It's been a while since I've posted a Top 5 but now I'm back to bring you the next article in the series. Batman is arguably the most popular superhero in existence. Being as popular as he is, he's made a lot of foes, and today's list is all about them. Who were the best villains in the Batman movies? Let's find out. Like I did with my previous lists, there is an exclusion. A role so well done, that I have to give it it's own place above everybody else. Of course I am speaking of Heath Ledger's Joker. This role is perfection and it wouldn't be fair to the other roles if I kept him in the running, so I'm taking him out and putting him above everyone else. And now we can begin, my list of the Top 5 Batman villains.
5. Bane-Tom Hardy
This was a boss bad guy. Although it was tough to understand him, once you heard what he was saying, you realized he had some of the best villain lines ever put to screen. Even though he lacked the venom that gives Bane his incredible strength, this version was still terrifying and clearly didn't need the venom. Tom Hardy's demeanor on screen was so intimidating and cool, that we loved watching him break Batman's back and take over Gotham! The only reason he's at number 5 though is because in the end, he was just a pawn. But he makes the list, because before that was revealed, we saw him as a calculating mastermind and a giant bruiser, which we don't see very often in films. Watching Hardy's Bane is always a treat and quoting his lines is a pastime that we all can enjoy.
4. The Penguin-Burgess Meredith
While I've stated before how much I love Danny Devito's Penguin, Burgess Meredith's rendition of the character is better. He plays a wacky but brilliant criminal who is able to rally together some of Batman's craziest villains to defeat the bat once and for all. And if we look past all the camp and the datedness of Meredith's performance we see that this villain had drive and initiative. Think about some of his crazy schemes and all the work it took to get them done. He made a production company just to get Batman to make a movie with him so he could hypnotize Bats and kill him. That takes skill. While it seems weird to have him on here, I have to give credit where it's due to a villain who was really able to give Batman trouble.
3. Ra's Al Ghul-Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson is a phenomenal actor. He has given us so many fantastic performances, and the one that earned him the number 3 spot on this list is his role in Batman Begins. This was the first time we saw a Batman villain that we felt could be real. There are radicals like this running around and when you have such a talented actor portraying such a menacing character, it resonates. Neeson was able to play menacing but charming, a killer but also a victim. Having Batman's first super villain be the man who trained him was such a great move by the filmmakers. The determination Ra's had to get the job done was also so encapsulating. He was willing to turn against his own apprentice to do his job, even after Bruce had saved his life! That's cold. And Liam Neeson's calm demeanor made the villain even more chilling.
(Note: while you may think the recent use of such words as cold or chilling may be leading up to a Mr. Freeze punchline. Don't worry. I wouldn't do that to you.)
2. The Joker-Jack Nicholson
Even though I excluded Heath Ledger I'm sure you all knew the Joker was gonna make it on this list. What can I say. Jack, you did your thing. This Joker was just as psychotic as Ledger's. Seriously, his casual killings of people and then the jokes. That was some dark stuff. But it's so much fun to watch! You can't help but crack a smile as Joker scares the crap out of Vicki Vale. What about the scene where he shoots Grisom. Pure gold. And how can we forget the famous line. I'm sure that we all dream about a time where we can actually ask someone if they've danced with the devil in the pale moonlight. It's just such a great line, and having it come from Jack Nicholson makes it even better. This role helped pave the way for who the Joker would become and showed us that bad guys can be intimidating and colorful at the same time.
1. Catwoman-Michelle Pfeiffer
Whenever you need to describe a femme fatale to anyone just say Catwoman from Batman Returns. Anne Hathaway couldn't hold a candle to this performance no matter what. This role was owned by Pfeiffer. She was terrifying but you wanted to take her out. She was insane but who cares?! She's hot? And also with such a tragic ending to her character, we couldn't help but hold a special place in our heart's for Catwoman. And the relationship between her and Batman. HEARTBREAKING!!! Pfeiffer and Michael Keaton shared such chemistry that it was hard to see Batman lose his love. She should have gotten a solo movie, or least been bought back to the role because she was fantastic. That tease at the end bought a little light back to our hearts and we are all glad that our Catwoman was still kicking. She definitely kung fu'd and gymnastic'd her way to the number one spot.
What do think? Who are your top 5 Batman villains? Let me know in the comments below!