The new Star Wars III reminded me of how Darth Vader is the greatest movie villain ever. That made me think of the other great villains. Of course, there's Agent Smith in The Matrix, the Joker in Batman, the Mad Bomber in Speed, the Alien and the Predator, Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs, and Hans Gruber in Die Hard. But one of the best villains in movie history has gone unnoticed because he was in one of the lousiest movie ever: M. Bison in Streetfighter.
Raul Julia gave the performance of his life as the egomaniacal dictator who had nightmarish goals and the power to bring them to life. M. Bison was clearly insane, but not in the slobbering, wisecracking madness of most movie villains. He had a calm, even regal air as he commanded his forces, while guiding them to kidnap the Queen Mother or slaughter innocent humanitarian aid workers. It was as if he couldn't see his own madness, living in a world of his own. Plus, unlike most world rulers, he could roll up his sleeves and beat the crap out of anyone who dared oppose him. I'd like to see Tony Blair do that. And he was ambitious. M. Bison wanted nothing less than world conquest, and he had a plan for doing it. While Darth Vader was always in control, M. Bison could suddenly snap and blow up Hawaii for fun.
Yeah, Streetfighter was a lousy movie, but I defy anyone to watch M. Bison and not be impressed. He may not have been the best villain ever, but he was certainly up there.