Despite the fact that the Cold War which lasted between the United States and Russia ended more than twenty years ago, Hollywood still finds a way to portray Russians as villains in their movies. As a Russian-Canadian, I have no problem with Russian villains – after all, Russians aren’t the only anti-heroes in Hollywood films. However, I do have a problem with the fact that they are consistently portrayed as only one archetype.
These villains always have very thick accents (not all of us do, thank you), a lot of stubble (Russian men know how to shave) and sometimes even tattoos (not fully accepted in Russian society). What bothers me the most is that the actors that are hired to play Russians can’t even speak the language! Sometimes, it is is so incomprehensible that I have trouble understanding if they are even speaking in Russian or another incoherent language.
Below are just 5 popular films which come to mind. Screened offers a list of 53 movies with bad guys as Russians. Complex Pop Culture also offers a list of the 25 most memorable Communist villains in movies.
- James Bond: From Russia with love: Rosa Klebb and Ernst Stavro Blofeld (parodied in the Austin Powers movies)
- Rocky IV: Ivan Drago
- Limitless: Gennady
- Iron Man 2: Ivan Vanko
As I stated before, countless other nationalities appear as villains in Hollywood films. So next time you catch yourself watching a movie that has a villain from another country, remember that it’s just entertainment and that it does not necessarily reflect that culture accurately.
Image credits: Meme generator