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Top 10 Movie Characters That Tried to Destroy the World

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Noah Levy
Script written by Noah Levy. For some bad guys, mere world domination simply isn’t enough. Join WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movie Characters That Tried to Destroy the World. For this list, we’re looking at the characters who set their ambitions so high that they attempted destroy a whole planet.
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Top 10 Movie Characters That Tried to Destroy the World


For some bad guys, mere world domination simply isn’t enough. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movie Characters That Tried to Destroy the World.

For this list, we’re looking at the characters who set their ambitions so high that they attempted destroy a whole planet. This means we have to leave characters like Loki, who just wanted to take over the world off the list. Also, since we’re primarily dealing with attempted destruction, beware of spoilers.


#10: Kaecilius / Dormammu
“Doctor Strange” (2016)

Kaecilius was once a student of The Ancient One, but became disillusioned with her after learning that she drew most of her power from the Dark Dimension. Instead, he chose to serve the Dark Dimension’s own lord, Dormammu. Under his command, Kaecilius and his followers set out to destroy the Sanctums on Earth in order for Dormammu and the Dark Dimension to engulf the planet. Thankfully, Doctor Strange was able to thwart them by trapping Dormammu in an endless time loop and effectively annoying his foes into submission. Though Dormammu was little more than a floating head, Kaecilius and his willingness to betray the entire human race certainly left a lasting impression.


#9: Azrael
“Dogma” (1999)

Fed up with baking in Hell for all eternity, the demon Azrael decides to initiate a plan that would destroy existence itself. To do this, he manipulates the fallen angels Bartleby and Loki, who were recently banished to Earth, by sending them news clippings about a Church in New Jersey giving out indulgences. This would let them back into heaven, but would also counteract a decision of God, therefore destroying the concept of reality. Azrael ends up meeting his maker after being hit with a divine golf club wielded by Silent Bob. As played to maniacal perfection by Jason Lee, Azrael is the epitome of petty, but is also a pleasure to watch.


#8: Nero
“Star Trek” (2009)

This rage-fueled Romulan gets bonus points for actually managing to destroy a world, if not our world. In his quest for vengeance against Spock, Nero was sent back in time where he successfully destroyed the Vulcan homeworld with the help of a home-brewed black hole. Nero then set his sights on Earth, with plans to do the same thing. Fortunately, he was foiled by the crew of a little ship called the USS Enterprise. Thanks to a hammy but frightening performance by Eric Bana, and motivations more sympathetic than you’d think, Nero managed to make a mark on the Star Trek franchise, even if he didn’t live long or prosper.

#7: Ultron
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)

Tony Stark only had peace in his mind when he uploaded the artificial intelligence found in a Chitauri Scepter to his global defense program, “Ultron”. Unfortunately, Ultron decided that the only way to obtain peace on Earth was, well, to destroy it, leaving himself to preside over the ruins. Though Ultron is often depicted as cold and calculating, this iteration is brimming with genocidal personality. Having bested the Avengers at every turn, he initiates his plan for global extinction, using a vibranium powered machine to lift the continent of Sokovia and crash it into Earth. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes were able to stop him, but only with seconds remaining, and not without personal cost.

#6: Gozer
“Ghostbusters” (1984)

Once very big in Sumeria, Gozer the Gozerian decided to make an ill-conceived comeback in 1980s Manhattan. Suffice it to say… Gozer’s old-timey way of talking made the shapeshifting god stand out. Appearing first as humanoid figure with fantastic powers, Gozer asks the people of New York to choose the form it would destroy them as. Thankfully, the wandering mind of Ray Stantz ultimately resulted in it taking the form of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, likely saving NYC from greater destruction, and (in the process), earning Gozer a place in pop culture history. Though the Ghostbusters succeeded in destroying the Destroyer, Gozer lives on in our minds forever!

#5: King Ghidorah
“Godzilla” franchise (1954-)

As destructive a force as Godzilla can sometimes be, he pales in comparison to the power demonstrated by his arch nemesis, the fearsome three headed dragon Ghidorah. The monster originally appeared as an extraterrestrial beast believed to have destroyed Venus and prophesied to do the same to Earth. Whether Ghidorah is flying solo, being controlled by an alien race like the Xiliens in “Invasion of Astro-Monster” or the Futurians in “Godzilla vs King Ghidorah”, it often poses such a colossal threat that it may even require a team up involving the likes of Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan. You’ve gotta appreciate a three-headed kaiju that keeps coming back for more, even when outnumbered.

#4: Agent Smith
“The Matrix” franchise (1999-2003)

An intelligent computer program that openly despised humans, the Agent known as “Smith” seemingly met an early demise at the hands of Neo in “The Matrix”. However, the sequels revealed that Smith’s apparent deletion allowed him to evolve beyond the control of the Matrix, revive himself, and copy himself onto anyone in the simulation. Smith concluded the only way to destroy the human race was to destroy the Matrix itself, and its savior Neo. Played excellently by Hugo Weaving, Smith oozes with hatred. With his uniquely menacing manner of speech and distinct fashion sense, Smith is more than a program with a plan, he’s a villainous icon of the sci-fi genre.


#3: General Zod
“Man of Steel” (2013)

What if Superman was a nostalgic megalomaniac? You’d basically get the DCEU Zod. Earth’s sun gives the disgraced General powers equivalent to Kal-El, which, coupled with his mastery of military tactics, makes him truly formidable. His plan to use Kryptonian technology to terraform Earth into another Krypton nearly succeeds until Superman, Lois, and the military make one last desperate counterattack. In a massive brawl with his Kryptonian counterpart, Zod can only be stopped when Superman is forced to cross a line and claim the villain’s life. He didn’t leave his mark on earth as he’d intended, but Zod sure changed our hero forever.

#2: Skynet
“Terminator” franchise (1984-)

Skynet might not be a movie character in the traditional sense, but there’s no denying that it has a mind of its own. Originally, Skynet was a military computer system designed to eliminate human error in the event of nuclear attack. Unfortunately, it became too smart for its own good. Before its creators could pull the plug though, it launched a nuclear attack on humanity, wiping out three billion people. Since then, across the various films and timelines, its been working its big old computer brain to the bone attempting to finish the job and crush the human resistance. Decades after its debut, Skynet continues to inspire a healthy fear of artificial intelligence.

Before we reveal our top pick, here’s an honourable mention:

David
“Prometheus” (2012) & “Alien: Covenant” (2017)



#1: The Aliens
“Independence Day” franchise (1996-)

These extraterrestrials arrived on July 2nd in massive spaceships, laying waste to cities around the world with their advanced weaponry. After multiple failed counterattacks on July 3rd, the human race hit back against The Aliens on July 4th, with a large military assault and a nuke right in their Mothership. Apparently not content with one assault on Earth however, the Aliens returned 20 years later, this time with a weapon designed to drill to the Earth’s core. You’ve gotta give them credit for tenacity. And hey, if it weren’t for them, chances are the people of earth would still be fighting each other. They failed to destroy earth… but they did unite it!

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