A movie villain can make or break any movie. You can have a terrible movie which is made fantastic by the presence of a brilliant villain but you can also have a brilliant movie made terrible by the presence of a villain who is well below par.
When you think about this it cannot really be that hard to create a brilliant movie villain. All you need to do is develop a character that is a genuine threat to the protagonist and in the same breath that character should not make the audience roll around on the floor laughing whenever they see him. Surely something so simple cannot be that hard.
Well, if modern movies are anything to go by, it is a lot more difficult than it appears to be. Just take a look at these movie villains which are surely examples of the most ridiculously lame villains to ever appear on the big screen.
1 – Eliot Carver – James Bond: Tomorrow Never Dies
I am somewhat sure that by including any James Bond villain in a list like this is going to have a million James Bond fans screaming foul play. Unfortunately there is no escaping the fact that villains like Odd Job and Goldfinger are certainly classic and memorable villains they don’t really instil complete terror in the viewer. Sure, Odd Job was a huge guy who looked as though he could snap you in half with his little finger or win a pie eating competition but when all is said and done his big signature move was throwing a hat at you. Even guys like the man with golden gun could do nothing more than terrify you with his third nipple. Maybe if he was made an attempt to touch it then you would be a little more scared but to just look at it is hardly terrifying.
If you were forced to pick just one Bond villain who topped any list of ridiculous movie villains then you are going to have to pick Eliot Carver from Tomorrow Never Dies. Eliot Carver was the billionaire media mogul similar to Rupert Murdoch only 125 years younger. What makes this guy so ridiculous is his very motives throughout the movie. Your average Bond villain has one motivation and that is to either take over the world or destroy it with a fiendishly clever plan. That part goes with the territory. Eliot Carver wants to destroy the world so that he can generate higher ratings for his TV news channel. It’s hardly the sort of motivation that would make Adolf Hitler look like Mary Poppins now is it?
2 – General Grievous – Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
When it comes to pathetic movie villains we could have quite easily created an entire list comprised just of villains from the Star Wars movies. After all picking a ridiculous character from any of the Star Wars prequels is like trying to find the ground when you jump out of an aeroplane without a parachute.
Without getting too much on our high horses let us look at one General Grievous and why he could well be one of the most ridiculous villains who ever lived. This guy, we assume, was created to look cool, mean, nasty and threatening all at the same time. The problem with this is it is hard to take a movie villain serious when he spends the entire movie coughing up phlegm and wheezing like an asthmatic smurf with a 40 cigarettes a day smoking habit. Anyone, regardless of how cool they look, is in no way threatening when they appear on screen looking like they could do with an oxygen tent just to get through the scene which is what General Grievous does at every opportunity.
General Grieves does not make you want to run for cover or fear the life of our movie hero’s He makes you want to give him a zimmer frame and a heated pensioner’s slipper. In all honesty fighting General Grieves is not dissimilar to climbing in bed with your grandma and spooning when she is suffering from a severe bout of flu.
3 – Nuclear Man – Superman IV
Since villains originally created for comic books are basically cartoon creations it is very easy for them to appear very lame and cheesy when they appear in a movie. This however does not explain why movies based on comic books go out of their way to make their villains look like something you would see leading a gay pride march down the street.
A prime example of this is Nuclear Man from Superman IV. If you don’t know who he is that is because the producers of the movie have quite obviously made him the most forgettable character in the world. Nuclear Man is the villain created by none other than Lex Luthor when he steals a strand of Superman’s hair and tricks him into throwing it into the Sun attached to a nuclear warhead. The resulting explosion is what gives birth to Nuclear Man, a villain who has very similar powers to Superman only he is much lamer.
If Nuclear Man is not appearing pathetic enough for you yet he will when you learn this about him. The reason Nuclear Man goes on his rampage in the movie is because he has a huge crush on a girl and wants to meet up with her more than life itself. Before you start thinking how romantic this is just remember that Nuclear Man is basically threatening to completely destroy the world if he does not get a date with this woman. Very much the same stance a toddler would take when not getting their own way.
4 – Mr Freeze – Batman and Robin
Without any doubt the Batman and Robin movie is the very worst of all the comic book movies that have ever had the misfortune of being made. It is only right that a movie so bad would also play host to one of the worst and most ridiculous movie villains of all time as well.
That is correct, we are talking about Mr Freeze. Yes we know Mr Freeze is a big guy but he looks anything but terrifying and his only form of attack throughout the movie seems to be spitting out pathetic one liners that would make anyone cringe with embarrassment. To make matters even worse Mr Freeze is portrayed by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger which means everything is made even worse by a strange accent.
You may well be sat thinking that if Arnie is playing the character then the lines he uses are at least funny but the majority of them make little sense. Who says things like “Ice to meet you.” Hardly clever or original. The only danger Mr Freeze has is that he might put the audience to sleep with his lameness.