J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) encounters many unfriendly faces in Christopher Nolan’s epic “Oppenheimer” — the terrifying anticommunist Colonel Pash (Casey Affleck), belligerent prosecutor Roger Robb (Jason Clarke), who cross-examines like he is vivisecting, and even President Harry S. Truman (Gary Oldman), who feels pleased with having incinerated hundreds with Oppenheimer’s gadget.
However the overarching (singular/human) villain of the piece is Lewis Strauss (Robert Downey Jr.), Oppenheimer’s rival on the U.S. Atomic Vitality Fee. Regardless of being a self-made man with unbelievable success and public service to his title, Strauss cannot let some petty slights by Oppenheimer go, nor settle for that Oppie wasn’t even making an attempt to humiliate him; for Strauss, it is higher to assume somebody malicious than settle for he isn’t necessary to them. So, he units out to destroy Oppenheimer’s fame and torpedoes his personal alongside the way in which.
Downey tones down his standard allure and wit, making Strauss stuffy and upright. The actor sees his character as one thing of a hero, “Somebody who’s conservative for all the best causes,” and Strauss is the protagonist of his personal storyline. In 1958, his nomination as Commerce Secretary was denied after, the movie suggests, his actions towards Oppenheimer got here to gentle.
Strauss lastly breaks down after his actions are revealed to the general public, talking with agency anger as his voice trembles. The movie’s interweaving threads collide, as Strauss’ rage at Oppenheimer’s hypocritical warfare dove views are cross-cut with Oppie himself testifying about how he got here to be towards his creation.
Downey is not simply nice at being humorous, he is nice at being offended. Suppose again, and you will notice what number of of his greatest appearing moments as Tony Stark had been when he was pissed at Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). In “Oppenheimer,” he exhibits that power as one of the best particular person film villain of the yr.