March Movie Madness: Vader vs. Rambo – Fox vs. Chigurh

It’s time for yet another March Movie Madness matchup. On Monday we saw Dr. Richard Kimball outsmart Biff (which isn’t all that difficult), and master of dark magic Voldemort take out Scarface in an ultimate evil-off. This time, we’re looking at the other side of the tournament, going deep into the HD DVD and Blu-ray brackets.

Here’s a controversial first round matchup. A few people have complained that our characters should have been seeded much like the basketball teams in the NCAA tournament. I argued that I simply didn’t have the time or energy to fairly rank all those characters. As was demonstrated by the NCAA Selection Committee this weekend, the entire process is fallible beyond belief anyway. So, drawing numbers was the best way that I could make the first rounds fair and interesting. Albeit, matchups like Darth Vader and John Rambo would be decided in the first round rather than in the final eight or four. That’s okay, though. This makes the first round much more exciting in my eyes.

Vader and Rambo hold special places in many moviegoers’ hearts. I know that it’s going to be tough to choose between them. They’re both iconic characters. While Rambo is an ass-kicking veteran who once took over an entire city controlled by Brian Dennehy, Vader is the evil galactic stooge to Emperor Palpatine, and carries out the Emperor’s wishes with psychic death strangulation.

Darth Vader – I guess it’s up to you if you want to include knowledge of the wussy Vader seen in the ‘Star Wars’ prequels. If that’s so, it may bring Vader’s badass-ness down quite a few levels. (“Noooooooooooooo!”). From ‘A New Hope’ onward, though, Vader is an imposing force of evil and has many a fanboy on his side. This could get ugly.

Strengths: Dark force powers. He can strangle someone without even touching them. His black menacing suit and cape strike fear into the hearts of his enemies. He’s also an accomplished lightsaber dueler.

Weaknesses: He’s actually Hayden Christensen under all that black garb. Is he really that frightening now, or just yet another universal evil ruler who has family issues. He’s a sucker when it comes to his family. It could easily soften him up in battle.

John Rambo – He fought in Vietnam, came home, and got spit on. He’s a badass of epic proportions. But not getting credit for what he’s done on the battlefield really gets to him. Even in his 60s, Rambo’s still kicking ass and taking names.

Strengths: Gigantic, ungodly biceps the size of mid-sized sedans. Those things are just massive. I’m thinking that if he got even one of those around Vader’s chrome dome, there’d be no stopping their crushing power. He’s a master with anything that shoots bullets. Finally, he’s a master improviser. Booby traps, ambushes, you name it – this guy is great at it.

Weaknesses: PTSD. The guy just can’t get over the fact that no one liked him when he got home from the war. “They called me a baby killer!” It’s a tough weakness, but Rambo’s PTSD doesn’t seem to be too debilitating. We haven’t had a ‘Rambo’ movie yet where he’s just sitting in a mental ward muttering to himself.

Darth Vader vs. John Rambo

  • Darth Vader (83%, 111 Votes)
  • John Rambo (17%, 23 Votes)

Total Voters: 134

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Now here’s an attractive matchup for the first round. In one corner we have the leggy killer assassin from ‘Wanted’. In the other corner, we have the cattle gun-toting bad guy from ‘No Country for Old Men’. One of them can flip cars end over end and land them perfectly. The other is one of the scariest villains in modern film history. Who’s coming out on top?

Fox – She’s sexy and deadly. Jolie is the only woman in Hollywood that I take seriously as an action star. She kicks a whole lotta butt in ‘Wanted’, and I couldn’t help but put her in this tournament to see how she fared against the more popular and well known movie characters.

Strengths: She’s a master of weaponry, and is able to curve a bullet. She could kill Chigurh before he even knew he was being hunted. Plus, she has that milk bath that helps her regenerate and heal from her wounds.

Weaknesses: Suicidal tendencies for the greater good.

Anton Chigurh – I’ve seen a lot of movies, and a lot of villains over the years, and none of them have affected me quite like Chigurh did. You could never tell exactly what his endgame was or if he even had one. He just enjoyed spreading destruction; he didn’t care about anything else. That’s when bad guys are at their absolute worst.

Strengths: He’s got a cattle gun, which could also be a weakness, since he needs to be in very close proximity to his opponent. However, with all the weaponry Fox has in her arsenal, she doesn’t have a shotgun with a silencer, which was one of the single coolest weapons I’ve ever seen. I’m having a hard time coming up with a winner in this gun battle.

Weaknesses: Coin flips. He could let everything come down to a coin flip, which could be disastrous. Also, he’s pretty slow moving. That could work to Fox’s advantage for sure.

Fox vs. Anton Chigurh

  • Fox (51%, 70 Votes)
  • Anton Chigurh (49%, 66 Votes)

Total Voters: 136

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  1. HuskerGuy

    Impossible choice with Vader and Rambo, but after much soul searching I went with Rambo. I figure Vader clearly has the upper hand if they were close with the force and light saber, but I imagine Rambo setting a badass trap (It’s a trap!) that catches Vader by surprise and blows him to bits.

    Also, I don’t know if I can stand to see Stallone lose again and I expect he’ll need all the help he can get with this one.

    The other choice was easier as I think Jolie would take him down rather easily. He’s damn cool, but she’s a better assassin.

  2. Jason

    Hard choice but I had to go with John Rambo. His death count has only gotten larger whilst Vader was revealed to be just a whiny brat. It’s true that while Rambo was called a “baby killer” Vader actually was but that’s not enough to take home the prize in the end.

    Fox just because from a skill set level she out classes Chigurh big time.

  3. Even though Vader’s stock as a badass was significantly devalued by the prequel trilogy, I wound up voting for him in the end anyway. If we look at his actual years spent as DARTH FREAKIN VADER (not as whiny Anakin), he was indeed the most powerful mo-fo in the galaxy, and that counts for a lot.

    Besides which, pretty much all of the Rambo movies except First Blood suck. So there’s that.

    • I go with Vader because of Empire Strikes Back and nothing else. That was the best Star Wars movie, he was the best villain then. He wasn’t a precocious child, a whiny, hormonal teenager, nor a melodramatic dad-to-be. Nor was he inexplicably second banana to Grand Moff Tarkin. In Empire he was 100% badass, and if that’s the Vader Rambo is facing, Rambo has zero chance.

      Besides, this is between Darth Vader and Rambo, not Anakin Skywalker and Vader. I consider Anakin an Vader to be wholly different characters from different franchises entirely.

      • Alex

        I gotta concur here. Vader is a giant, clairvoyant, half-cyborg, magic-wielding swordsman. Is there any chance in hell that 1) Rambo could beat him one on one or 2) that Rambo could put together a trap that Vader couldn’t sense through the Force first? Vader would choke him while watching him on a video screen, freeze him in carbonite, thaw him out, take off a couple of appendages, cauterizing the wounds simultaneously, rip the gun out of his hands from 30 feet away, then stab him and leave the lightsaber in so that he melts. Oh yeah, that’s the Vader I know and love.

        Oh, and I voted for Fox because we need more pictures of Angelina on this blog.

  4. EM

    Under the black garb Vader is not Hayden Christensen (at least, not most of the time)—he’s David Prowse, bodybuilding champion and Frankenstein monster. Meanwhile, Rambo doesn’t even have the moxie of Joe Viterbo.

  5. Yes, Vader was kind of wimpy in those prequels…but if you view the movies in order, he got more evil as he got older. On the other hand, “Rambo is a pussy”…at least according to my friend, Ray Tango.

    The other one is no contest, friendo.

  6. Aaron Peck

    I went with Vader and Chigurh, although now I’m thinking in a real battle to the death Fox would waste him. She’s just a dynamite assassin AND she can curve bullets.

  7. Fox verses Chigurh is a tough call. Chigurh is far scarier because he seems so much more real. Also, his moral engine is his word. If he says he will kill Fox, he will kill Fox.

    Fox, on the other hand, doesn’t occupy the real world and is unconstrained by physics.

    I flipped a coin on it, and Fox lived.

  8. I voted Fox and Vader…

    Fox is actually a rather poor choice, but Chigurh is just a guy who wanders around with an animal-killing airgun thing. If he went up against any real killer without the element of surprise and an annoying 50/50 coin, he’d be dead in seconds. Heck, Frasier could take him, joshing with Niles about the best wine to drink whilst doing it. 😉

    Then I voted Vader. I mean, come on… Rambo’s a fine hero, but Vader? True OT Vader? No contest. 😀 It’d be like pitching a snail against a giant lead boot. Squish!

  9. Rudy

    I picked Rambo over Vader. Rambo is a special forces combat veteran trained to think outsided the box. If hegot his hands on a Yasalamir then we’d have a more even keeled fight as Vader’s powers would be rendered ineffective. Then let’s be honest. All Rambo needs to do is set up a trap in a jungle environment and Vader’s done for.

    I picked Fox over Chigurh. This was an easy one. Chigurh needs to be close to his victims while Fox can hit them from a moving train with a curved bullet. Not to mention that Chigurh was almost killed in a mundane car crash.

  10. RBBrittain

    Why don’t we have the next brackets yet? You waiting for Chigurh to pull back ahead of Fox? Jolie may be every fanboy’s fantasy, but Bardem’s more real; his cattle gun would kill her before she could ever make it back to her milkbath. (It can’t be Rambo; he’s done been vaporized by the Death Star.)

    • Aaron Peck

      For the first and probably second rounds we’re only posting matchups every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I can’t post them one after the other. I’m only one man 😉

  11. that’s really pessimistic, RBB. c’mon, it’s all for fun, and i don’t think aaron really would want to rig the vote like that.

    except for Scott Pilgrim. i swear, if that dorky little bitch gets more votes than Vader, i’m going to consider it a sign that humanity really is just that dumb.