Articles & Notes — January 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm

“Villains of the Silver Screen” – 6th release: Jim Beckett

I love bad guys, I love villains. They are the core of each film, even the bad one. Villains make good guys look good, and even beyond that. Great villains are memorable. So, please welcome our next release of the “Villains of the Silver Screen”.

Here we will discuss and talk about various movie villains, but will try to stay within our website’s standards. In this release, we have a truly outstanding villain, ex cop, serial killer Jim Beckett.

FILM: Instinct to Kill (2001)

SCREEN NAME: James “Jim” Beckett

PLAYED BY: Tim Abell

PART: Main villain

TYPE: Ex cop, also a serial killer-rapist. Main target – his wife, Tess.

CRIMES: serial killer, over 10 murders of women.

There are the “silent type” of serial killers, and the more vivid ones. Jim Beckett takes “vivid” to a whole new level. The guy is your Heath Ledger (Joker) of the B-movies. He’s absolutely nuts, he’s a former cop, and also a serial killer, who stalks women, beats them up, rapes them, and then kills them. To start things off, Beckett (Tim Abell) marries Tess (Missy Crider) and after some time tries to kill her as well (after she gets to know he also likes to kill, not just “serve and protect”).

Beckett fails, and gets put into a mental hospital. Of course he escapes, and goes after Tess again, killing pretty much everyone in his path. JT Dillon (Mark Dacascos) is an ex-cop who is teaching Tess self-defense, but can he really protect her from Beckett?

Tim Abell may not be the best actor in the world, but his Jim Beckett is an absolute joy to watch. I mean, yes, the guy is a villain, a crazy one, a ruthless one, but he’s really that “vivid”. Beckett seems to be feeding off his own energy, running around, killing people with hands, knives, guns. He enjoys the challenge. He enjoys being unstoppable. While the film itself is mediocre, Abell as Beckett simply carries it, and makes it a lot more entertaining. He gets to beat Mark Dacascos (who “knows” martial arts in the film), he headbutts his own wife, he kills her mother, he shots his own father, oh did I mention he gets to wear all sorts of make-up throughout the film (old woman, police officer, doctor, etc)?

Jim Beckett is professional, he’s smart, merciless and determined. And, still being as good as he is…his passion is his biggest weakness – he truly believes his wife won’t fight back once he gets to her, and that’s a big miscalculation…

POSSIBILITIES: No real possibilities here. Jim Beckett is a “one-time” character, who’s simply memorable. As much as I like Mark Dacascos (who also starred with Tim Abell in Base, 1999), Tim Abell is at the top of his game here as Beckett, and I believe that’s still his best role. Great entertaining villain you actually root for (I did!). Nothing to add really, this is not going to be developed, so just keep watching the film again and again:)

In case if you’re wondering – Tim Abell himself did enjoy playing Beckett, as he stated to me in his interview back in 2010 (read full interview here) – “I quite enjoyed, Jim Beckett in “Instinct to Kill”. Getting into the mind of a serial killer is illuminating.”

Stay tuned for another release of “Villains of the Silver Screen”. If you have some villain that we could discuss, feel free to let us know!

“Villains of the Silver Screen” series: Khan
“Villains of the Silver Screen” series: Matt Cordell (aka the Maniac Cop)
“Villains of the Silver Screen” – 3rd release: Chong
“Villains of the Silver Screen” – 4th release: Kano
“Villains of the Silver Screen” – 5th release: Chuck Sommers

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