Sunday, April 26, 2009

Top Ten Film Terrorists by Herb

*Posted September 11, 2008*

9/11 was this past week, and while we all know that what happened was tragic and horrific, terrorism can pretty entertaining in movies when done right. In pretty much all fictional terrorism movies, the bad guys get what's coming to them, and so will bin Laden and his cronies. You really shouldn't be offended by this week's choice of list, so I will not apologize ahead of time for it. The following guys are pretty awesome villains; you don't want to mess with them either.
But first, a couple guidelines. Supervillains are off limits. Technically they are terrorists because they cause a lot of destruction with whatever crazy death ray or pet monster they have. So no Doc Ock, no Syndrome, no Penguin, no Luthor, etc.
Rule no. 2: No Bond villains. This list aims for realism, and the Bond villains' choice of weapon is usually too outlandish to be scary. Even though 006 is awesome, guys like him are out. So who's left?
10. Howard Payne Speed

"NO! Poor people are crazy, Jack. I'm eccentric."
Who is he: An ex-cop who worked with the bomb squad.
Weapon of choice: Bombs in general, but mostly on buses.
His plan: He holds some executives hostage in an elevator with a bomb, but Keanu Reeves saves the day before he can get his $3.7 million. In retaliation, Payne starts a new game with Keanu, one which involves a bomb on a bus that is triggered once they reach 50mph, and then explodes if they get below 50mph. SUSPENSE!
How he is stopped: While fighting on top of a subway, Payne's head meets a subway light and falls off.
Why he's awesome: Dennis Hopper knows how to play guys who have a screw loose, so the logical step into terrorism is an easy and fun choice. He easily outshines boring Neo. Payne is great because guy that combines brains and humor and murders. However, he's not so good when he plays a foreign terrorist in 24 Day 1.
9. Travis Dane Under Siege 2: Dark Territory

"Chance favors the prepared mind."
Who is he: A computer geek who was fired from his government job. After faking his death, he takes control of the weaponized satellite he helped design and now wants $1 billion.
Weapon of choice: Grazier One, a satellite that fires pinpoint lasers at any target of his choosing.
His plan: Crazy genius that he is, Dane's location cannot be pinpointed by the government because he is constantly moving on a train. He's already hit a Chinese chemical plant to show how tough he is, and destroyed a pair of stealth bombers that were hunting him down (HOW DO YOU SHOOT DOWN STEALTHS?!?!? That's how awesome he is). Now he wants to hit the nuclear reactor below the Pentagon and pretty much demolish the Eastern seaboard.
How he is stopped: Unfortunately for Dane, he didn't count on elite counter-terrorism ex-Navy SEAL super soldier and chef extraordianairre Steven Seagal being on the train. In their final showdown, Seagal shoots his laptop. Then, after jumping onto a helicopter ladder from an exploding colliding train, Seagal closes the door on Dane's fingers and he falls to his death into said explosion.
Why he's awesome: Mixes terrorism with humor all because he lost his job.
8. Ali Hassan Salameh Munich

"Don't fuck with the Jews." ~Daniel Craig
Who is he: Mysterious mastermind behind the Munich massacre.
Weapon of choice: Sunglasses
His plan: Held Israeli Olympians hostage and eventually had them killed.
How he is stopped: He isn't. Bana and 007 see him walking down the street but the CIA stop them from doing anything. They later take a sniper rifle to a fancy party but are detected before taking the shot. Eventually, the Red Prince is taken down in real life.
Why he's awesome: I don't think he says anything in the movie. He just walks around with his big aviators on, daring the Mossad to take him down. You won't find any quotes or pictures of himfrom the movies, and if you never saw Munich, you have no idea how badass Salameh is. Your loss.
7. Sean Miller Patriot Games

"I understand your little girl's feeling better, eh? Lost her spleen though, eh? Pity, that. Make it a mighty tough on her to fight off infection, eh Jacky?"
Ford: "You sick son a bitch!"
Who is he: Up and coming terrorist in the ULA (radical IRA breakoff group) who enjoys kidnapping Royals and running the Ryan family into highway dividers.
Weapon of choice: Automatic weapons.
His plan: Well, he tried to kidnap British Royals, but a vacationing analyst named Harrison Ford put a stop to that by shooting his baby brother. Upon his escape, his terrorist cell still insists on getting the Brits, but Miller is bent on killing the Ryans, even if it means sacrificing his IRA buddies to do so.
How he is stopped: In the entire history of film, only one person has bested Ford in the end, and that person is Michelle Pfeiffer. 006 is no match for him, and in the end, Ford gets him with an anchor on a speedboat.
Why he's awesome: Irish terrorists always seem to have sympathy on their side, but Miller gets bonus points because he watched his brother die. Plus, he's 006.
6. Ryan Gaerity (Tommy Lee Jones) Blown Away

"I've come here to create a new country for you called chaos, and a new government called anarchy."
Who is he: Another crazy Irish terrorist
Weapon of choice: Bombs with a crazy design.
His plan: He's out to test the mettle of his old terrorist buddy, Jeff Bridges, who is now a bomb squad instructor. You see, Gaerity was his mentor in the old country and taught him about bombs. Then, Bridges has a change of heart during a mission, and the bombs screws up and kills Gaerity's sister. To add insult to injury, Gaerity was sent to prison while his buddy escaped to the states with a new name.
How he is stopped: In an a showdown on an abandoned casino ship...in an explosion
Why he's awesome: Despite the obligatory over-the-top accent, he escapes jail by making a bomb built out of soap, blood, wool, and a toilet! There was probably other stuff, too. He loses points for being a U2 fan.
5. Brig. Gen. Francis Hummel The Rock

"You mean this sidearm?"
Who is he: USMC General whose more than a little pissed off at the government that shit and pissed on his men.
Weapon of choice: VX-gas rockets. And hidden sidearms.
His plan: The government dropped the ball when it came to honoring his fallen men, so he's taken 80 hostages at Alcatraz and has gas rockets pointed at the Bay. Unless he receives $100 million from the government, we'll see lots of boiling blood and guts.
How he is stopped: With no thanks to lab rat/hack actor Nic Cage and ret. 007 Sean Connery. In the end, Hummel admits that it was all a bluff and he refuses to launch the rockets. The mercenaries respond by shooting him and his cool, loyal No. 2 (David Morse). The good guys pull him away long enough for him to reveal the location of the final rockets, and then he dies...a patriot to the end.
Why he's awesome: One of the best characters in the best of Michael Bay's few good movies. Hummel is feared, respected, and flat-out awesome. He's a fighter for veteran's rights, like John McCain. But he dies because he doesn't live up to his word, like Barack Obama.
4. Simon Gruber Die Hard with a Vengeance

"Said Simple Simon to the Pieman, "Give me your pies...or I'll cave your head in.""
Who is he: Ex-soldier who notices the difference between not liking your brother and not caring when some dumb Irish flatfoot drops him out of a window.
Weapon of choice: Riddles......and bombs.
His plan: Putting McClane in danger is icing on the cake. The cake itself is distracting the NYPD with bombs all day so he can steal the gold out of the NY Federal Reserve. Ten times what's in Kentucky.
How he is stopped: He gets away with the gold, but McClane survives all the riddles and tracks him to Canada. Simon tries to take him out from the air, but McClane shoots down the chopper by hitting some sort of cable or electrical wire. Yippee Ki-Yay motherfucker!!!!!
Why he's awesome: Riddles were cool way before Da Vinci Code, National Treasure, and Indy 4 made them popular. Simon also knows how to rock the sleeveless tee and steal his friend's woman. Plus, he does a spot on impression of black people. "So, what's your name, boy?"
3. Ivan Korshunov Air Force One

"Your national security advisor has just been executed. He's a very good negotiator. He bought you another half hour."
Who is he: Russian hijacker who doesn't like that his buddy, General Radek, was captured by the U.S.
Weapon of choice: Automatic weapons and Russian nationalism.
His plan: President H. Ford just nailed a speech on the country's new Zero Tolerance policy toward terrorists. So, Gary Oldman decides to test it by taking over the plane with the help of a Secret Service double agent. Lots of threatening, killing, and spitting soon follow, plus some cool mid-air explosions courtesy of Wolfgang Petersen. Out of options, Ford orders the release of Radek to save his little brat of a daughter.
How he is stopped: But, after some classic Ford tackles and the movie quote that everyone remembers, Oldman suffers a broken neck/back and is thrown out of the plane. Also, Radek takes too long strutting out of prison and is shot several times before he reaches the chopper.
Why he's awesome: Once asked which villain he enjoyed acting with the most, Harrison Ford said hands down Gary Oldman. Probably because Oldman is so good at playing evil, even in lame movies like Lost in Space.
2. Hans Gruber Die Hard

"Nice suit. John Philips, London. I have two myself. Rumor has it Arafat buys his there."
Who is he: Educated German who set the gold standard for movie terrorists.
Weapon of choice: Detonators and glass. Karl, schieƟ auf das fenster!!!
His plan: Hans and his posse hold a LA skyscraper hostage while they bust into the vault. He hopes to fake his death so he can escape with the $600 million in negotional bearer bonds. He makes an example out of Mr. Takagi and loser Ellis, but unfortunately for him, McClane was on a bit of a hot streak that night.
How he is stopped: Caught off guard laughing to a joke that's not funny, Hans is shot and falls out the window. He hangs on by catching hold of Holly's watch, but John puts an end to that. He falls something like 80 stories.
Why he's awesome: Die Hard pretty much made it so that every movie made in the next decade about terrorism would just describe themself as "Die Hard on a (insert object)." Hans also pioneers the slick/suave European baddie by quoting literature about Alexander the Great and wearing expensive suits. Fun fact: Alan Rickman's first movie role.
1. the Joker the Dark Knight

"Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It's fair."
Who is he: Schizophrenic murderer with a taste for the theatrical. So why do they call him the Joker? They say he wears makeup to scare people, you know, like warpaint! Also, to be clear, the Joker is allowed on this list because even though he is a supervillain, the Dark Knight is a much more realistic movie than any other superhero movie. So eat it.
Weapon of choice: A few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. Also, many knives.
His plan: For lots of money, the mob hires him to smoke out the Batman. So the Joker goes on a rampage. He kidnaps civilians and kills them in various fashions. He attempts to shoot the mayor. He blows up a hospital, some warehouses, a police station, and almost a couple of ferries. And as a favor to us, he kills off Rachel Dawes.
How he is stopped: Batman brings him down. But you can't blame the Joker; look who he's messin with: the fuckin' Batman!
Why he's awesome: You all know he is awesome, so case closed.

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