Best Villain/Badass: The Joker, played by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight
There's no real contest here. There was a lot of consternation about Ledger when he was initially announced as the Joker, but he more than rose to the challenge. Ledger's dark, twisted turn as the Joker was the first to come to mind and is without a doubt the best villain of the year. The Joker has always been the best Batman villain, but even amongst other incarnations of the Joker, this one is a rousing success. This Joker stands for anarchy and chaos and he does so in an intelligent and almost empathetic manner. The only other villain who could even come close to competing this year was Prince Nuada from Hellboy II: The Golden Army. In addition to an intimidating physical presense, he shares the empathetic anti-villain quality with the Joker. Also worthy of mention is Cate Blanchett in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Nuked Fridges, who isn't given much to work with but does a good job with it nonetheless. But in the end, Ledger nailed it.
Best Hero/Badass: Tony Stark/Ironman, played by Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man
I struggled with this award. There's no real clear winner here, so the deciding factor was really Robert Downey Jr.'s performance. I didn't mind Christian Bale's growling as much as most, but he didn't do anything really remarkeable there either... The only other real contender for me was Hellboy, but in the end, I went with Ironman. I think the movie is a bit overrated, but Downey Jr. took what could easily have been a cheesy character and elevated him to a charismatic rogue that you can't help liking... That said, I think several characters from 2007 could have taken the crown easily.
Up next: Best Comedic Performance and Breakthrough Performance. Check back Monday for the winners.