One of the DC Comics superheroes whose movie releases we still look forward to is Batman. There have been numerous films, and even television series, produced throughout the years, but the story is still far from over. There are still lots of issues to tackle, and more characters to introduce. One of the highlights of every Batman movie are the villains who never cease to create havoc in Gotham. The wide range of criminals and outlaws have even gone on to star in their own film franchise, The Suicide Squad. Every villain has an interesting backstory, and we’re here to tackle some of them. Here are five of the smartest villains, who have appeared in the Batman films:
5. The Penguin
The 1992 Batman film, Batman Returns, featured villains of all kinds. One of the most memorable characters was The Penguin, portrayed by Danny DeVito (Big Fish), who had a plan to take control over Gotham City. His vengeful disposition stemmed from a rough childhood, where he was abandoned by his parents when he was a baby due to his deformities. He was later raised by penguins from an abandoned zoo. This led to a life filled with spite and revenge. Apart from ruling Gotham City, The Penguin also had a plan to seek revenge after being cheated by a corrupt tycoon, Max Schreck, portrayed by Christopher Walken (Catch Me If You Can). The Penguin’s scheming nature makes him one of the smartest villains. He has gone through the wringer all his life, and knows how to deal with setbacks and hardships. He is also relentless in his pursuit to finally be someone who is feared and revered, for once in his life.
Another memorable villain from Batman Returns is Catwoman, portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer (White Oleander). Her character starts off as the naïve and gullible Selina Kyle, the secretary of tycoon, Max Schreck, who later gets pushed through a window after she learned about his true evil intentions. Selina dies from the fall and is mysteriously revived by a group of street cats. She suffers from a psychotic breakdown, and later transforms into Catwoman, a seductive and agile villain who wants to avenge her death. There have been other versions of Catwoman in succeeding Batman movies, such as Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada) in The Dark Knight Rises. Zoë Kravitz is also about to portray the iconic character in the latest Batman movie. Catwoman may be considered as a villain turned antihero, but her cat-like senses and intuition makes her one step ahead of her enemy, and ready to viciously attack when triggered.
3. Harvey Dent/Two-Face
In The Dark Knight film installment, Harvey Dent, portrayed by Aaron Eckhart (Olympus Has Fallen) starts off as a District Attorney who is committed to fight organized crime in Gotham City. This proves to be detrimental when his fight for justice leaves him injured, and half of his face disfigured. This turns him into a murderer with a split-personality focused on revenge. Dent/Two-Face makes for an interesting villain, because of his skills and intelligence. What he once used for the greater good of Gotham City is now used to seek revenge and cause destruction. This makes him clever in his ways, and one that is tough to beat.
2. The Joker
The 1989 Batman film is a classic in so many ways. One of those reasons is the big screen introduction of the supervillain, The Joker, portrayed by Jack Nicholson (As Good as It Gets). The Joker is one of the most iconic villains in the Batman franchise due to his colorful character. He started out as a mob enforcer whose appearance was altered by an accident involving harsh chemicals, and a botchy plastic surgery afterwards. He attempts to take control over Gotham City while committing mass random murders. Another memorable and award-winning portrayal of The Joker was by Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain) in the Dark Knight film. The Joker’s unpredictable nature and carefree disposition makes him even more dangerous, as you never know what other tricks he has under his sleeve.
Bane, portrayed by Tom Hardy (The Revenant), is a revolutionary villain that appeared in The Dark Knight installment as well. Bane, who considers himself as a “liberator of pain”, was excommunicated from the League of Shadows, and who wears an analgesic gas mask to relieve him from pain that came from a previous injury. The character is the most physically imposing out of all Batman’s villains. He is able to challenge Batman on a physical and mental level, unlike any other villain. His dark and mysterious past also makes him one tough enemy to beat.
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