Bad meals in restaurants. Ill-advised nights out. That one Christmas. It sucks when things don’t live up to expectations, and movies are no exception. I suppose film-lovers are of a cynical mindset these days – we’ve been let down too many times before to go beyond mild excitement. Yet despite our dark hearts, we’re all still human, and sometimes we dare to dream.
And what’s wrong with that? Nothing, that’s what. Some people may tell you that being optimistic is overrated, but occasionally, we like to invest emotionally in things – relationships, cars, painting figurines. But when we do dream, we like to hang these dreams on sure things, such as a Daniel Day-Lewis performance or the continued excellence of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So when we do decide to believe in a film, we usually look for three things – a cool premise, a good hero and a good villain.
A good villain can be the supporting beam on which the whole mighty edifice of a film rests. The whole aspect of risk, reward and occasionally even the driving motor of the plot begins and ends with them. They’re the guy who wills our hero into action, who puts the world under threat or occasionally just acts a bit of a prick.
Their ability to do this tends hinges on how formidable they are, whether physically or mentally. Obviously, the hero has to overcome their challenge eventually, and while we respect this tried-and-tested plot trope, we still expect a good ride and for the villain to put up one hell of a fight. Yet occasionally, some villains just fail to do this – maybe they’re easily beaten, maybe they weren’t all that compelling in the first place, or maybe their pathetic-ness was the point, but occasionally we’re left cold by the man who’s meant to be the antagonist.
So with that in mind, I’ve chosen to document some of the more note-worthy weak villains. Keep in mind, a SPOILER WARNING is in effect.
This article was first posted on September 3, 2013