10 Famous Movie Villains With Lame Motivations

Bad guys can be quite petty sometimes...

Amazing Spider Man 2
Sony

Though the majority of movies follow the hero's journey, it's impossible to have a compelling story without some sort of force opposing them. Whether it's a supervillain, a team of government agents, or something more abstract, the villain of the piece not only has to challenge the protagonist in interesting ways, but they have to be fleshed out enough to make them feel like a truly potent threat.

Unfortunately, a lot of movies get villains wrong. When the priority is making sure that the hero is worthy enough to build a whole film around, it can be hard to dedicate enough story real estate to the bad guy, and they can all too easily fall flat. Sometimes, the very core of their villainy is the problem, and if their reason for turning evil is paper thin or makes no sense, it can be hard to take them seriously for the rest of the movie.

These villains aren't necessarily bad or forgettable, but they didn't exactly have a deep, captivating reason for getting up to their various sinister shenanigans, and it does diminish their impact when you realise that their motivations are just... pretty lame.

10. The Night Fox (Ocean's Twelve)

Amazing Spider Man 2
Warner Bros. Pictures

The Motivation: He was upset that someone complimented Danny.

An early scene in Ocean's Twelve sees Danny Ocean come face-to-face with François Toulour - aka The Night Fox - a rival master thief. At their meeting, Toulour challenges Danny and his team to steal the Fabergé egg, and if Danny is successful, he will have his debts paid off by Toulour. Simple.

This kicks Ocean's Twelve's main heist into gear, as we follow Danny and his gang through their planning and execution of this high-stakes job: but, unfortunately, things don't go to plan, and they fail. Upon returning to Toulour, he mocks Danny, and, in a twist, claims to have stolen the egg himself. Shortly after, we find out that he didn't actually steal the egg, but rather, Danny's group had already nicked it at an earlier date. This plotting is all very messy, and a bit too complicated for its own good.

Toulour is then forced to admit that Danny "won", and gives him the money to pay off his debt. Not only is Toulour humiliated, but he loses a massive sum of money. So why did he go through all this trouble, and why did he challenge Danny in the first place? Well, he was jealous that someone had described Danny as "the greatest thief in the world", and he wanted to try and prove that that statement was false.

Toulour had money, a strong reputation, and some world-class thieving skills, so he didn't need to prove anything, and it was seriously petty of him to get tangled up in Danny's scheme all because of a little jealousy.

Contributor
Contributor

Video editor and writer WhatCulture/WhoCulture. Bought a 4K copy of The Martian in 2016 and still haven't watched it.