The successful formula of cinematic storytelling dictates that when the hero finally defeats the villain - assuming they actually do - it typically happens near the end of the film.
But movies sure would be boring if they all adhered to the same strict structure, and so some have certainly played fast-and-loose with this rule over the decades.
While major villains need to stick around for a large portion of any movie in order to sustain tension, some films have opted to give them premature dirt naps that few ever saw coming.
And though audiences might recall that some of these movie villains shuffled off their mortal coils a little earlier than expected, you probably don't remember quite how long.
In almost all of these cases, these unforgettable antagonists died before the full-fat, legit climax of the movie took place, delivering a false finish for the audience before the filmmakers decided to pile on another 20, 30, even 50-ish minutes of added drama and carnage.
In some examples it was an ingenious subversion while in others it fell as flat as the rest of the movie did, but in each case the filmmakers dared to ice a major villain before anyone expected them to...
7. Egor Korshunov - Air Force One
Classic '90s action flick Air Force One stars Harrison Ford as the President of the United States, James Marshall, who must fend off a group of terrorists who have hijacked the POTUS' titular plane, led by the sadistic Egor Korshunov (Gary Oldman).
Though Korshunov may ultimately be working for another big bad, Kazakh dictator Ivan Radek (Jürgen Prochnow), he is for all intents and purposes the primary antagonist, enough that you'd expect him to only get the Hans Gruber treatment in the film's closing moments, right?
But in fact, Korshunov gets his neck snapped by Marshall 25 minutes before the end of the movie, after which the President has to pilot the plane, fight off some MiGs, defeat a duplicitous Secret Service Agent (Xander Berkeley) and perform a daring mid-air evacuation after damage to the plane makes landing impossible.
Action movies of this era were infamous for tacking excessive second climaxes on - looking at you, Speed - but at least in this case it was ludicrously entertaining, no matter that Oldman's deliciously hammy villain checked out almost a half-hour prior.