Top 10 Worst Movie Villains of the Last Decade
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
These movie villains of the 2010s left a LOT to be desired. For this list, we're looking at we'll be looking at villains who appeared in films released between 2010 and 2019. Our countdown includes Parallax from "Green Lantern," Steppenwolf from "Justice League," Dr. Doom from "Fantastic Four," and more!
Top 10 Worst Movie Villains of the Last Decade
Will the real evil overlord please stand up? Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst Movie Villains of the Last Decade.
For this list, we’ll be looking at villains who appeared in films released between 2010 and 2019. By worst, we don’t mean the most evil. We mean that these villains failed to live up to their potential, or they just straight-up sucked. A spoiler alert is in effect here.
“The Mummy” (2017)
To give this box office and critical bomb a little credit, the makeup artists at least tried to give Ahmanet a unique design. If only the screenwriters put in the same level of effort. Aside from her appearance and the fact that she’s a princess, there’s nothing about Ahmanet that sticks out, especially when compared to Universal’s past mummies. She’s not creepy like Boris Karloff’s incarnation of Imhotep. Even Arnold Vosloo, despite often being surrounded by cheesy effects, still brought a menacing sense of dignity to his portrayal. Ahmanet won’t scare you to death, but she will bore you to death with her cookie-cutter origin story, nonsensical motivations, and utter lack of a personality. An actress of Sofia Boutella’s charisma deserved much better than this.
“Gods of Egypt” (2016)
Whereas “The Mummy” at least got a performer of North African descent to play the titular role, “Gods of Egypt” was accused of whitewashing across the board. The most distracting casting choice has got to be Gerard Butler, who makes only a half-hearted attempt to disguise his Scottish accent as the villainous Egyptian god Set. We’d say that Butler chews the scenery here, but this movie is so reliant on CGI that there probably wasn’t much scenery for him to chew. Speaking of which, Set becomes even harder to take seriously whenever Butler turns into a ridiculous CG abomination. Anyway you cut it, Set is a far cry from, say, Leonidas.
#8: Vivienne Nimue
You can tell that the “Hellboy” reboot was going for a campier tone based on the presence of Milla Jovovich, who specializes in B-movie horror. Jovovich plays Vivienne Nimue, aka the Blood Queen, aka the Lady of the Lake. While not the most complex villain, Jovovich could’ve had a lot of fun here by hamming it up. But instead of going over-the-top, Jovovich generally looks bored in the role, delivering her lines with zero emotion and a listless straight-face. Even when the Blood Queen gets decapitated, the actress only appears marginally invested. When your villain is a sorceress who spends part of the movie cut up into pieces, the last thing she should be is dull. Like the rest of the film, Nimue is a bloody waste.
#7: Fire Lord Ozai
“The Last Airbender” (2010)
Although Admiral Zhao is initially given more screen time, Fire Lord Ozai is the true big bad in the “Avatar” universe. If this live-action adaptation was your introduction to the franchise, however, you’d never understand why the Fire Lord is supposed to be such a big deal. The original show spent two seasons building up Ozai before finally unveiling his face. Even as a hidden figure, Ozai could send a shiver up anyone’s spine, thanks in part to Mark Hamill’s devilish delivery. Here, Ozai just walks on screen with no buildup or cool introduction. What’s worse, he doesn’t come off as intimidating, sinister, or really all that bad. We never believe for a second that this guy could command a room, let alone a monarchy.
“Green Lantern” (2011)
This film’s interpretation of Parallax is about as generic as supervillains get. He has no personality or defining traits outside of being a giant extraterrestrial being that our heroes need to defeat. Everything we learn about Parallax is conveyed through bland exposition, making him all the more uncompelling. At the very least, the filmmakers could’ve given us a creative design, but he’s literally just a massive head clouded by smoke. In the comics, Parallax is described as “a yellow entity that was made of living fear.” In this film, Parallax only possesses hints of the color yellow and we doubt that he could strike fear into anybody under three. Unless you’ve read the comics, it’s easy to forget that this villain even has a name.
#5: Balem Abrasax
“Jupiter Ascending” (2015)
Only a year after accepting an Oscar for “The Theory of Everything,” Eddie Redmayne won a Razzie for playing an intergalactic businessman with an Oedipus complex. That’s quite the 180. To be fair, Balem Abrasax is by far the most entertaining part of this otherwise uninspired space opera. That said, this is still one of the most awkward and embarrassing villains ever to grace the silver screen. Balem has two notes. Most of the time, he speaks like a primadonna getting over a sore throat. Other times, he randomly screeches like a whiny preteen going through puberty. Channeling John Travolta in “Battlefield Earth” and Tommy Wiseau in “The Room,” Balem’s scenes may be enjoyably awful, but the only thing he “creates” is unintentional laughter.
“Justice League” (2017)
If “Justice League” was supposed to be DC’s answer to “The Avengers,” then we guess that Steppenwolf was intended to be this cinematic universe’s equivalent to Loki… except without the charm… or humor… or engaging backstory… or anything remotely memorable. Heck, the most this guy has in common with the God of Mischief is his helmet, which many people would agree was Loki’s lamest feature! If you’re going to get some of the greatest superheroes in pop culture together, you’d better pit them against a worthy villain. From the second Steppenwolf surfaces, however, the audience is utterly underwhelmed. Not only is he given one of the laziest CGI designs in modern cinema, he also spouts some utterly unmemorable dialogue.
#3: Doctor Doom
“Fantastic Four” (2015)
Of all the definitive villains in the Marvel library, Doctor Doom is the one that Hollywood has continually botched the most. Whatever future versions of the character lie on the horizon, we can take solace in knowing that nothing will ever be more enraging than this. When we first meet Victor Von Doom, he comes off as a pompous weasel, less like a diabolical mastermind and more like that jerky co-worker every office has. So, right off the bat, it’s hard to believe that this guy is going to emerge as a threat. Things don’t get much better when Victor debuts his new look, which could easily be mistaken for a mannequin that didn’t come off the assembly line right.
#2: The Joker
“Suicide Squad” (2016)
While the trailers suggested that Jared Leto’s Joker would be this film’s big bad, the spotlight was instead stolen by the Enchantress. The Joker, meanwhile, got about ten minutes of screentime, although we’re not exactly complaining. If it were Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger in the role, we’d feel hard done by. But every time Leto grinds his Grillz or lets out a half-hearted laugh, though, we just wish that Harley Quinn would dump him already. We’re not sure what the inspiration for this portrayal was, but Leto’s Joker comes off like a Hot Topic patron trying to act edgy if you crossed him with the Mask. This misguided take on the villain earned Leto a Razzie nomination, but he ironically lost to . . . our #1 pick.
Before we unveil that top pick, here are a few honorable, or in this case dishonorable, mentions.
Malekith the Accursed
“Thor: The Dark World” (2013)
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (2014)
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (2011)
Supreme Leader Snoke
“Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi” (2017)
#1: Lex Luthor
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016)
“Batman v Superman” is actually a movie that tries way too hard to be dark and brooding . . . except when it comes to Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Lex Luthor. Giggling, urinating in jars, and shoving Jolly Ranchers in people’s faces, this version of Luthor seems better-suited for Joel Schumacher’s “Batman” movies. On second thought, even Schumacher would probably tell Eisenberg to take it down several notches. Whatever Eisenberg was going for, it’s not Lex Luthor. He’s more like Mark Zuckerberg if he tried to take over the world a different way. Honestly, he’s just one “Bazinga” away from being Sheldon Cooper. Even if you took all knowledge of his calculating comic book counterpart out of the equation, this movie’s villain would still be an epic fail.