Random Question: Who are your picks of the WORST movie villains?

You know what’s more agonizing than to watch a movie with a lame hero/heroine? Well, it’d be to see one with a lame villain. Last May, we did a villains trilogy posts (here, here and here) where Ted and I lists some of our favorite villains. More often than not, a bad guy role is a juicy one, filled with the best dialog and one-liners and plenty of opportunities for the actors to have fun with the role and steal scenes. That’s why roles like Hans Gruber, The Joker, Col. Hans Landa, etc. get a lot of love from my blog and others.

Even his hair is lame!

But this past weekend, my hubby and I watched The Losers, an action romp based on a DC comics. I saw it mainly for the awesomely-diverse cast and I quite like the rapport between Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Idris Elba, as well as the rest of the team (Zoe Saldana and especially Chris Evans were quite fun to watch). But man, Jason Patrick as Max, the evil weapons dealer magnate, is just dreadful beyond belief!! In a monstrosity scale of 1-10, he’d be a 12! Now, I realize this movie is very tongue-in-cheek and thus all the roles aren’t supposed to be taken too seriously, but still!

You could say he ‘steal scenes’ but in the worst possible way because every time he shows up on screen, the movie just went south real fast. He’s trying to be this cool, menacing, ruthless character that someone like John Malkovich or Alan Rickman can do in their sleep, but this Patrick’s got zero charisma or any trace of edginess whatsoever so his hammy-whilst-pretending-to-be-nonchalant performance just falls flat and downright laughable! He’s just sooo miscast in this that he nearly derails the movie for me… there are moments during his scenes where my hubby and I would look at each other and say, “REALLY? Is this for real??” Even an SNL spoof would be much better than this. I’ve never paid much attention to Patrick’s movies but this role is enough to put me off anything else he does for good!

It makes me think of what other movies have villains sooo bad they actually risk ruining the movie for me. Here’s five from the ones I’ve seen just for starters:

  • Elliot Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies
    Especially when he mocks the lovely Michelle Yeoh with his silly Kung Fu moves – 
    I never take Jonathan Pryce seriously after this
  • Toad in X-Men
    So he’s just a mutant henchman but a super lame one at that
  • Nuclear Man in Superman IV
    It’s pretty self-explanatory I should think? Can’t imagine anyone not cringing every time this over-bronzed fella appears on screen.
  • Abomination in The Incredible Hulk
    I actually enjoyed this movie but Tim Roth’s portrayal just seems I don’t know… lethargic? He kind of reminds me of Peter Sarsgaard in those Green Lantern trailers, so are all green villains destined to be awful?
  • All the villains in Joel Schumacher’s Batman flicks
    (This one ‘wins’ triple points for an equally-lame, bat-nippled hero + sidekick) 
    I think Arnie’s Mr. Freeze takes the cake but The Riddler and Poison Ivy aren’t that much better.

Now I turn it over to you, dear friends. Who are your picks for lamest movie villains ever?

46 thoughts on “Random Question: Who are your picks of the WORST movie villains?

  1. Ha… “Nuclear Man”?!?! Remind me to never watch Superman IV.

    I don’t think that the Spider-Man 3 villains were bad, per se, but they were used really poorly.

    1. Yeah, Superman IV is terrible. Of course I was still excited for it as I adore Chris Reeve but man, even Superman couldn’t save the movie 😦

  2. I definitely second the Schumacher Batman villains. I don’t really remember the movies that well, since I watched them when I was much younger, but it’s hard to take any of them seriously now when compared to Heath Ledger’s Joker.

    I thought Kevin Spacey was particularly tragic as Lex Luthor, which is a shame because I love Spacey.

    It’s hard to think of many more, but they’ll come to me as I watch some more bad movies (I have a bad movie weekend planned for sometime in the near future.)

    1. Ahah, lots of people loathe Spacey’s portrayal as Lex. I don’t hate it as much as you but I don’t think it was particularly strong either, which is ironic considering how evil he was in the first Bryan Singer’s movie The Usual Suspect. Oh, and Se7en, too [shudder]

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  4. Ted S.

    I haven’t seen The Losers yet, might give it a rent someday. I agree though that Jason Patric is just an actor with no emotion, I’ve seen several films of his where he was the leading man and yet I don’t remember much about his character. He’s sort of like a poor man version of Keanu Reeves, which is kind of ironic since he replaced Reeves in Speed 2. ha ha.

    Like I mentioned before, all of the James Bond films never had a real great villain, some decent ones but a lot of bad ones. I agree with you about Elliot Carver even though Tomorrow Never Dies is my favorite Bronsnan’s Bond film. My pick for the worst Bond villain goes to Mathieu Amalric’s Dominic Green. Again I really enjoyed the film but Amalric was a total miscast in that role. Let’s hope Mendes can give us a truly menacing Bond villain next year. Hopefully offer the role to Ralph Fienes, he’ll be a great Bond villain.

    Another bad villain is Stephen Dork, sorry I mean Dorf in the first Blade film. He look like this little weasel and his character was supposed to be this bad ass vampire, every time he appeared on screen, I started laughing.

    1. Well, thanks for the warning about Patrick. I only remembered him from The Lost Boys, but I just never find him appealing (not just look-wise but his demeanor). Ha..ha.. poor man’s Keanu, well at least Keanu’s got the edge, he’s got his own ‘brand’ of acting if you will which I actually like.

      Oh yeah, Dominic in ‘Quantum’ is pretty lame but at least he wasn’t annoying like Elliot Carver. I just never bought him as a media tycoon as he doesn’t strike me as a guy who can even operate a VCR! 😀 It doesn’t help that Teri Hatcher was a lame Bond girl also. Oh I think Ralph would’ve been awesome as a Bond villain, he’s played tons of iconic bad guy roles before.

      Ha..ha.. I know you hate Stephen Dork, he’s channeling Leonidas in those IMMORTALS posters. He must have been training religiously as he was out of shape in Somewhere.

  5. You know I am sitting here trying my hardest to think of anyone that I hated as a villain, but I can’t. How rubbish am I?

    Nice thought provoker though Ruth….

    Jason Patric was only ever good in one film, and that was The Lost Boys, but then again I think it is the Film that is good not actually him!

    1. Consider yourself lucky that you’ve never watched a bad villain, Custie 😀 Ahah, yeah I mentioned The Lost Boys before I saw your comment. You’re right, I think the film was ok not only because of Patrick. It’s probably one of the few good movies from Joel Schumacher as well.

  6. Hi, Ruth and company:

    Excellent selections for much less than top tier villains!

    Jason Patric’s ‘Max’ reminds me of sadly comedic ‘Groo’ from ‘Dispicable Me’. Possessing much more ego than brains of guile to get the job done. While having only Holt MCCallany’s ‘Wade’ as a minion, while ‘Groo’ had hundreds.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger was given the plum role of ‘Dutch’ in ‘Predator’. The type of role from which he never should have strayed. His ‘Mr. Freeze’ was cringingly lame and pitiful.

    Sean Connery was given a similarly goofy, malevolent character in ‘The Avengers’ from the UK in 1988, Yet he pulled it off with humor and a kilt.

    Sadly, Domenic West; an actor who earned my respect and admiration as Baltimore Detective Jimmy McNullty in HBO’s ‘The Wire’. Lost it completely in the third turn as ‘Jigsaw’ in ‘Punisher: War Zone’.

    1. Hello Jack, glad you approve 🙂 Ha..ha.. I’ve only seen the trailer of Despicable Me but yeah I can see that. But at least that one is a cartoon so I won’t hold it against him too much.

      Arnie just doesn’t quite have the range to pull off a compelling villain, he can only play a bad-ass anti hero. I was gonna include Connery but y’know, even as a less-than-perfect villain he’s still fun to watch.

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  8. In defense of the “Losers” movie (though why I feel the need to defend it I don’t know), in the original comic, Max was a shadowy behind-the-scenes kind of villain whose face wasn’t even revealed until more than halfway into the series. The filmmakers knew this wouldn’t work for this movie, so they probably had a bit of a hard time trying to reinterpret Max. I agree that the result was not that great, but then neither was the rest of the movie.

    1. Ah I see, well that explains it little, but still Patrick could’ve taken advantage of the fact that there’s an open interpretation of the character. The blame lies w/ the writer too I suppose, but I think if an actor has even a bit of charisma, the role can still work.

  9. Gosh. I can’t think of anyone. I’ve been looking at lists, and I really can’t. There are plenty of movies, probably, where the whole thing is bad and so the villain is necessarily bad as well, but I’m trying to think of something where I just think the bad guy is lousy as compared to the rest of the movie, and I’ve got nothing.

    I want to take a second to defend Toad, though, mostly because Ray Park is awesome. They had a guy with his talents and they did NOTHING with him, and that is not his fault. So there.

    1. Yeah, in a lot of movies, the villain is as bad as the movie but in the case of The Losers, even though the movie itself is not great, he’s far, far worse. I think I can apply that sentiment to Schumacher’s Batman flicks, too.

      I didn’t know you have a thing for Ray Park. He’s the guy behind Darth Maul too, right? He’s definitely menacing in that one.

  10. Another bad villain is Stephen Dork, sorry I mean Dorf in the first Blade film. He look like this little weasel and his character was supposed to be this bad ass vampire, every time he appeared on screen, I started laughing.

    1. Ahah, another Dork mention. I kinda forget all the details about Blade, I just remember I like Wesley Snipes in it and that’s about it.

    2. Ted S.

      Strange that you copied what I wrote word for word Sulman, but at least we agree that Stephen Dork is a bad actor and villain.

  11. The first non Darth Vader Star Wars movie……yeah…I’m talking about the Phantom Menace. Darth Maul sure looked cool……but he had like one line that was dubbed over the original actor’s voice. Who the hell was the main baddie anyways??? The goofy trade federation idiots?…….Darth Sidious only glimpsed in hologram??…..It’s as if the main menace in that movie was some sort of phantom…..oh wait…I get it George…..still a lousy idea.

    1. Hi Markus, yeah I can see that about Phantom Menace but I give Lucas a pass as it’s only part of the whole story so we don’t see the bad-assery of Anakin until the 2nd and 3rd film.

  12. I honestly didn’t have a problem with Jason in the Losers. Then again i can’t think of any villains that brought down a movie for me(or at least one that i thought was otherwise good)

        1. Oh, Chris is awesome! He steals the show, especially that bit when he’s pretending to shoot the guards but it’s the Latino guy who shot ’em from a distance. Oh and that elevator scene is a hoot!

  13. Bullseye. Daredevil. Nothing else need be said. Though I’ll say more stuff anyways, because a villain who can throw things real well and catch stuff thrown at him is about as exhilarating as a thing that is not exhilarating at all.

      1. He was pretty bad. I have no familiarity with the comic book character, but I imagine the book knows how to make him more exciting despite his kind of mundane abilities. The film should have known to do the same, though I think a terrible villain was the least of that movie’s worries.

        Trust me, you ain’t missing much.

        1. Aren’t they working on a remake of Daredevil? I think the story of a blind superhero is intriguing if they do it right and make it darker instead of circus-y. I’m curious to see who they’ll cast as anything is gonna be better than the original, ahah.

  14. I know I might get killed for saying this 🙂 but to me the worst villain ever was The Joker in DARK KNIGHT film. Neurotic and egocentric approach to that role with no sense and deeper direction is why I have a low opinion of that horrid role, even though I liked Ledger in some other films.

    And I agree with Andrew above, Bullseye was horrid too 🙂

      1. eh, as if you could, Dirty ;P

        PS I forgot to mention that I actually loved charming and witty villains from the old Batman films – Tommy’s Harvey Two Face, Carrey’s Riddler, Uma’s Poison Ivy! Loved them.

    1. Ah Dezzy, I knew somehow you’ll bring up your hatred for The Joker. He’s supposed to be neurotic and egocentric, but he’s also charismatic in a deranged kind of way. I know you don’t like Nolan either so I’m not surprised you dislike The Joker. We’ll just agree to disagree, my friend 😀

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  16. SO glad you mentioned Toad in X-Men. Out of all the villains for them to use, they chose Toad??? He belongs on this list!!

    I’d also add Bullseye in Daredevil. Now, Daredevil is actually a guilty pleasure movie for me, but I still don’t like Colin Farrell as the villain in that one!

    Good call on Elliot Carver and every Joel Schumacher Batman villain! 🙂

    You should do a poll on which Batman villain is the worst!! haha

    1. I’m just glad I haven’t seen Daredevil!! They should reboot that already to erase our memory of Ben Affleck and all his bad nemesis, ahah. I haven’t done a poll in a while, I should do that soon.

  17. Interesting post. I couldn’t remember who is the worst movie villain…all can remember are the best.

    Btw, I am currently watching The Incredible Hulk…will see if the Abomination is the worst 😉 I kinda like this movie more than the first one

    1. Curious to hear what you think, Nov. It’s definitely an improvement from the first one (despite my love for Bana), but I can’t stand Tim Roth in it.

  18. Funny about the last one, the villains in Joel Schumacher’s Batman flicks. I do remember those villains as they were a bit “cheesy,” lol! 🙂

  19. Richard

    John Travolta in The Punisher and Battlefield Earth. Total ham. And Vinnie Jones in X-Men III. Total moron. 😀

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