The office of President of the United States of America is the highest office in the land, and as such, is only entrusted to those deemed worthy. But thanks to the Cobra Commander, that’s all about to change.
As G.I. Joe: Retaliation will be picking up where the previous film left off, the villainous foes of the Joes aren’t just turning the American government against their greatest heroes – they’re doing so with a sleeper agent in the White House.
Shockingly, an evil mastermind masquerading as the elected president isn’t the worst case scenario. Whatever the Cobra Command has planned now that they’ve taken the White House, it can’t be any worse than the leadership movie and TV fans have already witnessed.
To prove our point, we present The 5 Worst Fictional Presidents.
“It won’t happen again. Consider it a blip on the screen.”
Appeared In: Absolute Power (1997)
Presidents aren’t required to be saints – that’s a fact that several past scandals have revealed. But having an affair with – or covering up the death of – your best friend’s wife is a different ball game altogether. Yet that’s just what President Allen Richmond (Gene Hackman) did in Absolute Power, based on the David Baldacci novel.
Things in the bedroom eventually got out of hand, the mistress fought back, and the Secret Service shot and killed her. President Richmond thought he was above the law, and attempted to have the incident covered up. He got his just desserts in the end, and the film may have changed the ending (where he was impeached and executed), but his acts remain every bit as despicable.
“We are running out of french fries and burrito coverings!”
Appeared In: Idiocracy (2006)
The title of ‘5-time Ultimate Smackdown Champion’ will earn you fans in certain circles, but Washington D.C. isn’t usually one of them. It’s true that President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Camacho (Terry Crews) may be the ideal leader for…some Americans, but this lover of guns, women and dancing doesn’t fit the traditional mold of president.
Given the America depicted in Idiocracy, it’s hard to judge President Camacho without conceding that he is a man of his time. While an embarrassment to the presidency, President Camcho did listen to the smartest man in the country, so he’s got other politicians beat there. And if we’re being honest, some added theatrics for the State of the Union would be a welcome addition.
“They still have 2 out of 3 branches of the government working for them, and that ain’t bad.”
Appeared In: Mars Attacks (1996)
Before anyone leaps to the defense of President James ‘Jimmy’ Dale, we’re not blaming the man for the Martian invasion; merely his reaction to it. It’s hard to know exactly how a president would handle the arrival of a Martian fleet, but if that time ever comes, we hope they lead with more apprehension and reinforcements than Dale did.
Besides inviting the Martians to speak with the entire House of Congress – after they had already killed the military present at their welcoming – Dale failed to learn what history has made clear: when encountering a new people, proceed with caution. Vaporizing Congress is one way to shake up Washington, but not preferable.
“I don’t care how you do it, I don’t care what it takes, fix it!”
Appeared In: 24 (2001-2010)
Rather than pointing out the numerous mistakes and poor judgments made by President Logan (Gregory Itzin), let us just say that he is a shining example of why it’s important for a Vice President to be qualified to step in at a moment’s notice and lead a nation. Generally – and perhaps obviously – that means possessing the knowledge and experience to make decisions, deal with the consequences, and stay humble.
Instead, President Logan turned to others for wisdom, took credit for others’ planning, ignored useful advice and even attempted to have Jack Bauer arrested. Leaders who are incompetent without telling anyone are one thing, but actively endangering Americans? That’s a new level of poor president.
“You’re excited? You should feel my nipples.”
Appeared In: Scary Movie 3 (2003), Scary Movie 4 (2006)
In the long history of terrible celluloid presidents, Scary Movie 3‘s President Baxter Harris (Leslie Nielsen) defies understanding. Sure, the movie was intended as a spoof, but that’s hardly an excuse for portraying a president so clearly unqualified for the job. Even if he is a singular individual (capable of urinating from his forefinger), that alone shouldn’t win him an election.
We don’t know what took place in America before the Scary Movie series is set, but if the country’s Commander-in-Chief is a racist, ignorant, senile nudist – hilarious as he may be – then something went horribly wrong. So maybe he’s right at home in the movie franchise, after all.
Granted, these presidents may not have the same malice or evil plans for the nation as that of Cobra Commander’s sleeper agent in the White House, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t do serious damage.
We’ll see how G.I. Joe: Retaliation‘s presidential impostor fares compared to this collection, but at this point, he at least seems more aware of the office’s importance.
If you missed the details of our Retaliation set visit, check out our interviews with Roadblock (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson), Snake Eyes (Ray Park), as well as director John Chu – and of course, read our review of the film!
G.I. Joe: Retaliation releases March 27th, 2013.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.