Rate Batman Movie Villains Performance and Writing


So, I was watching Batman Forever on tv today (No, I don't hate myself), and it got me thinking about rating every movie villain so far, from Burton to Nolan's trilogy.

To refresh your memory of the players:

Nicholson Joker - Excellent performance, and Burton really captured the Joker. Only complaint is that he killed Bruce's parents, really unnecessary.

DeVito Penguin - Excellent performance, another great job by Burton at understanding the character.

Pfeiffer Catwoman - Really sexy, really disturbed. Solid character, but her whole intro to the character was kind of weird to me.

Jones Two-Face - Horrible. Just horrible. Couldn't tell if it was Two-Face or the Joker at times, a complete waste of a great actor.

Carrey Riddler - Really liked Carrey in this, good casting. Writing was still off, but probably Schumacher's best villain (not saying much).

Arnold Mr. Freeze - It's quite an achievement when the cartoon version of your character has more emotion than you. Good job Arnold!

Thurman Poison Ivy - Nothing special on the acting side, and I guess Schumacher got the character, kind of.

??? Bane - That's not Bane.

Murphy Scarecrow - Some good acting for what he had to work with. I didn't see much character motivation from Nolan's writing, made him more of a henchman.

Neeson Ra's - Great job from Neeson and Nolan on this one. For a realistic Batman, this is probably as good as this character can get.

Eckhart Two-Face - Good acting, much better version, but I didn't like it too much either. There's still room for a great Harvey Dent in the future.

Ledger Joker - Excellence performance, a really dark and psychotic take on the character. Definitely Oscar worthy.

Hardy Bane - Hardy's a badass, and he broke the Bat, so I'm happy. I'd still like to see a Bane that's similar to this, but actually on Venom.

Hathaway Catwoman - Another sexy Catwoman, good character portrayal to shut up critics.

Cotilard Talia - Good acting, but the character was 'meh' overall.

So what's your opinion?
Here, if you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. There it is, that's a straw, you see? You watching?. And my straw reaches acroooooooss the room, and starts to drink your milkshake... I... drink... your... milkshake!
-Daniel, There Will Be Blood

Excellent idea for a thread...

Jack Nicholson - Joker 8/10
Controversial seeing as he was given not only a name, Jack... but he was also written as the killer of Bruce Wayne's parents.
Nicholson rocks though... always be a favourite. He's also brilliantly unhinged.

Danny DeVito - Penguin 8/10
Loved DeVito as Penguin. Not as comic as Nicholson but the darker tone of the character works well with the darker tone of the film.

Michelle Pfeiffer - Catwoman 7/10
Definitely the sexiest Catwoman.
Agree her background was a bit touch and go though... too much weirdness with the cats eating her in the alleyway. Spiritual ghostly stuff didn't suit the film.

Tommy Lee Jones - Two Face 0/10
Hated Jones in the role. Feels too much like an OTT caricature of his role in Under Siege.
He's also annoying... and seriously outgunned when put next to Carrey.

Jim Carrey - The Riddler 7/10
Loved Carrey though in this role. Made for the part really... I don't think The Riddler could be any better tbh.
Defining moment of an awful film.

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Mr. Freeze 3/10
Nope. Too big, too bulky... Fries/Freeze was always a scientist dude and Schwarzenegger doesn't fit the intellectual villain at all. He was also written to be a complete wuss.

Uma Thurman - Poison Ivy 4/10
Trying too hard to be Pfeiffer while trying too hard to add comic book touches to fit the cartoony tone of the film. Just doesn't work.
Uma is also not sexy enough for the way the character was written.

Robert Swenson - Bane 0/10
I added the actor's name... and no... he isn't Bane. Right build body-wise given the tone of the film, but just not written correctly.

Cillian Murphy - Scarecrow 5/10
More of a pawn than an actual villain... easy to defeat but his intelligence, especially when hit with his own drugs shines through.
"Dr Crane isn't here right now... but if you'd like to leave a message" says a lot about his resolve.

Liam Neeson - Ra's Al Ghul 8/10
Secretive psychopath... and Wayne didn't realise it until too late. Pushes the boundary of Arch Villain with brains and fighting ability but he was just killed too easily.

Aaron Eckhart - Two Face 9/10
Superb turn... Eckhart's Two Face is not only believable but also understandable... by far the best incarnation of Two Face.
I also loved the effects behind the transformation from Harvey to Two Face.

Heath Ledger - Joker 10/10
Another best performance... no name, no other alias, clothing is custom, no labels....

... and he keeps telling different stories about how he got his scars.
This Joker is more of a Legend than Wayne could be. Just a shame what happened to Heath... he could have been great had he been in TDKR as well.

Tom Hardy - Bane 10/10
Definitely my favourite of all of them. It was always going to be hard to top Heath as Joker... but Hardy's Bane is brilliant. Smart, tough, unhinged and unlike Joker, actually has a long term plan which makes him more dangerous.

Anne Hathaway - Catwoman 7/10
An understandable villain like Two Face was, she has a reason for being what she is, even though the MacGuffin she's after is a bit contrived.
But she can't really be classed as a villain in the third act because she genuinely has a soul and a conscience.
Not as sexy as other Catwomen (Catwomans?) but set in reality makes for a good character and never actually referred to as Catwoman.
Unlike Pfeiffer, at least this time she has a reason for dressing up the way she does... she's a Cat Burglar.

Marion Cotilard - Talia 7/10
Like Ra's... she's the real deal... pushing Arch villain and striking secretly from the shadows in anything from physical villainy to fulfil Ra's's (spelling?) destiny... to simply breaking Wayne's business from the inside to get even.
Agree though, she was a bit meh in some aspects.

Ledger's Joker: 10
Nicholson's Joker: 9

Pfeiffer's Catwoman: 8
Hathaway's Catwoman: 7

Jones's Two-Face: 3
Eckhart's Two-Face: 8

Schumacher's Bane: 2
Hardy's Bane: 7

Scarecrow: 8
Penguin: 7
Riddler: 6
Talia: 6
Ra's al Ghul: 7
Mr. Freeze: 2
Poison Ivy: 4
#31 on SC's Top 100 Mofos list!!

Er, yeah... Opinions are, like, different and similar and stuff... and you can see how different and similar they are on forums... like this one.

Nicholson Joker





Mr. Freeze

Poison Ivy

Batman & Robin Bane

Liam Neeson No Rating

Heath Ledger Joker

Harvey Dent


Hathaway Catwoman

Marion Cotillard

On the outside looking in.
Out of Four:

THE JOKER: Romero ***1/2
Nicholson ****
Hamill ****
Ledger ****

CATWOMAN: Meriwether **1/2
Pheiffer ***
Berry ***1/2
Hathaway ****

THE PENGUIN: Meredith ****
DeVito ****

THE RIDDLER: Gorshin ****
Carrey **1/2

TWO-FACE: Jones **1/2
Eckhart **3/4

POISON IVY: Thurman **

MR. FREEZE: Schwarzenegger **

SCARECROW: Murphy ***1/2

RA'S AL GHUL: Neeson ***1/2

TALIA: Cotillard ***1/2

BANE: Hardy ***
"Yes, citizen, there is no cause for alarm -- you may return to your harpsichord."

Nicholson 4.5/5
Hamill 4/5
Ledger 5/5

Pheiffer 3/5
Hathaway 4/5

DeVito 3.5/5

Carrey 2.5/5

TWO-FACE: Jones 2/5
Eckhart 3/5

POISON IVY: Thurman 2/5

MR. FREEZE: Schwarzenegger 1/5

SCARECROW: Murphy 3.5/5

RA'S AL GHUL: Neeson 3.5/5

TALIA: Cotillard 2.5/5

BANE: Hardy 3.5/5