If you missed the first part of this series, here is a helpful link.
8 -Michael (The Wire)
I could have picked any character from The Wire and they would have deserved a place on this list. The Wire is a murky world where you could argue that everyone is a villain for just simply existing and contributing to the fucked up system that makes Baltimore what it is.
But it is season 4 of the show which I gravitate to the most and it is the story – no, the journey of Michael which gets me every single time. Michael is, like the majority of characters on the show, incredibly complex but that didn’t make it any less thrilling, or horrifying for that matter, to see him go from being just a kid (although a mature one) to a cold blooded killer. In fact it broke my heart.
It blows my mind that Tristan Wilds was just 17 when he took on this role – the boy has no right to be this good and this soulful in his acting. Again, you can apply that praise to just about anyone in The Wire.
I’ve said it many times and I will say it again – this show and this season in particular is the greatest television of all damn time.
7- John Doe (Seven)
It is easy to forget what a fantastic film Seven is. Seriously, go back and watch it again – it is severely underrated. Not only is it a fantastic, gruesome and intelligent crime story but it features a villain who, ultimately, wins.
This was the very first film I ever saw where the villain’s plan wasn’t somehow foiled. The fact that John Doe outsmarted everyone and gets away with it blew my mind. This isn’t the way these types of stories ended.
And the bloody ending – good lord. It is tough to think of a more impactful ending to any film. I have had the conversation with many people about what I would have done if I was in David Mills’ (Brad Pitt) shoes and regardless of the ethics and moral conundrum, John Doe would still be a dead motherfucker.
A lot of credit has to go to the master bad guy, Kevin Spacey who is typically fantastic in this film. People don’t give him credit for his depiction of John Doe in what is ultimately a very small part in this film. From the moment he shows up, it is impossible to pay attention to anyone else on the screen, and let’s not forget, he shares the film with Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt.
To be continued…