28. Poison Ivy (Batman and Robin)
Played by: Uma Thurman
This character is a complete embarrassment to watch, and Thurman is probably the worst actor in the movie. The actual cinematic character onscreen is equally as bad or worse than the previous four entries, but she goes ahead of them because the other four are incredible characters in the comic books and Poison Ivy doesn’t have much too potential to begin with. Still, there’s not much to be said that hasn’t been – from her ridiculous origins to her gorilla suit strip, Thurman tries to camp it up as much as possible and is a major contributor to Batman and Robin being considered one of the worst films of all time.
27. Galactus (Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer)
Played by: A cloud
I wasn’t sure whether to include FF2’s Galactus in this list at all since it’s not really a character in the movie. I mean, they take a full fledged character and turn him into….a space cloud. A cloud with all the same motivations, origin, role, and name of the Galactus from the comics, but a cloud nonetheless. Tying him into the F4’s origin was kind of neat, and I understand why they didn’t want a giant guy in purple….but they couldn’t make him resemble a human being AT ALL? Or even have a voice? A freaking cloud? Come on!
26 and 25. Blackheart and Mephisto (Ghost Rider, 2007)
Played by: Wes Bently, Peter Fonda
I’m a huge Marvel comics fan…and yet, I never would have seen this movie if I didn’t have to review it for the UCLA TV station. I grouped these two together, but Bently is worse in the film so Blackheart is 26. They’re both completely bland and lame, but they aren’t lower because the movie was so forgettable and no one cares about Ghost Rider’s villains. Both Bently and Fonda completely phone the roles in and look like they’re reading off of cue cards. I guess Blackheart and Mephisto’s motivations, origins, and actions are pretty much exactly the same as the (lame, one dimensional) comics characters, except they’re humans instead of giant monster demonds. There was a rumor that Blackheart was going to appear in giant demonic form in the movie, but alas, it was not to be. The movie sucked, these characters sucked, let’s move on.
24 and 23. Juggernaut and Sabretooth (X-Men, 2000, and X-Men III, 2006.)
Played by: Vinnie Jones, Tyler Mane
Another group that I batched together (I didn’t mean to have both pairs next to each other, but it worked out that way.) They appeared in different movies, but their role is the exact same: Major independent, and dangerous X-Men villains (who rarely interact with Magneto) who are relegated to Magneto’s brute strength henchmen in the movies. And yet, its not nearly as infuriating as Bane in B&R because they both show signs of their personalities (Juggy’s unstoppableness, Sabretooth’s feralness) despite being relegated to henchmen, and their roles kind of work in the film. It’s not really a flaw in the films that they were dumbed down, since they’re all ensemble films and that was the only way to make it work (Surely having Juggernaut be a mutant is a much better idea than explaining the Ruby of the Cytorak crap, and explaining their histories with Xavier and Wolverine, respectively, would be out of place and unnecessary.) Still, this makes their rankings as villain translations pretty low. Juggnernaut is slightly lower because of his stupid line from the YouTube video. I expect Liev Scheiber’s upcoming portrayal of Victor Creed to be miles better and explore the intricacies of the character.
22. Penguin (Batman Returns, 1992)
Played by: Danny DeVito
So as you can tell, I didn’t really like the original Batman movies. This is probably where my opinion deviates from a lot of peoples: I know a lot of people who actually love this movie and like this portrayal better, and I can see where they’re coming from, since the Penguin of the comics isn’t particularly interesting. But…I freaking hate this movie, because of this ridiculous Penguin. The Penguin is supposed to be a sophisticated upper class mob moss, and Burton actually took the reverse route one usually takes and turned a plausible and realistic comic villain into an over-the-top and ridiculous. This character completely disgusted me, with his grey oversuit and nose biting and unnecessary weirdness. Roger Ebert put it best when he said “I felt sorry for the Penguin, but did not fear him, or find him funny.”
21. Venom (Spider-Man 3, 2007.)
Played by: Topher Grace
Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to see Spidey battle Venom on the big screen, and in 2007 I finally got it. In Spidey 3, Venom’s origins were sufficiently similar to the comics. He looked pretty good and accurate onscreen. His fighting with Spidey was pretty good. So why the ranking? Because he was only onscreen for like five freaking minutes, and then died stupidly! Grace did okay with what he was given, but having this scrawny sitcom star playing an iconic villain was a pretty big insult in the first place. Raimi didn’t want to put Venom in his movie, but Avi Arad forced him, and it showed. The parts were Peter was possessed by the symbiote were ridiculous, and Brock’s plot felt shoehorned in. As a result, Venom fans got him onscreen for a few moments (with Grace’s voice, which sounded wrong coming out of him) before he died in a crappy CGI explosion. You know what they say about compromise: the end result is that nobody is happy.
20. The Riddler (Batman Forever, 1995.)
Played by: Jim Carrey
Another freaking Batman villain! After this one, however, the rest are actually pretty good, or great. Batman Forever probably could have been called “Batman fights Ace Ventura.” Schumacher just let Carrey say or do whatever ridiculous things he wanted, and the entire film is basically about Carrey doing his shtick. Whenever he’s onscreen, the other characters stop whatever they’re doing and watch him. I guess it kind of makes sense in some incarnations for the Riddler to be over-the-top, but this was way too much. At least, I guess he does look like the character, is kind of funny sometimes, and follows the clue-leaving thing pretty well. Still, I wanted a Batman movie, not a Jim Carrey vehicle.
19. Bullseye (Daredevil, 2003)
Played by: Colin Farrell
This is where the villains start getting okay. Farrell was pretty entertaining in this movie, and Bullseye is supposed to be an over the top psychotic, so it kind of made sense. This movie was okay in parts, but seriously suffered in the editing and pacing department – the director’s cut is much better. Anyway, Bullseye isn’t supposed to be Irish, but that’s easily overlookable – his skills, role, and personality all resemble the comics Bullseye to a T, and all in all makes for a pretty entertaining villain. What’s NOT overlookable is the fact that he has a big freaking bullseye tattooed on his head – what a stupid idea! Why would a hitman, who’s trying to remain anonymous and evade capture, give himself such a distinctive mark? Major style points off.
18. Green Goblin II/New Goblin/Harry Osborne (Spider-Man 1-3, 2002-2007.)
Played by: James Franco
I wasn’t really sure where to put Harry, or even what to call him. On one hand, they commit to having him become a villain for all three movies, and it’s wonderfully set up in the first two movies. I especially liked Willem Dafoe’s Norman haunting Harry in the mirrors, just like in the comics. But when Harry finally does become a villain, it’s pretty stupid – he just looks like an extreme snowboarder throwing pumpkin bombs. I can’t really blame them for trying something new since the Goblin suit from the first movie was so awful, but is that really the best they could do? Franco does a good job with what he’s given, especially in the first two and setting him up as a supporting character getting crazier. But there are some truly awful developments and scenes in the third film regarding his character (his snowboarder suit, the ridiculous amnesia, the stupid omelets scene with MJ, the pie being “so good,” and the deus ex machina butler) that ruin it.
More to come....