Yes, it's a long way from the far reaches of outer space to Bora Bora, but you just know that if you managed to get away with your girlfriend for a few days of rest and relaxation, something's going to screw it up. That's what happens to four romantic pairs in Couples Retreat, which was filmed in Bora Bora and opens tomorrow. In the movie, the couples think they'll be able to enjoy of fun and sun in Bora Bora, but instead are forced to undergo couples counseling.
None of the therapists quite rises up to the level of "villain" -- though Jean Reno comes close -- but, as a science fiction fan, I thought it would fun to imagine the sci-fi villains you'd least like to see on an island retreat. It would be impossible to get romantic with these guys around.
1. Jabba the Hut
Talk about a buzz kill! You don't want to head down to the dining room and see this monstrosity sitting next to your table. First, he's make you lose your appetite. Which is a good thing, since he'd eat all the food on the island anyway. Of course, your girlfriend would probably already be wearing a bikini like Princess Leia's in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, but she wouldn't take kindly to enforced slavery. And he'd force you to compete in a real-life battle to the death, which is no way to enjoy your holiday. The only plus: he'd probably eat all the insects in your vicinity.
You'd think that having Mr. Roarke from Fantasy Island around to fulfill your every desire would be a good thing. But if Ricardo Montalban was suspiciously judgmental on that TV show, he was downright hostile in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. "From Hell's heart, I stab at thee! For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee!" I don't care if he's in a white suit or a space suit, if I see this guy, I'm running like hell.
3. The Humungus
Dune buggies, yea! Death and destruction, nay! The Road Warrior features the best action set-pieces ever, highlighted by the villainy of The Humungus (Kjell Nilsson), shaking his fist and sounding like he's growling from the other side of Hades. Maybe if he took off that mask he'd be able to bask in the sun; if anyone needs to relax, it's this guy.
You know the Transformers baddie would trash all the little huts with a few well-chosen foot stomps, and then play paper football with all the guests, breaking bones -- and hearts! -- as he flicked people into dormant volcanoes. He has no sense of play or adventure, and thus would not be a very welcome villain on anyone's retreat, though he might make a good, if forceful, therapist.
5. Agent Smith
He'd be a very efficient waiter. Imagine Agent Smith from The Matrix serving you dinner, all dressed up in a nice tropical shirt and khaki shorts. You'd ask him, "I say, Smith, why don't you ever remove your sunglasses? It's after dark, you know, old boy. And what's that wire hanging out of your --" and then he'd break your windpipe with one blow and smile that evil smile.
She'd fit right in on the beach, disturbingly so, since the beautiful, shapely X-Men villain (Rebecca Romijn) would be highly distracting wearing nothing but her skin. You'd think she was your everyday, ordinary, naked supermodel that just happened to be lounging in the beach chair next to you, and then WHAM! and she's have her legs wrapped around your neck, squeezing the life out of you. You'd die happy, but you would certainly die.
7. The Terminator
The most terrifying sight in the series came in The Terminator, when we saw Arnold Schwarzenegger naked. All those rippling, well-defined muscles -- we knew he was up to no good! He'd be sauntering down the beach, maybe glance over at Mystique, and then proceed directly to you. And you can't outrun a Terminator on Bora Bora.
8. Carter Burke
Slick, slimy, and entirely corporate, Carter Burke, played by Paul Reiser in Aliens, is the kind of guy who'd end up managing a resort on a distant island, some place where he could feel in control of his own little fiefdom. If you saw him, though, you'd know something was afoot -- some plot by the island's owner, maybe an evil plan to convert the guests into food for an alien race that just happened to be on vacation nearby.
9. HAL 9000
Wouldn't it be creepy to see the room-filling computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey appear on your island retreat? Oh, I'm not saying that he'd be the same size; nowadays he'd be the size of your iPhone. But he'd have the same voice (Douglas Rain), he'd talk like a therapist -- "Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over" -- and he'd be very polite as he's shutting off your air supply during your underwater dive. "I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't let you live."
My favorite villain (from Gojira, Ishiro Honda's 1954 classic) would, at least, be very entertaining, and gives you a sporting chance to live. He's not that fast, after all, and always gives advance warning of his attacks, thanks to that throaty roar. If you can avoid his fire-breathing antics and those big old clodhoppers, you still might be able to hop on a jet ski and escape.
King Kong deserves a spot on the list, too, but I think he's more a hero than a villain.