Top 5 on The Strip: Batman movie villains

Joker comboThe Joker

You knew he was going to make the list. How could he not with at least two movie out­ings devoted to the clown prince of crime, both played by dif­fer­ent actors that received rave reviews for their per­for­mances? The Joker is Batman’s arch-nemesis and thus deserves his own movies, which he gets to the delight of Bat­man fans. If you can posthu­mously win an Oscar for your per­for­mance as the Joker (Heath Ledger) or have your per­for­mance talked about for decades after­ward as the stan­dard bearer for psy­chotic crim­i­nal mas­ter­minds (Jack Nichol­son), you’ve done some­thing right as a character.

 Tom Hardy-Bane

Bane

Bane has so many quotable lines in “The Dark Knight Rises” that it almost makes up for the weak way he gets bumped off (spoiler alert: Bane dies). Tom Hardy’s por­trayal of Bane was intense and sat­is­fy­ing, mak­ing the film a must-see just from the trailer alone. If you didn’t care about Bat­man after Heath Ledger stole the show from Chris­t­ian Bale, you cared when Hardy uttered the infa­mous “Gotham’s reck­on­ing” line. Oh, and we only count Dark Knight Rises’ ver­sion of Bane. The mock­ery that was in Bat­man and Robin is best for­got­ten, much like the rest of the movie.

 Two Face combo

Har­vey Dent/Two Face

Another vil­lain that gets two out­ings in the fran­chise, the first time around for Mr. D.A. was campy yet fun. You learned the crazy that was Dent in a slightly lighthearted-yet-dark way that only Tommy Lee Jones could pro­vide in Bat­man For­ever. Con­trast that with Aaron Eckhart’s por­trayal in The Dark Knight, where he’s a tragic fig­ure caught in the cross­fire of Bat­man and the Joker’s bat­tle. Dent made you under­stand where he was com­ing from and sym­pa­thize greatly. You could sort of under­stand why he lost his mind. Oh, and that makeup job as Two Face was so well done, we can’t pic­ture Eck­hart with­out it now.

 Catwoman combo

Cat­woman

The sly kitty lady shows up twice in the fran­chise as well, and boy is she awe­some both times. Michelle Pfi­ef­fer and Anne Hath­away give new mean­ing to the term minx. And, any time a woman can look fierce in 4-inch heels while attack­ing peo­ple and hold­ing her own in a fight along­side Bat­man, she has our vote as a cred­i­ble char­ac­ter. She’s cred­i­ble as a vil­lain as well because, let’s face it, Cat­woman is not exactly help­ful to Bat­man any time you see her. In fact, every time you do so, it means trou­ble. That’s a trou­ble­some minx for you.

 Jim Carrey-Riddler

The Rid­dler

OK, so the sur­round­ing movie wasn’t all that great. But, truth be told, Jim Car­rey actu­ally kind of stole the show with his over-the-top por­trayal of the man in green. Car­rey is the kind of come­dian that you know what you’re going to get when you go see a film he’s in: He’s going to be ridicu­lous and he’s going to ham it up. And the Rid­dler was the per­fect vehi­cle for that. He made a com­plete mock­ery of Batman’s detec­tive skills and some­how man­aged to ele­vate the crazy past Tommy Lee Jones’ weird Two Face (see above). Hell, he even man­aged to make Val Kilmer’s dis­ap­point­ing turn in the tights slightly watch­able. You’re a good vil­lain when you can man­age that feat.

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