10 Movie Villain Twists Everyone Hated

9. John Royce - U.S. Marshalls

Marion Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull
Warner Bros. Pictures

The Fugitive became a surprise hit in 1993, gaining Tommy Lee Jones a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his turn as U.S. Marshall Sam Gerrard. Jones' laconic humor and effective performance as the dogged but intelligent lawman seemed unlikely to launch a sequel, until it was resurrected in 1997's Men In Black.

Building on that momentum, U.S. Marshalls set Gerrard and his team against a new fugitive. Mark Roberts, played by Wesley Snipes. This time rather than a straight rundown, there was political conspiracy included and an unwanted partner in Secret Service operative John Royce, played by Robert Downey Jr.

After a rough start, Royce and Gerrard begin to build trust and a rapport and the movie zips along nicely, largely due to the easy chemistry between Downey and Jones. Then comes the twist.

While pursing Roberts through an old folks home (not joking) Royce has him cornered, only for Deputy Newman (Tom Wood) to walk in and see Royce preparing to execute Roberts. He kills Newman in cold blood, revealing himself as the true villain of the piece.

This sets a collision course which sees Royce become more and more desperate to kill Roberts before he can be exposed. Royce is undone by Gerrard's smarts and killed.

This twist was bad because of the cool and calculating Royce becoming trademark crazy bad, something Downey is NOT good at playing. This role did help him get onto Ally McBeal and there are flashes of the charm that lead us to love him 3000, but this twist derailed a fun movie. Snipes actually turning out to be bad after all would have been so much better.


Rob Taylor has contributed 3 posts since joining in August 2019.