A collection of international villains hit movie screens this summer

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“I miss the Cold War,” declared a character in last year’s The Peacemaker. So does Hollywood. Ever since the Eastern Bloc’s untimely evaporation, a good movie villain has become hard to find. But that doesn’t mean scriptwriters aren’t racking their brains to come up with new and improved bad guys. Look at some of the more, er, interesting evildoers coming soon.

Film: Lethal Weapon 4, due July 10 Villains: Asian counterfeiters Method of evil: The flying fists and feet of Hong Kong action legend Jet Li Pop-culture ancestor: Fu Manchu PC? Maybe to the Dalai Lama. But if you want a sensitive look at the richness of Chinese culture, wait for Mulan.

Film: The Avengers, due Aug. 14 Villain: The mad Scottish nobleman Sir August De Wynter (Sean Connery) Method of evil: Weather control (bonus points for imagination) Pop-culture ancestor: Mike Myers’ “If it’s not Scottish, it’s crrrrap” SNL character PC? At least until someone demands the removal of tartan-covered Scotch Buy toilet paper from supermarket shelves

Film: Mighty Joe Young, due Dec. 11 Villains: Greedy white hunters who think the big ape’s head would look nice above a fireplace Method of evil: Guns, guns…yawn Pop-culture ancestor: Pith-helmeted baddies from the Tarzan movies PC? Very, unless you’re Ted Nugent or Charlton Heston.—Zack Stentz

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