good as his vil­lain? Well, what vil­lain could match Brad Pitt’s pretty face bet­ter than mil­lions of zom­bies in World War Z?

Smaug

Yes, we’re talk­ing about the dragon in Peter Jack­son’s The Hob­bit: The Deso­la­tion Of Smaug. This isn’t Puff the Magic Dragon. This is a nasty, trash-talk­ing mon­ster who likes to play with his food be­fore he eats it.

Man­darin

Ben Kings­ley’s ter­ror­ist leader in Iron Man 3 is not what he seems. That’s all we can say un­der penalty of death. — The Orange County Reg­is­ter/McClatchy-Tri­bune In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices

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