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Why Robert Vesco From The Blacklist Looks So Familiar

Who knew that the Concierge of Crime himself had a mentor? Raymond "Red" Reddington (James Spader) may be an expert in underhanded dealings in "The Blacklist," but he needed some guidance when it came to being a fugitive. While leading the FBI on a merry chase for two decades due to his many unethical practices, Red took a page out of the fugitive handbook from Robert Vesco.

One of the reasons Vesco could get out unscathed was the apparent solution of faking his death. You can't get arrested for crimes if they think you're dead. Red has since kicked it up a notch by stealing the real Reddington's identity and getting extensive plastic surgery. But still, Vesco remains someone Red holds in high esteem. It should be no surprise that the actor who portrays the famous fugitive is held in just as high of a regard for his many decades in the entertainment industry.

Commander Malloy represented a fascist government in Escape From LA

John Carpenter's sequel to "Escape From New York" is just as much of a wild fever dream as the first. In "Escape From LA," Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) is back at it again with almost the same plot, except on a different coast. The United States has become a fascist regime under a religiously extremist government and has created a large encampment on the island of Los Angeles. Snake is again a reluctant pawn in prison when the ruthless and fascist Commander Malloy (Stacy Keach) sends him to dismember a terrorist weapon. In exchange, he will be pardoned for his crimes. But to make sure he accomplishes this task, the government infects Snake with a virus only they have the antidote for. As far as evil regimes go, this is pretty par for the course.

Though "Escape From LA" is not necessarily the most subtle film, it does make a solid point of examining how fascism and beauty standards are toxic. Malloy is just one of the many red flags in the movie. In addition to stark morality laws, the government also outlaws other religions. Far ahead of its time, "Escape From LA" is an entertaining action movie with a meaningful message.

Cameron Alexander breeds hate in American History X

Though its initial release was marred with controversy, "American History X" is more relevant today than it was 20 years ago. The Los Angeles Times detailed the many upsets during filming, including director Tony Kaye publicly denouncing the film and wanting his name taken off due to conflicts with the studio. But the film's investigation of how racism breeds has stood the test of time and earned Edward Norton an Academy Award nomination. Told in a creative flashback structure, "American History X" follows white supremacist Derek's (Norton) release from prison after killing two Black men trying to break into his truck. Through his prison sentence, he becomes reformed, only to return home to find his brother Danny (Edward Furlong) is going down the same dark path.

The film details how Derek became hateful, starting with his father's angry rhetoric. But the most significant person who influences Derek and Danny deeper into white supremacy is the leader of Disciples of Christ, Cameron Alexander (Stacy Keach). Cameron's ability to indoctrinate young people with messages of hate makes him so insidious. Once he uses Derek as much as possible, he moves on to his brother. Without Cameron, Derek would not have sunk so deep into his toxic mindset, and his brother would not have met his untimely end.

Henry Pope is a good-hearted warden in Prison Break

Pop culture has had many classic brother duos, but Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) and Lincoln Burrows (Dominic Purcell) are on the more extreme side of fraternal love. The star of Fox's drama "Prison Break" shows his affection for his brother by trying to break him out of prison. After Lincoln is wrongfully sentenced for killing the vice president's brother, Michael ensures he is locked up in the same jail to break him out.

Once inside, Michael meets a wide array of characters to help in his escape. He befriends cellmate Sucre (Amaury Nolasco) and even inadvertently falls in love with prison doctor Dr. Sara Tancredi (Sarah Wayne Callies). But the one person he never envisioned to be part of his plan was Warden Henry Pope (Stacy Keach). Instead of the tale of a sadistic warden out to make prisoners' lives miserable, Pope is quite the opposite. He believes in rehabilitation instead of punishment. And much to Michael's chagrin, Pope becomes a sort of father figure to him. This relationship is destroyed when Michael realizes that he will have to betray someone who trusts him to save his brother's life. Though "Prison Break" is nothing if not a high-concept show, the dynamics between its characters grounds it in reality. Instead of caricatures, characters like Warden Pope are believable and immersive.

The Bourne Legacy needed a shadowy government villain

Little did Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) know that while tearing through Europe, he was making a mess for everyone else. Though this was largely unintended due to his amnesia, his search for the truth ultimately led to revealing Operation Treadstone to the public. After Pamela Landy (Joan Allen) releases information regarding the confidential program, there is nothing for the government to do but burn it all down. This includes Operation Outcome, which should have been an improvement to Treadstone. By changing chromosomes in their agents, the National Research Assay Group intended to make fighters without all the side effects. But even though these agents were less likely to act emotionally, Eric Byer (Edward Norton) decided that those involved should be terminated.

While Outcome agent Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner) escapes his fate with Dr. Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), the government scrambles to cover up their involvement. Norton reunites with former "American History X" co-star Stacy Keach under slightly less controversial circumstances. Stacy stars as Retired Admiral Mark Turso, a leader of Project Oversight. Typical of any film in the Bourne franchise, they are ultimately impotent when attempting to catch their creation. Turso scolds the agency for botching the Bourne situation. Not only did they create an efficient killing machine, but wasted years of research and development because of their actions. Once again, the Bourne films prove that the American government is out for itself no matter who has to die.

The Kraut is one of Sin City's many mobsters

The sequel to "Sin City" brings back characters new and old for a fresh adventure. Taken from Frank Miller's graphic novel of the same name, visionary director Robert Rodriguez returned to helm "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" with one of the most black-and-white evil characters put to film.

"I'm just quoting Frank because I asked him," Rodriguez said on a featurette for the film. "I said, 'Is there something in Ava Lord's [Eva Green] past that made her want to come this way? Was she really hurt? Is she getting revenge on just anybody who gets in her way?' He's like: 'Oh, no. She's a demon.'"

Apart from using Dwight (Josh Brolin) — and any man she can get her hands on — for her benefit, she also has her hand in the local mob scene. After she coerces Dwight into killing her husband so she can gain his fortune, Dwight becomes hip to her schemes and attempts to bring her down. This forces her to team up with mob boss Wallenquist, otherwise known as "The Kraut" (Stacy Keach). The experienced actor is virtually unrecognizable in the role of the German crime lord. Rotund and covered in scars, Keach plays one of the notably outrageous characters the film franchise offers. As someone unimpressed with Ava's charms, he is only interested in what his greed can bring.