ByHolly Emmett, writer at
Film student and full time nerd
Holly Emmett

Batman was the first superhero to mold me into the all-singing, all-dancing nerd that I am today, and I believe Batman's enemies were the key to creating such an interesting and engrossing universe within DC. And thus, this article was born! Starting with the worst (to get them out of the way), I will do my top five best and worst Batman villains to have appeared on the big screen.

5. Penguin (Batman Returns)

Urgh. Danny DeVito's rendition of the Penguin is perhaps the strangest and downright weirdest to have ever been presented on the big screen. Just because he's stumpy, chubby and has a huge prosthetic schnoz does not mean that he is doing the Penguin any justice. I mean, he literally came from the sewers in this film, and nothing about him screams "sneaky, cunning criminal."

He also is the furthest away from the "Gentleman of Crime" which artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger intended in the comic book world. He's dirty, smelly and perverted, and I can't believe he was allowed anywhere near Michelle Pfeiffer's amazing portrayal of Selina Kyle/Catwoman.

4. Two-Face (Batman Forever)

So I understand that working alongside Jim Carrey can't be easy, but for me, Tommy Lee Jones's portrayal of Two-Face was simply lackluster. In fact, I often forget that Two-Face was even in Batman Forever. What made it worse were his "angel vs. devil" sexy women that would follow by his side and try and appease each half of his weird, gross face. As an attempt to keep up with Jim Carrey (I mean, why try?), Tommy Lee Jones ends up camping up Harvey Dent so much that he turns into an knockoff version of the Joker, and it's not a good combination.

3. Doomsday (Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice)

I was super-duper excited for the release of Batman v Superman, and I was only mildly disappointed. The main cause of disappointment stemmed from the rather pointless addition of Doomsday, a villain which harbors the same strength as Superman. Now, I understand DC needed a common enemy for the trio (Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman) to fight in order to set up the upcoming Justice League film, however Doomsday seemed like a rushed decision made in five minutes 'til quitting time at the DC board meeting. I was impressed by Lex Luthor, but Doomsday just didn't seem to fit in the plot all that well.

2. The Ogre (Gotham TV Series)

OK, maybe not a villain to Bruce Wayne since Bruce is just a child in this TV show; however, I feel that he was the weakest villain within the TV show and that deserved a small rant. I suppose The Ogre — a serial killer who murders women who don't want to be with him — was used as a device to make Jim Gordon remember he did once have a wife. When Barbara is taken by The Ogre, the GCPD is forced to investigate the murders. However, The Ogre himself does not compare to the other villains in the show, and I just think he was used (similarly to Doomsday) as a device to move the plot forward.

1. The Entire Cast Of Batman And Robin

*Vomit*. I hate this film, the more I think about it the more I want it burnt. I want to take every hard copy of this film and hurl it into the pits of hell because that's where it belongs, below the earth with Satan. What on earth was Bane? He looked like an extra for Nacho Libre. Poison Ivy was a joke, I usually admire Uma Thurman's work but her portrayal of Poison Ivy was like some cosplayer had jumped on set. Mr.Freeze makes my blood boil, his puns aren't even clever. It'd be ice to see you leave the room please. Even Batman and Robin are villains in this film because they're just so damn bad. Somehow, even though Batman's cave is super secret and super secure, we get a curious Batgirl walk in there like it's her regular corner shop. This film is just terrible.

5. Harley Quinn (Arkham Asylum, Comics, Animated Series)

I know, I know, technically this is cheating since she hasn't been featured in a film (yet). But I just love her! She's an absolute bad ass in her own comic series, and she's just the cutest in the animated series, I loved her in the Arkham Asylum game as well. I just think she's cute, bad ass, funny and an all round great villain. Her love for the Joker makes the pair great enemies for 'the bat'.She has such great potential for a villain in the cinematic universe, however I'm not holding my hopes high for Suicide Squad. Her first appearance in a DC film and they choose Margot Robbie? Where's her signature voice? What part of her outfit looks anything close to a jester? Pink and blue?!

4. The Riddler (Gotham TV Series & Batman Forever)

The Riddler is such a great concept for a villain, and both Jim Carrey (Batman Forever) and Cory Michael Smith (Gotham) do a fantastic job. In Batman Forever, Jim Carrey presents a good combination of crazy and comedy to bring the Riddler to life and is undoubtedly the king of the question mark as well as the king of the whole film. However, Cory Michael Smith from the Gotham TV Series brings a different perspective to Edward Nygma. He plays a forensic scientist whom is a tad weird to begin with, but as series one progresses Nygma becomes more and more crazy. I am also partial to Wally Wingert's Riddler in the Arkham Asylum game.

3. Scarecrow (Batman Begins & Arkham Asylum)

Cillian Murphy creates a truly frightening rendition of Scarecrow, and he really deserves air time (in my humble opinion). He creates an unsettling atmosphere which is perfect for the fear-inducing character that he's supposed to be. In the Arkham Asylum game, Dino Andrade also created a very fearsome and spine-chilling villain. I'm pretty sure after completing his level I had a string of not so great nightmares.

2. Penguin (Gotham TV Series)

Robin Taylor very successfully shows how Oswald Cobblepot goes from a measly umbrella boy to the 'king of Gotham' at the end of series one. There's no smelly sewer, no fat costume and no prosthetic nose and Robin Taylor still manages to portray (and look) like the Penguin more than DeVito. I just love how it shows how young Penguin slowly climbed the ranks as a criminal and how he becomes one of the most feared villains in Gotham.

1. The Joker (Batman (1989), The Dark Knight & Arkham Asylum)

Number one on the best villains list, I think that's a very worthy title. My personal favourite Joker of all time is Mark Hamill in the Arkham Asylum game, he's got the right amount of quirk, comedy and evil going on and to top it all of he's oh so very cunning and smart. My second favourite Joker portrayal is Jack Nicholson's camp but unsettling rendition in Batman (1989) and my third favourite is the very critically acclaimed Heath Ledger's scary and unpredictable portrayal in The Dark Knight. I am also SUPER excited for the release of the animated version of The Killing Joke, as it's perhaps my all time favourite graphic novel.

Holly Emmett, 03/07/2016


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