As discerning cinema consumers, we expect our villains to be as tough as our heroes. Gone are the days of the giant hero and the weakling villain but deep vulnerabilities still crop up as these 6 action villains that were oddly weak will illustrate.
Mr. Glass, “Unbreakable”
Mr. Glass has one of the best comic book origin stories ever in that he decided he must be a villain after reading about the villains in the comic books his mother used as bait to make him interact with the unfriendly world around him. With the mental acuity to cause large accidents and the ability to accept the pain that his actions will cause to his body, Mr. Glass is an action villain that can’t throw a punch but can blow up a train without sweating. His fall down the stairs in “Unbreakable” is a scene that makes you clench your internal organs as you feel each bone break.
Loki, “The Avengers”
The trickster god doesn’t even consider the possibility that standing next to the Hulk and insulting him would be tactically unsound? Maybe a few magic spells like, oh, a shield or an illusion might have suited Loki as this powerful god about to destroy the Earth. Instead, he gets gamma ray slapped like he owed the Hulk a sandwich. A great scene in “The Avengers” that takes this cunning bastard of an action villain and hands his arrogant butt to him.
The Sandman, “Spider-Man 3”
Regretful murderer Flint Marko gets turned into living sand and gets his head handed to him by Spider-Man and the Green Goblin even though he could’ve went down to the beach and smashed a hole in New York City. Sandman is a powerful action villain, but he let his emotions towards his sickly daughter get in his way and become a tangible weakness, clearly. Marko eats the better part of a subway train, gets beaten silly by Spider-Man and manages to get put down by a city waterline, thus making him a super villain that has the same weakness as a house cat.
This undead action villain is murdering left and right, twisting people to his will, but he goes zero for two against…love? The cruelest of the cruel, a guy whose name wasn’t spoken even though he was considered dead still gets pounded into a burned up fetus because of the power of self-sacrifice. This might be touching but it makes him a serious pansy. Voldemort may be one hell of an action villain, striking from the shadows and filling the wizard populace with dread and terror, but in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” he’s as weak as a kitten.
Andrew Detmer, “Chronicle”
From the start of “Chronicle,” Andrew has a much greater finesse and affinity for the powers the trio have inherited from the alien vessel/quirky geode. With an interesting peak and valley approach to the powers the trio have, Andrew’s breakthroughs occur faster and stronger than his cousin or his friend. Thus, he probably should’ve been able to handle the brutal conclusion quite handily, but instead, he didn’t do such a great job at all. Even for spider haters, Andrew’s manipulation of a arachnid is a scene that does breed revulsion and overt foreshadowing.
Ray Carrigan/Blackout, “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance”
Another piece of the messed up puzzle that is “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” Carrigan has the power to summon darkness and decay anything, so he’s got that going for him. Now, with the power to destroy anything animate or inanimate, he could’ve made a fortune getting rid of nuclear waste through his speedy decay rate, but he serves his demon boss and just gets his butt handed to him by Ghost Rider, one of the silliest action heroes ever whose scary demon voice sounds exactly like the Fozzie Bear. Watch Carrigan’s battle with the monks for a scene that showcases his powers and makes for the question of how he ends up so easily defeated by the demon biker.