As Avengers 2 creeps up on us over here in the UK, fans around the globe are wondering whether James Spaders’ Ultron will be able to hold a candle to Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. As various trailers, TV spots and images circulate online like excited sperm, its definitely going to be a closely fought battle between these two powerhouse’s!
With this battle for bad guy supremacy hotting up, it seems logical to look at other bad guys within the industry as we take a look back at some of the best villains over the last year!
The Winter Soldier – Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier
I can’t start a list off like this without mentioning my favourite bad guy, the Winter Soldier! Managing to stay apart from more traditional enemies such as Loki, Thanos and the Red Skull, the Russo brothers decided to come away from the more ‘sophisticated’ enemy and instead opt for the relentless hunter. Cleverly shrouding the character in mystery throughout, the Winter Soldier becomes one of the strongest aspects of the film, dominating when on screen and merciless in his actions – even ‘Cap’ struggles to defeat him! Played excellently by Sebastian Stan, I praise Marvel for allowing the new direction, stripping away personality for pure machine! Its this excitement whenever I see Cap 2 that makes me crave another feature with the Winter Soldier and makes him top of my list of bad guys of 2014!
‘Hammer girl’, ‘Baseball bat man’ and ‘The Assassin’ – The Raid 2
The Raid 2 did to its predecessor what Taylor Swift does to music….it destroyed it! Not only did Gareth Evans up his game on the story but he also managed to surpass all fight sequences (arguably within the last 10 years of cinema) and bring us something magical! The final 45 minutes is indescribably intense, bringing different fighting styles together to create a mismatch of pure delight. Whether its baseball bat man, hammer girl or the assassin, each scene delivers on the last and without a doubt offers exactly what you want from your 10 quid! Taking advantage of each fighting style, each enemy provides something different, forcing both the pacing and tone of the film to change for the viewers benefit! Not only are they great to watch, but they are integral to the story, exactly one of the reasons why these three have made the list of awesome bad guys!
Will Caster – Transcendence
There is no doubt in my mind that this was the most disappointing film of last year! I can comfortably say the lead up to this film was more exciting than finding the toy at the bottom of the cereal box – the final product however was a shambolic mishmash of unequally paced thematic throw up marred in sub par directing, poor casting and an altogether loss of any point! Overall, I could put this film on the list as an enemy against mankind, but alas, one thing managed to stand out from the shit – Will Caster. Although there is nothing in the 119 minutes that can back my argument up, there is something quite interesting in the concept of humans merging with AI. Caster is a normal guy trying to further his field, so its quite interesting that in his quest for knowledge he becomes thirsty for power, his merging with his own AI creates a ‘God-like presence which gives him the ability to be anywhere at any time with the power of the internet at his control. Its the challenge to the traditional dichotomy of good and evil that keeps us this villain at the forefront of my mind even if it is a film that i would quite like to forget!
The M1 – Locke
Arguably my favourite bad guy after Winter Soldier, Locke managed to produce a bad guy that drives (get it…) the whole story forward and without it, there probably wouldnt have been much to tell at all! So without further adieu, may I present my next bad guy of last year, the M1! With rumours circulating that the infamous motorway only narrowly won the role from the M4 and the A12, its no surprise it was chosen as its the perfect distance between two cities for a film to be made! Although not your typical bad guy (as its a road), it does things that not a lot of baddies get to do….its there for the entirety of the film! As one of All Things Movies favourites from last year, Tom Hardy not only goes toe to toe with the tarmac but it also acts as the base for a film steeped in tension and human emotion.
Amy – Gone girl
Taking the concept of ‘girl power’ and making it something for all males to fear, Gone Girls ‘Amy’ has made the list not just for her black widow exterior but the unrelenting normalcy of how the character is depicted! Is she a sociopath? A psychopath? Sexually frustrated? We will never know! But its this shroud of not knowing that makes the story so intriguing! With a performance worthy of an Oscar (yes academy, I said it), Rosemund Pike steals the show and reminds all men not to piss off the opposite gender or they may just frame you for murder!
Greed – The Wolf of Wall Street
Not necessarily a bad guy (or even a measurable factor to be honest), greed takes such a pinnacle role within the film that it almost became its own character! Jordan Belfort has several times to leave the trouble behind, but its his greed to remain on top and fraud his way to more money than anyone needs that hangs ominously above the narrative like the Grim Reaper on afternoon rounds! As a driving force within the narrative, its hard not to see the 3rd deadly sin as an invisible enemy -so what can you expect from a film where the tag-line reads so proudly ‘greed is good!’