Saturday, June 2, 2007

Take 10: The Most Genius Villains, part A

In our first "Take 10" series, I will take a look at the Most Genius villains of all time. Villains who were not just evil, but truly genius - villains you had to respect for being begurdingly intelligent. In this first part, I'll discuss the ten villains who almost made the forthcoming, TOP TEN MOST GENIUS VILLAINS article. Here they are:

Marsellus Wallace (Pulp Fiction)
Does Marsellus Wallace look like a bitch? Well…he does kinda get raped by a thin white boy. But at the same time, he’s a pretty smart dude – he tosses people out of buildings and people think it was over a foot massage. And goddamn, that gold case – he’s gotta be a genius if he knew hot to get a hold of that.

Frank (The Departed)
Granted Frank gets a leg up because he’s played by Jack Nicholson, but he also knows how to play the Boston PD pretty well. And he carefully manages the talent in his hood so he can place them in as moles. His only mistake was having his hand in too many different people’s cookie jars.

Bill (Kill Bill, v2)
The guy has two movies where he’s the title character! And he knows Kung Fu. And he can play that little instrument that draws The Bride to him on the veranda. He’s got a bunch of pretty hard nosed killers that he plays like puppets – he knows exactly what he needs to say to his brother and Elle in order to fuel their anger against The Bride. And when the going gets tough, and he’s got to cross swords with the women he loves, he knows what he has to do.

Kelly (The Girl Next Door)
Our first character not from an action movie also benefits from a bad-ass actor (Olyphant). Kelly is a pretty clever dude too – he knows he wants revenge and he knows how to take it. And when he senses that his great idea is about to get stolen out from under him, Kelly strikes first and takes what he thinks is his. He just should have made sure before he embarrasses himself.

Scar (The Lion King)
The guy is a Lion, to start with, and then he’s got the voice of Jeremy Irons. And this Lion is the perfect conniving political climber – he knows that Mufasa will do anything to protect Simba, and he puppets Simba perfectly to get him to do what he wants. And he even controls the hyenas perfectly, giving them just the incentive they need every once in awhile to do his bidding.

Sergeant Bob Barnes (Platoon)
Barnes is a pretty evil dude – a man corrupted by war who thinks the ends justifies the means. Barnes is a clever soldier – carefully plotting tactics and measures to defeat the enemy and protect his men. And when the heat is about to come at him, Barnes knows exactly what he has to do.

Captain Dudly Liam Smith (LA Confidential)
Most of the movie goes down without you truly knowing who is pulling the strings behind the Night Owl cover-up. Captain Smith pushes and prods ever gently – getting Russell Crowe to do his dirty work and playing Guy Pierce off the rest of the agency to prevent the heat from ever coming down on him. And just when Guy Pierce is coming down on him, Smith drops the ace in his sleeve to bust up the good guys.

Elijah Price (Unbreakable)
Samuel L. Jackson is an erratic man searching for a superhero. The perfection of Samuel L. Jackson’s Elijah is that he manipulates Bruce Willis the whole movie – constantly pushing him to become the man Elijah wants him to be. Finally at the end we see Elijah’s true genius – his nefarious “experiments” that brought mass destruction to fruition.

Angel Eyes (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly)
Lee Van Cleef OWNS this movie. Well, the Man with No Name does too, but Van Cleef is right on as the worst of the three bad guys here – trying at all costs to kill Clint. And he tries with such flare and brilliancy.

Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman)
This one was kind of tough because you could also say Zorg is the dumbest villain too, because he makes a deal with an entity of pure evil that will consume the whole world (and likely kill Zorg too). Despite that, Zorg plays the pig-grunt guys to perfection and his line, “a true killer would have asked about the red button” is pure genius.

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