I thought Ledger was a good villain as a random anarchist type, but not a good Joker.
Joker is written that way some times, Joker's pretty chaotic so his personality can change from time to time, explaining why he is harmless trickster some times and psychopathic monster other times.
Greg Cox wrote:
Well, the most wasted Comic Book Villain has to be Doctor Doom. The FF movies work as fun family films to some extent, but there's no denying that they completely dropped the ball with Doom. Turning a classic, larger-than-life super-villain into just another smarmy corporate type is like turning Goldfinger into a crooked accountant!
Two-Face in Batman Forever was pretty much thrown away as well.
I'll defend Gene Hackman's Luthor, though. Granted, he's different from the comic book version and probably too campy for modern tastes, but it's a funny and engaging performance in its own right. You can tell Hackman is having a ball and he's got plenty of good lines. He also plays off nicely against Christopher Reeve's sincerity and earnestness. Superman is straightforward and soft-spoken; Hackman's Luthor is a cynical smark-aleck. It's a nice contrast.
Hard to pick a best villain, but Magneto and the last two Jokers have to be up there.
I don't care for Hackman Lex that much, but I am forgiving towards him because of when he was introduced. There was no corporate Lex in the late 70s, so you can argue that Hackman Lex is somewhat similar to the Lex in the comics at the time. It may have been nice to see some more of Lex's scientific ability from the comics, but I suppose it be hard to have a giant robot in a movie in the late 70s. I like Hackman's performance some times, but other times I find it bit too campy. Overall I like the first Superman movie more for Superman then anything else, I don't care for Lex that much in the film, but it doesn't effect the enjoyment of the film that much. He's not my favorite, but he's not the worse either.
However I really dislike the Kevin Spacey Lex, because he was introduced in 2006, long after the corporate Lex was introduced and frankly I thought his plan in that movie was really stupid. I get they were trying to pay homage to the Hackman Lex, but I think that character was no longer relevant by 2006. I think they should have had calmer, cooler, more control Lex then what we saw in Superman Returns, with a better scheme. I think if they have Lex again in a Superman movie, he should be more like the modern comics Lex and less like the Gene Hackamn/Kevin Spacy Lex.