Gary Oldman's back on voice duty this week in animated alien yarn Planet 51.
It’s the second time this month Oldman's gone for the family vote, after playing three characters in A Christmas Carol.
But we remember when Gary Oldman was one of cinema’s baddest badasses – psychotic, dangerous and truly off his trolley.
But which of Gazza’s classic creations will last the distance when they’re up against each other? FIGHT!
Ludwig Van Beethoven - Immortal Beloved (1994)
There’s no doubting the power and passion of Beethoven’s music, but what of the man himself?
He was certainly one hell of a lover, with a string of stormy relationships behind him.
But the music always came first. You’d better not chatter when the great man’s playing or he’ll get classical on yo’ ass.
Pity he couldn’t hear it himself, mind.
Musical ability: 10
Sensible hair: 10
Is about to get punk’d by...
Sid Vicious - Sid and Nancy (1986)
Not for John Simon Ritchie the classical route. Nah, he’s going to do it his way.
There was fuck fuck fuck-all else to do, so punk rock seemed a good idea even if he couldn’t really play.
Regrets? He’s had a few. He shot it up more often than was healthy. His fashion sense didn’t always come off. And stabbing his true love Nancy Spungen brought him bovver.
But is he ready to face the final curtain? Is he bollocks.
Musical ability: 0
Sensible hair: 0
Let battle commence...
It’s the battle of the bands. Sid rocks up late, needs to get to the loo for a quick hit. He asks Beethoven...but since he’s deaf, he doesn’t hear him.
An insulted Sid headbutts him, sending him flying. Beethoven scrambles to his feet and pokes Sid in the eye with a conducter’s baton.
Sid wields a motorcycle chain and tries to strangle Beethoven – who grabs two cymbals and crushes Sid’s head between them.
Out comes the bass: Sid starts to bash it unmelodically, creating an infernal din. He doesn’t know that Beethoven is deaf. However, Beethoven can recognise bad playing when he sees it and promptly runs off at the tragic destruction of music.
Next: Verger vs Dracula [page-break]
Mason Verger - Hannibal (2001)
Here’s a face you won’t forget. No lips, no cheeks, no eyelids.
Don’t judge a book by its cover? This one you can. Verger is a paedophile who has used his extensive political contacts to avoid prison time for his crimes.
However... he was also assigned psychotherapy with Hannibal Lecter, who you definitely shouldn’t judge by appearances. He’s urbane, sophisticated – and eats people.
Even more psycho than Verger, he convinced him to carve up his own face and become a literal monster.
Is about to get batted by…
Vlad Dracula - Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
He looks like a geriaratic dandy, with his pallid features and gnarly fingers tarted up with the most bouffant hair do in Transsylvania.
But appearances can be deceptive – this one can cross oceans of time and can regenerate into a dashing youngster if he gets enough blood in him. Bit like the effect Red Bull brings when you’re knackered.
However, he’s also renounced God in favour of the powers of darkness, and can also turn into several nastier creations: a wall-crawling bat-monster, a rabid wolf, green vapour. Not sure what that one’s about.
Looks: varies - call it a 5
Let battle commence...
Mason Verger has heard about Dracula – a man with the gift of eternal life and rejuvenation. He wants it.
Dracula is summoned to his house. An earth-filled coffin arrives, and old Dracula rises from it.
Verger offers one million dollars for Dracula to bite him and make him immortal. Dracula refuses: he doesn’t need the money and, no offence, but he’s a little disgusted by the thought of sucking that face.
An enraged Verger has his minions throw Dracula into his pit of wild pigs. But Dracula nicks one of the men’s cheeks with his nail and sucks off the blood.
Instantly, he is energised and transforms into a wolf who tears apart Verger’s herd. Dracula morphs into the bat-thing and climbs out of the pit.
Verger begs him to save him or kill him – but Dracula turns into green vapour and saunters off downwind.
Next: Sirius vs Bex [page-break]
Sirius Black - Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Sirius is a legendary name in wizarding circles. A fearsome, deadly dark disciple of He Who Must Not Be Named (oh you know, that Voldemort fella) and once Azkaban prison’s most infamous resident…until he escaped.
However, though he’s Black by name he’s not by nature. The white sheep of his evil family, he’d rather play the doting godfather to young Harry Potter than cast Unforgiveable Curses.
He’s also an Animagus, which means he can turn into a dog. Useful fighting force? Nah, Padfoot is as much of a softy as his wizard alter-ego.
Magic weapons: 10
Muggle weapons: 0
Home advantage: 0
Finds that Saturday night’s alright for fighting with…
Clive ‘Bex’ Bissel - The Firm (1989)
With his flash suits, slicked-back hair and modern gaff, Bexy looks like a well-to-do city slicker.
But he has the heart of a thug, and come the weekend he swaps a briefcase for his preferred box of tricks – Stanley knives, rusty tools, extendable blackjacks.
The ICC brand on his arm shows his true allegiance: the Inner City Crew of footie ’ooligans.
In fact, he’s so dedicated to his hobby that even his kids are at risk of a Chelsea smile.
Magic weapons: 0
Muggle weapons: 10
Home advantage: 10
Let battle commence...
Sirius is sightseeing in the Muggle world and stops for a drink in the pub.
He accidentally bumps into Bex and knocks over his pint. Who’s this nancy in the robes? Bex throws a punch but Sirius casts a defensive spell that sends Bex’s fist flying harmlessly past.
Bex is really angry now. He pulls out a blackjack. Sirius draws his wand. Bex laughs, thinking this poxy twig is no match for his truncheon.
Sirius flicks his wrist and the blackjack flies out of Bex’s hand. Bex’s reaction: he nuts Sirius. Since they never taught that manoeuvre at Hogwarts, a surprised Sirius collapses over the bar.
Bex takes a look over – and Padfoot bounds over the bar with a snarl. Instinctively, Bex slashes at the dog with his Stanley knife and an injured Padfoot, whimpering, runs out of the pub.
“Fackin’ hell,” laughs a startled Bex as he orders another pint. Meanwhile, outside, back in wizard form Sirius uses magic to heal his wound. From now on, he’s sticking to Diagon Alley.
Next: Zachary vs Zorg [page-break]
Dr Zachary Smith - Lost in Space (1998)
Dr Smith is proof that, even in the future, there will always be bastards. And he should know, because he’s made it his life’s work to be one.
In theory, he’s a doctor, but the only person he’s willing to help is himself. And he’s worked out the best way of doing that is to put his morals to one side.
The only problem: he’s just so insufferably self-aware. Yes, we get it. You’re a villain. Do we need the running commentary? Honestly, yada yada yada, all the sodding time...
Gets some future-shock from...
Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg - The Fifth Element (1997)
Zorg’s our kind of future-villain: witty, flamboyant and absolutely batshit.
Just look at him, with his hair parted one side into the severest flick ever – and yet the other bald and covered in a weird plastic rig.
Better still, his work is as crazy and quirky as his fashion sense, which is handy ’cause he makes weapons. Big, bold, show-stopping eff-off guns.
Best of all, there’s a demented philosophy at play. By destroying things, he’s supplying a demand that will be filled by those involved in repairing the damage. So, really, everybody wins.
Let battle commence...
Mankind is at war with a race of weird half-dog, half-spider aliens. Earth authorities have called in Zachary and Zorg to lend their expertise in medicine and armaments.
Both, however, have sensed an opportunity to do business with the creatures and are ready to betray Earth for a huge wad of cash.
Unfortunately, they arrive for negotiations at the same time. After spending ages hurling insults at each other, they get physical.
Zachary has brought a sample of the poison he hoped to sell to the aliens – and throws it at Zorg. But it hits the plastic shell protecting his head and bounces harmlessly away.
Zorg’s turn...and he’s brought his masterpiece: the ZF-1. No contest. The first shot grazes Zachary’s cheek, but now Zorg can uses the replay button. Now, every bullet is headed Zachary’s way – not to mention rockets, arrows and flamethrowers.
Zachary legs it, with a singed arse and even more wounded pride.
Next: Korshunov vs Oswald [page-break]
Ivan Korshunov - Air Force One (1997)
Ivan’s such a patriot he would turn his back on God himself for Mother Russia and... oh look, he already has.
A defiantly old-school terrorist, Ivan devises insanely complicated and ambitious hostage scenarios in order to get what he wants. Want to kidnap the President? Let’s hijack his transport mid-flight!
Ivan’s so eager to do all the villain stuff, it makes you wonder if he’s ever considered doing things the simple way. He might’ve avoided a lot of fuss if he’d asked politely.
Is used for target practice by…
Lee Harvey Oswald - J.F.K. (1991)
Another Goddamn Soviet with his eyes on the President. Only this one got his man.
Or did he? Sure, he was a Marine, but he’d have to be the fastest, most accurate marksman ever to hit a moving target so many times from that distance.
Nor was Oswald the sharpest tool in the box. Could he have orchestrated the most momentous assassination in modern history all by himself? Or did he have help?
Will we ever know for sure?
Patriotism: 0 - he is American
Let battle commence...
Ivan and Oswald are drinking at a bar for Russian émigrés and discussing ways of restoring their favoured homeland to its former glory.
But they can’t agree. Ivan favours a big operation, lots of planning, subterfuge and terror. Oswald just wants to shoot somebody.
They leave the bar, steaming drunk, and head their separate ways. But Ivan rings his crew: he has a point to prove.
Oswald gets home and crashes onto his bed, but a ground-shaking movement throws him off. What’s going on?
His house is being lifted off its foundations by a helicopter! Ivan waves from the window.
Oswald grabs his rifle and tries to shoot Ivan – but he’s too far away, and the house is swaying too much in the wind.
Ivan puts his head out of the helicopter window to gloat properly – and is promptly shot in the noggin’ by Oswald’s accomplice, conveniently hidden behind (yes, we’re going there) a grassy knoll.
Next: Drexl vs Stan [page-break]
Drexl Spivey - True Romance (1993)
Should you ever need to dress up as a pimp, this right here is your ideal template.
Dreadlocks, leather beret, glass eye, facial scar, gold tooth. Oh, and leopardskin jim-jams. Drexl’s the dopest dude in the ’hood.
Yeah, OK, in truth Drexl’s looks more like a trustafarian caning away his inheritance on blow. But he’s still pretty fly.
Is about to get his chill time rudely interrupted by…
Norman “Stan” Stansfield - Leon (1994)
Stan’s a bad man. A bad, bad, man. A corrupt DEA officer, he (ab)uses his position to make sure he lives the high life.
Literally. He’s totally high on his own supply, popping pills and totally wired.
Sure, he likes the calm moments too, but only to enhance the quality of the storm. And he’s packing the firepower to make sure there’s a lot of sound and fury.
Let battle commence...
Stan’s on a raid – but he has no intention of bringing his man in.
He trashes Drexl’s place, butchers his men and makes Drexl a proposal: work for him, and he’ll let him live.
Drexl flashes his golden smile and twirls his dreads thoughtfully – until suddenly he pulls out a pistol from under all that hair and starts blasting away Stan’s men.
Stan dives for cover and the two trade bullets. Soon, only the two are left.
Time for a quick pick-me-up. Stan crunches a handful of pills in his mouth and jitters with pleasure as the drugs kick in. Drexl hoovers up as much coke as he can find on the floor and slumps back satisfied.
Stan makes his move, shotgun pumping. Drexl stands defiantly, his own sawn-off aimed straight at Stan.
And then – pop! – simultaneously their hearts give out and they collapse in a heap. Drugs, kids: don’t do ’em.
Next: Runyon vs Gordon [page-break]
Republican Congressman Shelley Runyon - The Contender (2000)
Runyon’s a proud, card-carrying member of the Grand Old Party and his career has been spent trying to keep things that way: grand and old.
He can’t abide the anarchy of modern life, with its disrespect for law and order and its indulgence in craven perversions. He puts it down to a lack of moral fibre.
He’s a man on a mission – to stop people having fun. We think it's 'cause he has a girl's name.
Friends: 0, probably
Commissioner James Gordon - The Dark Knight (2008)
Jim Gordon’s a good man. One of the few in the hellhole that is Gotham City.
As Police Commissioner of Gotham PD, he’s entrusted with bringing down the lunatics running the asylum, like that nasty masked vigilante Batman.
But rumours persist, that Gordon himself is in alliance with the Caped Crusader. Could he know more than he’s telling?
Friends: at least 1
Let battle commence...
Runyon’s on a mission to clean the streets of America, and he thinks Gordon’s the man for the job.
Granted sweeping powers, Gordon goes after the baddies, only to find that some of the worst criminal elements – drug dealers, corrupt cops, disfigured paedos and blood-sucking vampires – appear to have already dealt with each other. Huh, what gives?
But Runyon doesn’t believe him, and concludes that Gordon must be masterminding things. He starts a smear campaign that leaves Gordon’s reputation in tatters.
When Gordon confronts him, Runyon panics and shoots him. He hastily orders a cover-up, but when Runyon’s aides come to dispose of the corpse, it turns out Gordon was faking. Bullet-proof vest. Very handy.
Arrests all round for Runyon and his cronies. Looks like Gordon’s the man .
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