Whenever movie villains are brought up, the big bads that are named are probably the most popular ones. People who don’t live under a rock are familiar wth Darth Vader, Hannibal Lecter, Heath Ledger’s Joker, and many more. However, there are even more movie villains that have sadly been overshadowed by their more popular fellow villains. Maybe it’s because of the movie they are in isn’t as popular or the audience just didn’t like them as much. Either way, it’s a crime certain movie villains just don’t get their place in any top movie villain list. Well, not this time, because I have decide to countdown the top five underrated movie villains. Every villain wants their chance to shine, so now is the time. Evil laugh, anyone?
5. Simon Gruber (Die Hard With A Vengeance)
Remember the big bad from Die Hard with the dashing suit and TV accent? His name was Hans Gruber and this is his big bag brother, Simon. Out of this brotherly terrorist duo, Hans is often considered to be the more popular one. It’s for good reason, but that doesn’t mean his older brother is bad competition. Simon was introduced in the third Die Hard movie, operating as a mysterious Riddler-type of villain. He worked behind the scenes, preferred cunning over brute force, and had one sarcastic wit. At first, his sole motivation to kill John McClane was revenge, but it turns out he wasn’t so different from Hans. Playing McClane and the entire police force like a chess game, Simon used the whole revenge thing as a ploy to lure them away from hordes of gold.
While Hans was a master planner, Simon was far more clever and calculating. He had McClane running on a wild goose chase and managed to steal gold while distracting the police. Unlike Hans, Simon had a much cooler head and had an army of followers behind him. Hans may have more popularity, but Simon is still the older brother. The oldest is always the strongest.
4. The Abomination (The Incredible Hulk)
I often hear people say that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a villain problem, but that isn’t entirely true. The most popular villains of this universe includes Thanos, Loki, and Erik Killmonger, all who deserve the credit. While several of the MCU villains have failed to live up to the likes of Thanos or Loki, there are some who are certainly in the same league. One of them is without a doubt Emil Blonsky, better known as The Abomination. Even before he became The Abomination, Blonsky was a relentless, ruthless, and overzealous soldier with an ego the size of the Hulk’s biceps. His exposure to the Super Soldier Serum only enhanced his brutality to the extreme, eventually turning into The Abomination. This MCU villain is often forgotten about, despite that fact that he’s still alive in the universe, but he’s still a powerhouse of a villain.
What made The Abomination so cool to watch is that he was madly obsessed with fighting The Hulk. He’s even one of the few villains to actually go toe to toe with him and win a straight up fist fight. Sure, he lost in the end, but he still lived to tell the tale. Now that is rare. Let’s hope that Marvel brings him back soon.
3. William Stryker (X2: X-Men United)
Magneto is without a doubt the archenemy of the mutant superhero team called the X-Men. This is why he was the villain in the 2000 X-Men movie, but the sequel gave us a human villain. Colonel William Stryker was the exact opposite of Magneto, being the biggest anti-mutant bigot in town. After his mutant son used his telepathy to drive his wife to suicide, Stryker made it his life mission to eradicate all mutants. In a very sinister scene, he showed how far he was willing to go when he revealed that he lobotomized his son so he could control him. This was all part of his plan to manipulate Professor X into telepathically killing every mutant. Stryker is a villain motivated by hatred because of a tragedy. This was meant to make him more sympathetic, but frankly, it was pretty hard to feel sorry for this guy.
In what had to be his most chilling scene, Stryker watches over his prisoners, which are mutant children he abducted. He watches them over the camera and smirks when one of the kids shocks himself. When his lackey asks him why they are keeping the children there, Stryker gives a horrific response told through excellent subtext. “When I build a machine, I want to make sure that it’s working.” In other words, these children are my lab rats and they’re going to die. Stryker is the cruel father, hateful bigot, and was hellbent on committing genocide. Can’t get much worse than that.
2. Mad Dog (The Raid)
As a fan of martial arts films, I always love watching the fight with the big bad. In the case of The Raid, Mad Dog was the henchman, and a very small one too. Despite that, he was anything but a pushover. Mad Dog never fired a single bullet, preferring to use his fists for his own sadistic pleasure of fighting. He had some sick moves and it took two main characters for him to even be challenged. While Mad Dog didn’t talk much, he was always heard yelling when he was fighting, showing his brutality and Penchak Silat skillset. Two guys at once, holy moly.
Mad Dog is just one of the villains that is just a physical juggernaut. He’s the sub-boss from video games that you fight before the big boss because those are always tougher. If you don’t believe me, just watch his final fight scene. The man gets a knife forced in his neck and he fights even harder. He is one little man you do not want to mess with.
1. Colonel William Tavington (The Patriot)
My number one choice stirred up some controversy, but he was a true villain on-screen. Colonel William Tavington is someone who had the gull to make Mel Gibson angry, shooting his character’s young son in front of him. If that wasn’t enough, he later killed his other son (played by Heath Ledger) after burning down a church filled with civilians. This man is the type of villain who needs to be ruthless, considering he was an oppressor leading soldiers. His methods go beyond the extreme, committing every atrocity in the book to win the war. He steps on the little guy and gloats about it, all of it acted out brilliantly by the underrated Jason Isaacs. His performance was phenomenal, and sold us on a villain that lacked any kind of humanity.
Villains are always engine that gets things moving in a movie. The hero reacts to anything they do, so they gotta get their attention with something bad. These guys did some bad stuff and ticked off a hero, but they left their mark. Sometimes it really is fun to root for the bad guys.
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