Battle Royale: Movie World Leaders

According to Clint Eastwood's Invictus - out this week - all Nelson Mandela prefers a quiet game of rugby to the bloodthirsty hell of war. (What do you mean, is there a difference?)

Yet, if we remember anything from history at school, it's that most world leaders are hellbent on power at any costs.

Here at Total Film, diplomacy has failed. We're pitching Presidents, Prime Ministers and psychopathic tyrants against each other as Battle Royale goes global.

That's it. Yes. It's WAR!

Mohatma Gandhi

Played By: Ben Kingsley, Gandhi (1982)

The pioneer of mass civil disobedience, Gandhi taught us to resist tyranny simply by sitting down and sticking our tongues out at it.

OK, so there were innumerable beatings and imprisonments, and many of his followers were killed, but the stubborn sage got his way and kicked the Brits out of India. By sitting down.

Saintliness: 10

Aggression: 0

Top ten singles bearing his name: 0

Finds peaceful protest under siege from...

Nelson Mandela

Played by: Morgan Freeman, Invictus (2009)

The mighty anti-apartheid campaigner was initially influened by Gandhi, before turning to armed rebellion and sabotage against Afrikaner targets. The result? 27 years in a cell.

But he came out a legend, preached peace and reconcilation, and united his divided nation through the medium Yes, really. Have you never heard the saying "a good scrum is worth a thousand policies"?

Saintliness: 9

Aggression: 2

Top ten singles bearing his name: 1

Let battle commence...

It's World Leader sports day, and Nelson's up for a spot of rugby. But Gandhi, more of a cricket man, sits down on the pitch.

Mandela makes a speech about the need to stick together and get behind the team, but Mahatma ain't budging.

Matt Damon hands Mandela a rugby ball, which he chucks at the inviting target of Gandhi's head. Bang! Nelson's a good shot, and knocks Gandhi's glasses off.

He doesn't even move to pick them up.

Mandela spends the next 80 minutes - the duration of a match - trying to force a back-down. By the end, he's absolutely knackered and, bruises aside, Gandhi is unbowed.

At which point Mother Theresa suggests using the rugby ball in a game of French cricket. Mandela agrees. Gandhi is up like a shot with a bat in his hand.

Next: Nixon vs Blair [page-break]

Richard Nixon

Played by: Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon (2008)

Controversial President mired in an unpopular war and rumours of a White House-sanctioned cover-up after the Democrat headquarters in the Watergate building was broken into.

The scandal eventually drove him from office, but he resigned without facing criminal charges. The only trial was by telly, interrogated by TV pundit David Frost (Michael Sheen).

Armchair warrior: 10

Evasiveness: 9

Media savvy: 7

Gets a lesson in spin from...

Tony Blair

Played by: Michael Sheen, The Queen (2006)

The architect of 'New Labour' promised a better future for Britain when he became Prime Minister. But within months, he was mopping up the nation's tears and giving the Queen a kick up the arse to restore the good times after "People's" Princess Diana died.

What a nice guy! Well... this was before Iraq, the 'dodgy dossier,' and avoiding his own Frost/Nixon moment at the Chilcott Inquiry.

Armchair warrior: 10

Evasiveness: 10

Media savvy: 10

Let battle commence...

At a televised debate on foreign policy, Nixon and Blair are getting along famously.

But the mood turns ugly when Nixon suddenly notices Blair's resemblance to David Frost. It's a stitch-up, isn't it? He's the same fella!

Blair denies all knowledge. To the best of his knowledge, to the depths of his very soul, he is Tony Blair.

A scowling, muttering Nixon lunges at Blair, trying to impale him with his mighty nose. He misses. Nixon continues to intone the incantation, "I'm not a crook, I'm not a crook," and his nose grows .

Eventually, it's the length of a sword and Nixon swings his head about, trying to hit Blair. But the ex-PM shrugs and feints, his conciliatory hand gestures providing balance so he doesn't fall over.

No such luck for Nixon, who topples from the podium and embeds his nose in the studio floor. Blair walks away unscathed.

Next: Genghis vs Alexander [page-break]

Genghis Khan

Played By: Tadanobu Asano, Mongol (2007)

After a childhood spent in constant fear of being slaughtered, it’s no wonder young Mongol Temüjin got sick of being chased, beaten and imprisoned and went crazy with bloodlust and ambition.

After all, the best way to stop being the victim is to become the aggressor. So he delivered a storming smack-down to rival Khans and warring hordes to create a fearsome fighting machine of a Mongol Empire. And then things got really nasty.

Ferocity: 10

Tactics: 8

Grooming: 0

Fights dirty with...

Alexander The Great

Played By: Colin Farrell, Alexander (2004)

The Great King of Macedon, unifier of Greece and conqueror of Persia.

Taught by Aristotle, sired by Zeus, mothered by snake-fucker Angelina Jolie.

Romps with women, but prefers holding hands with men. Hair by L'Oreal.

Ferocity: 8

Tactics: 10

Grooming: 10

Let battle commence...

Genghis and Alexander are playing Risk.

Alexander is trouncing his rival with a thoughtful, tactical game. Genghis finds this approach too slow and angrily throws the pieces from the board, declaring himself the ultimate warrior.

Alexander grabs a sword and demands one-on-one combat, but while he's asking Genghis adminsters a flurry of blows that leaves Alexander winded.

Genghis comes at him with an axe, but Alexander has recovered and easily keeps him at bay.

The fight spills out into the street...and then the hills...and across deserts and oceans. To cut a bloody long story short, they're at it for ages.

The ruckus only stops when Alexander catches his reflection in a mirror and realises his hair is skewiff. He pushes his golden locks back into place.

An awestruck Genghis realises brutality is nothing without beauty and concedes defeat if Alexander will give him some pointers on personal care.

Next: Hitler vs Hitler [page-break]

Adolf Hitler

Played By: Bruno Ganz, Downfall (2004)

It's twelve years into a Third Reich that was supposed to last a thousand years and the Nazis are getting pummelled on all sides. Das Führer has retreated into a bunker in Berlin with key advisors, trusted confidantes and loved ones.

But the endless bad news keeps on coming... The Allies have encircled Berlin, Kanye West has dissed Taylor Swift, and now Twitter's stopped working.

Incandescent rage: 10

Good loser: 0

Historical accuracy: depends which version you're watching...

Is seeing double thanks to...

Adolf Hitler

Played By: Martin Wuttke, Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Eh? What? Two Hitlers? Hey, we thought it'd be fun.

You know who he is by now. Just two points worth noting: 1) the only people who have got this Hitler's gander up are Brad Pitt and his Nazi-scalping Basterds. And 2) this one doesn't even make it to the bunker.

Incandescent rage: 10

Good loser: 0

Historical accuracy: 0 every time

Let battle commence...

Downfall Hitler has discovered the existence of Inglourious Hitler, and is suitably apopleptic, berating his staff for not enforcing his intellectual copyright.

A plan is hatched: Inglourious Hitler will be invited to the bunker for a special screening of Downfall Hitler's Greatest Youtube Mash-ups. In reality, it's a plot to assassinate him.

Unfortunately, the chosen killer is one-eyed botch-job specialist Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise), and the hit fails. Cue more table-punching ire from Downfall Hitler.

What he doesn't know is that Inglourious Hitler has died laughing from watching too many bunker-scene memes in a row.

Next: JFK vs Elizabeth [page-break]


Played By: Bruce Greenwood, Thirteen Days (2001)

The king of court Camelot, suave, sex-mad John Fitzgerald Kennedy is a modern President for modern times. No Reds under the bed with JFK; they're most likely in bed with him.

Sadly, while some like it hot, the current temperature is set to Cold War, so JFK's gonna have to put his skirt-chasing on hold if he's to prevent the threat of imminent Armageddon.

Regalness: 9

Warlike Ways : 5

Libido: 10

Fails to get his end away with...

Elizabeth I

Played By: Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth (1998)

All ruff and no muff, the Virgin Queen won't let bedroom politics get in the way of matters of state.

In fact, she's secretly popped her cherry with Joseph Fiennes, but it wouldn't do for a woman to be seen as a soft touch in a man's world. So out comes the shears to shave off her feminine hair.

Regalness: 10

Warlike Ways: 10

Libido: 1

Let battle commence...

An exclusive bar for the great and good. Elizabeth has been batting away wannabe suitors all night, but JFK reckons he's in with a chance.

He tries on the Boston charm but Liz is having none of it. She's going to war in the morning, so a shag's out of the question.

JFK is desperate to go on the offensive, but his advisors urge calm, as they don't know what Elizabeth's arsenal is like. He reluctantly agrees to stick to diplomacy.

Elizabeth has no such qualms, and sends an armada around to whip JFK's ass. Chastened and sore, he gives Marilyn Monroe a call to see if she's free for a drink.

Next: Che vs Amin [page-break]

Che Guevara

Played By: Benicio Del Toro, Che (2008)

Guerilla leader, left-wing philosopher and T-shirt icon, Ernesto Guevara's mission is to topple corrupt Latin American regimes: “a battle to the death.”

He leaves the business of government and cigar-chomping to Fidel Castro. Che isn't happy unless he has a gun in his hand, a jungle to fight in, and his poster on every student's wall.

Integrity: 10

Fighting Spirit: 10

Smartness of Uniform: 0

Wages war on...

Idi Amin

Played By: Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland (2006)

Amin seized power in Uganda by overthrowing the corrupt and dictatorial Milton Obote, but soon made his predecessor look like a pussycat.

Life under Amin might look like a lark for the likes of naïve doctor Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy), but Amin's reign of terror sees ethnic minorities deported and dissidents executed while Amin and his cronies live the high life.

Integrity: 0

Fighting Spirit: 10

Smartness of Uniform: 10

Let battle commence...

Che is camped in the jungle outside Kampala, his mission to overthrow Idi Amin to show how a real revolutionary takes power. But when his supporters see the size of the man, they panic and scarper.

All up to Che, then. He launches a one-man army against Amin, killing the dictator's men with grenades and bullets. Amin himself remains uninjured, standing in the middle of the maelstrom and laughing at him.

A quizzical Che stops to ask what's so funny. Amin rips off his army jacket to reveal he's wearing a T-shirt with Che's face on it. Turns out he's a big fan.

A broken Che returns to Cuba to share a smoke with Castro and bemoan how the counter-culture has become a fashion accessory.

Next: Lincoln vs Roosevelt [page-break]

Abraham Lincoln

Played By: Robert V. Barron, Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

One of the greatest American Presidents, Lincoln led the North to victory over the Confederates in the Civil War, abolished slavery and became an icon of liberty.

No wonder Bill and Ted (Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves) have kidnapped him to help with their history assignment.

Presidential reputation : 10

Face fluff: 10

Number of kids' toys named after: 0

Goes face-to-face with...

Theodore Roosevelt

Played By: Robin Williams, Night At The Museum (2006)

A pro-active President, keen hunter Teddy Roosevelt never found a problem he couldn't solve by destroying it. No quick naval route from East Coast to West? Easy! Simply blow a big chunk out of Panama.

But he's best remembered for the one time he kept his finger off the trigger - by refusing to kill a bear in cold blood, he inspired the invention of the teddy bear.

It was only a matter of time before he ended up as a magical waxwork figure in a museum giving advice to Ben Stiller.

Presidential reputation: 9

Face fluff: 9

Number of kids' toys named after: 1

Let battle commence...

Abe and Teddy are visiting Mount Rushmore. Looking at their giant stone likenesses, they begin to argue over who has the best view over the valley.

Climbing up the mountain for a closer look, they have a scrap while clinging onto their own faces. Lincoln slips and Roosevelt stamps on his fingers, but Lincoln grabs hold of his giant beard and scampers to safety.

He dives onto Roosevelt and they both fall onto the rim of stone-Teddy's glasses - at which point they see a bunch of schoolchildren cheering them on.

They realise that their political legacies mean nothing to today's kids, as their images have ended up as fodder for entertainment. They settle their differences, and head off to burn down the video store.

Next: Dubya vs Arnie [page-break]

George ‘Dubya’ Bush

Played By: Josh Brolin, W. (2008)

Oh, you know. Recovering alcoholic, born-again Christian. ‘Won’ an election, waged war against Saddam in a pissing contest with his Pop. Trouble with syntax and pretzels. Believes the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.

Yeah, him.

Intelligence: 0

Power: 10

Fear Factor: 10

Meets his match in...

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Played by: Harry Shearer, The Simpsons Movie (2007)

Ha ha, very funny. Schwarzenegger might govern a state more powerful than most nations, but he isn't the President .

Correction: Schwarzenegger isn't the President yet . Consider this a prophecy.

Although we kinda wish it was Rainier Wolfcastle.

Intelligence: 8

Termination Prowess: 10

Fear Factor: off the scale

Let battle commence...

Due to a mix-up with the invitations, Arnie and Dubya have both been invited to give the same after dinner speech.

Dubya mocks Arnie's accent and says that the audience won't understand what he says. Arnie points out that Dubya can't even read what's on the autocue unless it's spelled phonetically.

Outraged by the slur, Dubya goes to war with Schwarzenegger, but since he's a cybernetic killing machine from the future, he's barely scratched.

Dubya tries to escape but mistakes the Doomsday button for the door handle, even though they look nothing alike.

The Earth is vaporised, humankind is wiped out, and Arnie ends up as the last robot standing. Oh well - we had fun, didn't we?

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