The Top 10 Biggest Government Jerks in Cinema History

October 21, 2009

If you want your movie to have a villain that the audience will instantly despise, just make them one of three things: a Nazi, a snooty restaurant maître d', or an employee of the government. If you want your audiences to run at the screen and rip the canvas with their bare hands, make him a combination of all three...or just him a member of the latter.

By Danny Gallagher

10. Milton Dammers from The Frighteners

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Source: Universal Pictures

It takes a brave and creepy soul to want to join the darkest corners of federal law enforcement, but this G-man puts the "special" in "special agent." He's a total occult nut with phobias that even a Maury Povich guest would find pathetic and he's totally committed to busting Frank Bannister that he accidentally unleashes the soul of a ruthless killing machine that can't be killed. The worst part is he probably got overtime pay.

9. Maj. Eaton from Raiders of the Lost Ark

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Source: Paramount Pictures

An ordinary archeologist finds the most coveted religious artifact in recent history and quite possibly, mankind's closest connection to understand the concept and existence of God. Then he turns it over to a man who not only doesn't understands its power, but is willing to lie about its whereabouts while its locked away in some nameless government warehouse along with the water-powered car, the world hunger pill, and the monkey mind-control helmet. "In God We Trust" my ass.

8. Agent Smith from The Matrix

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Source: Warner Bros.

Even if you remove Agent Smith's government connections, everything about him screams evil. He wears a non-conforming suit that screams order and control. He speaks in a cold and calculating tone that shows no human emotion. He walks, acts, breathes, and speaks just like a mindless robot programmed to memorize an endless list of rules and regulations without regard for their actual impact. He's either a control program designed by a giant powerful machine or an IRS auditor.

7. Bob Alexander from Dave

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Source: Warner Bros.

Abraham Lincoln once said, "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." Bob Alexander not only failed that test miserably, but he misspelled his name on the Scantron form. When the president lapses into an irreversible coma, he leaps on the opportunity to seize the office for himself by hiring a look-alike to replace and disgrace him. Frank Langella's portrayal of the President's Chief of Staff was so cold and underhanded that it served as perfect practice to play Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon.

6. Kent Mansley from The Iron Giant

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Source: Warner Bros.

Remember that teddy bear or favorite stuffed animal when you were a kid, the one that you loved unconditionally and believed with all of your being had a heart and a soul that was totally devoted to your happiness? Imagine if a giant white guy in a gray suit busted through your front door and snatched your stuffed friend out of your chubby little hands all in the name of "national security." That's Kent Mansley, the federal government's biggest child fun-smasher since the CPSC outlawed lawn darts.


5. Adam Sutler from V for Vendetta

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Source: Warner Bros.

Give a man absolute power and it will absolutely overpower him. The Chancellor from this graphic novel remake of V for Vendetta doesn't know the meaning of the word "absolute" because there is no limit to any such level. He creates tragedies to control his populace and smashes the face of anyone who shows an ounce of dissent or difference of opinion, all in the name of preserving democracy. He's Dick Cheney, only more huggable.

4. Jack Hardemeyer from Ghostbusters II

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Source: Columbia Pictures

Government isn't the biggest creator of power hungry madmen -- it's politics. The world is once again facing doom from the destruction of supernatural entities and the only thing standing in the way of its saviors is a stuffy political bigwig who looks like Karl Rove on a good hair day. The only way his character could be more accurate is if his first name was "Dick."

3. Big Brother from 1984

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Source: 20th Century Fox/Virgin Films

Political smear tactics have often used George Orwell's "Big Brother" concept to paint the other side as pure evil for good reason. He's an all-controlling, all-seeing, all-knowing, and all-ruling person who puts people in their place with pain, persecution, and perpetuity. He is the executive, judicial, and legislative branch all rolled into one giant ugly man-face that couldn't get a date for prom without a squadron of Death Troopers as a chaperone.

2. Sen. Palpatine from the Star Wars prequels

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Source: Lucasfilm

Palpatine represents just about everything a single man could despise about the vastness of government power. He's got an evil voice, a wardrobe that even death would find "gauche" and an Andre-the-Giant-sized appetite for power and control. You'd think that an advanced civilization that has developed the ability to travel across the vastness of space in the blink of an eye could create a system of government that could keep one man from overtaking the whole thing.

1. Walter Peck from Ghostbusters

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Source: Columbia Pictures

Walter Peck is the gold-standard performance for a true government bureaucrat. He's short-tempered and a stickler for government regulations, regardless of their real world effect. He's vengeful and single-minded in his targets. And worst of all, he works for the EPA. Did the IRS max out their HR budget for douchebags?

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