The process of watching a film isn’t meant to be hard for the viewer: from the first glance at the screen till the final one, we should just be able to sit there and absorb everything in and not have bothersome stuff like reality or realism get in the way. However, there are some villains out there about whom you just can’t help thinking: “Why are you being evil?”, and just appear to have been made evil for the simplest of reasons. Here are the best 10 of them...
Senator/Chancellor Palpatine (The Star Wars Prequels)
Palpatine had total control of the entire galaxy, thanks to some well-timed political machinations and a vast network of allies. Sure, the Jedis sort of suspected him a little, but the only reason they knew for sure that he was eeeeeevil was because he straight-up told Anakin, who then blabbed to the council. If he had just played his cards a little closer to his chest, no one would have ever been able to prove anything and he wouldn't have had to kill every Jedi in the universe.
Lord Voldemort (The Harry Potter Movies)
Jesus Christ, if Voldemort had just focused on getting back his body instead of trying to fuck over Harry Potter seven ways from Tuesday, he would have been golden. There have got to be ways to recorporealize that don't involve constantly attempting to infiltrate Hogwarts – an incredibly high-security facility run by one of the greatest and most powerful wizards of all time – and even if there aren't, if he had just held off on starting his reign of terror until he actually had a body to terrorize people with, no one would have figured out he was back until it was too late. But no, he just has to destroy Harry and all of his friends in the most obvious, attention-drawing ways possible.
Lex Luthor (Superman Returns)
Luthor is already filthy rich thanks to inheriting a small fortune from a rich old lady, and when he discovers a super-strong element that grows ridiculously fast you would think he would patent the shit out of it and watch the money roll in. Instead he decides to create a continent to do... what, exactly? Apart from causing tons of flooding and ruining the economy, it would also ruin his reputation and make it impossible for him to ever succeed again.
Bill (Kill Bill)
Bill manages to track down his wife, Beatrix “The Bride” Kiddo, and she tells him that she left because she didn't want to be an assassin anymore since she now had an unborn daughter to worry about. Instead of accepting this and moving on, he instead decides to stab her, shoot her new husband and all of their friends, and steal her baby for no reason whatsoever. This ends up backfiring on him badly when he pussies out of actually pulling the plug on The Bride; when she inevitably wakes up, she kicks the ass of Bill and the Deadly Vipers.
Jean-Baptiste Zorg (The Fifth Element)
Zorg befriends the Great Evil that want to destroy all life in the universe in order to get a little more money and power. He seems to have overlooked two things: first off, he's already incredibly rich and powerful as the leader of the Mangalore shapeshifters, and second, he is part of all life in the universe which means the Great Evil will inevitably destroy him as well. Seriously, is there any way this is going to work out better for him than if he just sat out the movie and let the Mondoshawans kill the Great Evil?
Carnegie (The Book of Eli)
Carnegie is ruthlessly single-minded in the pursuit of the book of Eli, revealed midway through the movie to be the Bible. Our only question is: why? He already rules his town with an iron fist, and he has his pick of any of the sexy ladies; he's lord and master of all he surveys. It can't be that he wants to expand – everything outside his town is either a barren wasteland or inhabited by creepy old cannibals. And he's also the only person in the town who can actually read, so a Bible would be totally useless to his followers. He could just make up any mumbo-jumbo, and they would be forced to believe him. Instead, he tries to kill the shit out of Denzel Washington and ends up dying sad and alone, his town torn apart from the inside.
Ryder (The Taking of Pelham 123: The 2009 Version)
We're initially supposed to think that Ryder is a terrorist but it turns out he's actually in it for the money, buying tons of gold in order to become super-rich when the stock market panics in response to his hijacking the train. Which would be great, if his evil plan wasn't totally retarded in every way, shape, and form. Ryder's big escape plan was to sneak off through an abandoned tunnel, and even Denzel Washington's incompetent boss managed to figure that out. Not to mention that Mayor Gandolfini figured out Ryder's true identity thanks to the hints he dropped; even if he hadn't, Ryder doesn't wear gloves and touches all sorts of shiny metal surfaces with his hands, making it super-easy to get fingerprints. Everything's taken up another notch of stupid when you realize that Ryder – an incredibly successful stock broker – went to prison four years ago just to gain enough money for his retarded scheme. If he had just stayed on the straight and narrow, he would have been able to rip us off legally; instead, the best-case scenario was that he would be hunted for the rest of his life for killing innocent people.
A girl named Chris is banned from the prom for being a relentless bitch to Carrie and instead of reacting in the normal way (spreading malicious rumours) she totally flips the fuck out and decides to toss pig blood on her. Keep in mind, Carrie has done literally nothing to anyone, and the teacher was the one punishing students on her own initiative - there was absolutely no reason to go after Carrie. Even if Carrie hadn't been psychic, Chris told so many students about her plan that it would have inevitably backfired on her and she would likely have been expelled. As it was, Carrie destroyed the prom. Chris, though, was so single-minded in her "must be a complete asshole to Carrie" plan that she tried to run her over with her car, despite the fact that she had seen Carrie electrocute and impale people firsthand.
Principal Vernon (The Breakfast Club)
Vernon seems like a pretty average principal - a little stuffy and authoritarian, not popular with the kids, your basic administrator. He then proceeds to throw that right out the window when he tells Bender that someday in the future, when he's totally not expecting it, he's going to beat the shit out of him and "kick his dick into the dirt." He then actually challenges Bender to fight him right then and there and then calls him a pussy when he refuses. Maybe he was just messing with Bender, but still, what the shitting fuck? He knew that Bender was a no-good future dropout, and there was absolutely zero reason to threaten him with premeditated violence, especially when teachers have been fired for much, much less. And it wasn't like he was trying to teach Bender "tough love" - there's genuine malice in his face, and it's clear he's actively taking pleasure from this. It's almost like he was cartoonishly exaggerated so we would forget how much of a douchebag Bender was....
The Aliens (Independence Day)
Man, there’s so much unprovoked dickishness here. Firstly, the Independence Day aliens are the ultimate enemies in sci-fi; they're super-smart, incredibly technologically advanced, and hell-bent on destroying the Earth. The only real question is: Why the fuck do they care about wiping us out in the first place?
Humanity has done literally nothing to offend these alien assholes; our only contact with them pre-invasion was when we recovered a few alien corpses back in the 40s. It's not like we could have been a viable threat, either: by 1996, it had been 24 years since anyone had stepped on the moon and NASA was a massively underfunded joke, so it wasn't like we were in any danger of building X-Wings and blowing the shit out of the aliens.
But hey, maybe the aliens just wanted the Earth without any pesky humans running around so they could strip-mine it dry. Here's the problem with that: there are literally billions of planets in the Milky Way alone, and odds are very, very few of those are actually inhabited. If the aliens really wanted to extract resources, they had a galaxy-wide smorgasbord to choose from and they wouldn't even have to stand in line to get the good stuff. Why use up the ridiculous amounts of power it must take to operate their nuke-deflecting shields and superlaserbeam when they could get the exact same stuff for free elsewhere?
It could also be that they're looking to colonize Earth, but even if that was literally the only planet in the entire universe that could support them (and it's probably not) their full-frontal assault was definitely the worst way to go about it. Remember that they sent recon missions to New Mexico right around the time of the Trinity Tests, which means they knew full well that we had atomic bombs (and even if they didn't find it out directly, they can still read our goddamn minds) which means they must have known that when they attacked, our counterattack would turn the Earth into a radioactive, uninhabitable wasteland. They made it clear they weren't interested in negotiating, so we had zero incentive to not release all the nukes at them and pray for the best (and only some last-second Goldblum computer magic saved us from going down that path.)
So just to recap, if everything had gone exactly to plan the aliens would have blown the crap out of a race so technologically backwards our only space exploration program was cancelled earlier this year, just to reduce a useless, dime-a-dozen planet to toxic waste, using up countless years and resources in the process. What actually happened was that they got their asses kicked and their mothership blown up. In business terms, this is what is known as a lose-lose situation. In common sense terms, it's just flat-out retarded.