Sunday, October 7, 2012

Villain of the Day- Oct 4th

One of the highest grossing film series not only of the past few years, but of all time, is Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy. And it's not hard to see why. These movies really pushed the envelope in terms of how grounded in reality we could make a comic book movie seem, and it really worked out. Even people who aren't really into comic books or superheroes or anything like that were able to find something worth liking in these movies. One of the coolest parts of these flicks were the villains. Chris Nolan really showed that he knew how to write good characters when he gave us his renditions of characters like The Joker and Bane. And we're here to talk about them today!

The Joker- Even though Heath Ledger's performance as the killer clown is the most well known and most well received, that in no way means that we should shun all of the others, which were each good in their own way. That's the beautiful thing about a character like the Joker, as long as he does the essential things, mainly laugh like a maniac, you can do whatever you want with the character. Just be sure to include that he is a clown and that his only true motivation is to make people suffer. The how and why has ranged from adaptation to adaptation, but the core concept has stayed the same. Jack Nicholson's performance focused more on the clown side of the character, while Heath Ledger focused more on the maniac side of the character. For what they were trying to accomplish, each actor did beautifully. My personal favorite though has to be Mark Hamill's version from Batman: The Animated Series, which seemed to find the perfect mix of clown and killer, which is no small feat considering that this was a cartoon show aimed primarily at children.

"Why so serious?"

Bane- This is a character that has really been through the ringer. Even though he had a cool backstory, there weren't many movies that took him seriously as a character, which is sad because this guy would be the perfect adversary. He is afterall, one of the only villains to best the caped crusader in a one on one fight and break his back. In the atrocity that is Batman and Robin, he was reduced to being a mindless body guard who spoke in one word sentences. I don't think he even harmed Batman let alone broke his back. In this newest incarnation in The Dark Knight Rises, he has been upped from a gun for hire to a full blown terrorist leader with a crazy agenda and a messed up means of achieving his goals. In the comics, his backstory was that he was raised in a prison and he wears the mask because it pumps a steroid into his blood stream that makes him stronger than any man around.  In TDKR, the mask is a portable life support that pumps a pain killer into his blood stream because he is in chronic pain due to an injury (or series of injuries) that he received when he was younger. Not too different from Darth Vader. Either way, he is still a pretty awesome character, and it's nice to see a movie treat him like the badass he is, even if his voice was hard to understand at times.

"No one cared who I was until I put on the mask"

Ra's Al Ghul- In arabic, his name literally translates out to mean "the demon's head". He is the leader of a cult called "The League of Shadows", a group of ninjas hell bent on restoring world order, no matter the cost, even if that cost is the lives of thousands of people, innocent and guilty. It's scary to think of somebody having such a conviction and while we can all agree that world peace is a good thing, we can all take issue with the means. In the show, Ra's was immortal by means of a fountain of youth type device that wold restore his youth and body should he ever age or be fatally injured. In the movies, they talk about him being immortal through his ideals being passed on so that others may fulfill his work and succeed where he failed. Either way, it lead to a Liam Neeson cameo in TDKR, which we can all agree is a plus.

"If someone stands in the way of true justice, you simply walk up behind them, and stab them in the heart"

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