After watching Public Enemies this weekend, it’s clear the film portray the dangerous criminal as a charming hero. Obviously his real life story offers a stark contrast to how the film made him out to be.
Hollywood does this all the time it seems, making a hero out of otherwise shabby characters. I thought of some ‘bad boys’ that not only ‘captured’ the audience’s hearts, they are essentially the ‘heart’ of the movie itself.
Here they are in no particular order:
1. Phantom in Phantom of the Opera
This is the flix that I came to know and love Gerard ‘Gerry’ Butler. One look at this seductive brooding ‘opera ghost’ and you’ll know why Christine’s lured by him. The half-deformed rogue is supposed to be an ugly creature not much to look at, but it’s hard to take your eyes off Butler’s Phantom. Raoul who??
2. Castor Troy in Face/Off
This despicable character is fascinating to watch, played by both John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. When playing Troy, each actor got the best lines and both seemed to have more fun playing that character than the good guy Sean Archer.
3. Hans Gruber in Die Hard
The masterful performance by Alan Rickman always made the list of ‘best villain.’ He’s ruthless but yet so refined, elegant and polite that you can’t help rooting for him. He offers such a stark contrast to the crass and ‘everyman’ John McClane (Bruce Willis) and made the game of cat and mouse so much more fun to watch.
4. Ben Wade in 3:10 to Yuma
The Bible-quoting outlaw played by Russell Crowe is a complex yet sympathetic character. Even Dan Evans (Christian Bale), the good guy who escorts Wade to the 3:10 train to Yuma, can’t help liking the guy. The battle of wills between the two of them is the essence of the film right up until the end.
5. The Joker in The Dark Knight
The role that eclipsed the Dark Knight himself. Heath Ledger was ‘lost’ in this quintessentially evil character that might’ve cost him his own life. The Joker stole literally every scene he’s in, yet despite our abhorrence to the things he did, we were mesmerized by him.
– Simon Gruber in Die Hard 3 (Jeremy Irons)
– Dr. Octopuss in Spiderman 2 (Alfred Molina)
– Elijah Price in Unbreakable (Samuel L. Jackson)
What do you think? Any particular bad boy stood out to you?