Ever since 2008 when Marvel introduced the cinematic world to Tony Stark and reintroduced Robert Downey Jr. to the world of pay-checks, the Marvel films have consistently been some of the most talked about and highly anticipated films around, especially when the San Diego Comic-Con is taking place.
The importance and hype around these films has been propelled to whole new levels with the incredible success of last year’s Avengers Assemble, and with it the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become a true phenomenon of the modern movie age.
The reasons for the financial and critical success of these films are no doubt down to Marvel’s unique choices in casting and directors, as well as fun, action packed scripts that haven’t taken themselves too seriously in an age where superhero films could more aptly be described as noir thrillers. However, when it comes to superhero films, or sci-fi/action films in general, I believe the film and its hero are only as good as the villain of the piece.
What is Batman without The Joker? Luke without Vader? Or Michael Moore without George Bush? Evil, memorable villains have always been an incredibly important tradition in film, even when it comes to children’s films such as Disney classics like The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. These films as well as hugely successful franchises like Star Wars, Harry Potter and James Bond, all have iconic, detestable villains that we all love to hate.
I am therefore dedicating this list not to the heroes of the Marvel films, who already receive all the love, praise and glory of the fans, but instead to the loathed, hated yet downright awesome and memorable villains of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I won’t be focusing on every single evil-doer, but rather the main antagonists of the film, and I will be specifically focusing on these characters as movie villains, rather than looking at how faithfully they have been adapated from the comics.
7. Emil Blonsky/Abomination – The Incredible Hulk
Poor old Emil. The reason why Mr. Blonsky and his ugly alter-ego Abomination come in last place on this list is mainly because they’re not involved in the greatest of films. By no means is Marvel’s second film of 2008 and their first crack at Bruce Banner a terrible film, many actually see it as a much needed improvement over Ang Lee’s more art house attempt at a superhero origin, 2003′s bluntly named Hulk.
Sure the more simplistic plot, added dose of action and updated special effects may make this a better Hulk film, but audiences never embraced Edward Norton’s portrayal of Bruce as they did earlier in the year with RDJ’s Tony Stark, and out of all the films from Phase One of Marvel’s cinematic plan, The Incredible Hulk made by far the least amount of money, even though the character was much more iconic than Iron Man in 2008, or Thor and Captain America.
When it comes to the antagonists of the plot, William Hurt does a fine job at portraying General Ross, and though Ross is always the one on old Brucie’s tale in both cinematic outings, and is always a rather sizeable barrier for Bruce, Ross has never been an out and out villain, more a J. Jonah Jameson figure. It is Tim Roth’s Blonksy/Abomination who is the definite villain of the film.
I’m not entirely sure if Roth, who in my opinion is more suited to Tarantino dramas and independent films, really does a brilliant job as the villainous Blonsky. Before Blonsky is given the super-solider formula and Bruce’s blood, he just comes across as annoying and arrogant, rather than a threat to be reckoned with. There is no complexity or layers to Roth’s character either.
Once Blonsky turns into Abomination, the finale of the film just becomes one big dude hitting another big dude, which is a premise that is barely entertaining in a Transformers film. The saving grace for Abomination is its design. I’ve always liked how his monstrous physique mirrors The Hulk in size and daunting stature, but also how the creature has its own distinct design and look, due to its protruding skeletal structure.
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