The hype for Avengers Infinity War is rising tremendously and all eyes are on the film’s villain, Thanos. The directors, the Russo Brothers, have stated that the villain is the lead character and that he’s a deeply layered character. We’re going to hold them to that as we want Thanos to be one of the best villains in the franchise. We already wrote about we think are the best villains in the MCU, now it’s time for the other end of the spectrum. Marvel is notorious for producing one dimensional and bland villains, so compiling a short list was easier said than done. Of course, we want to know if you agree with our lists and who would be on yours. Without further ago, here are the worst MCU villains to date according to Screenhub Entertainment!
THE MANDARIN/ALDRICH KILLIAN
Iron Man 3 is either one of the best MCU films out there or one of the worst, depending on who you ask. A big contribution to that divide comes from the villain (among many other things). The Mandarin is one of the best Iron Man villains in the comics and the filmmakers decided to do their own thing when it came to the big screen adapation. While the effort to try something new and create a twist is commendable, the final result isn’t one worth remembering. Initially, the Mandarin was being played by Ben Kingsley and he was updated from his comic book form to a contemporary terrorist. But it was revealed that he was part of a ploy and wasn’t the Mandarin at all. In fact, he was a hired actor-the Mandarin as we knew him in the film was never a real threat. The real Mandarin was Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian, who ended up holding a grudge against Tony Stark because he was forgotten at a New Years Party. Really? As soon as he reveals his identity to Tony Stark, the tension is defused thanks to superpowered Pepper Potts and we’re left with a feeling of “so what” as a result.
If Loki and Killmonger are considered the very best of the MCU, then Ivan Vanko surely ranks as one of the worst. Played by Mickey Rourke, who was fresh off the acclaimed The Wrestler, Vanko failed in both as a character and as a plot device. He was meant to challenge Tony’s ideas of his father but that already muddled idea was brought down into the dirt thanks to weak writing on the villains part and a lazy performance from Rourke. Why does Vanko have a pet bird in the movie that has no bearing on the plot? Because Rourke insisted on it. It didn’t help that Rourke mubmled half of his scenes with a poor Russian accent, making him pretty unwatchable.
The Dark Elf from the second Thor movie is about as bland and predictable as you can make them. His mission? Make the universe dark. That’s all there is too him too, he wants to shroud the known existence in total darkness. Sounds like a pretty drastic plan and no other Avengers came to Thor’s aid. But why does he want to do this? Why are the Dark Elves evil? None of this is explained, making him a one dimensional villain who exists solely to give Thor and company something to do. The real shame here is that Malakith was played by Christopher Eccleston, a former Dr. Who lead who was hidden away under a weird voice modulation, resulting in an even more disconnected villain and flat villain.
We said Ego was a great villain from Guardians Vol. 2 as he challenged the protagonist on a personal level and was a layered character with a twisted plan. The same can’t be said of Ronan. Played by Lee Pace, Ronan could have been awesome. A fanatic hell bent on destroying Xandarian culture due to the signing of a peace treaty, Ronan openly defies Thanos-the big bag in Avengers: Infinity War– and is able to wield the power stone without dying. He should be awesome, but goodness is he not. James Gunn is largely to blame here. While he gave us wonderful heroes, not enough time was spent developing Ronan as a character. What we get is an angry dude who wants to destroy things because a peace treaty was signed. Why does this anger him? Who are the Kree and what separates his faction from the group that was part of said signing?
Of all the MCU films out there, 2008’s Incredible Hulk film starring Ed Norton is the one that seems to have been largely forgotten. There’s plenty of conversations about other Marvel characters and properties but this film seems to have been brushed under the carpet. Perhaps it’s due to the Universal distribution deal, perhaps it’s because Ed Norton left the MCU. Perhaps it’s because the film just wasn’t that memorable and the same could be said of its villain. Played by Tim Roth, Emil Blonksy was a soldier tracking the Hulk whose sole ambitions in life were stopping The Hulk and/or having Hulk powers. Talk about paper thin motivations.
BONUS NOMINATION: THANOS
Betcha didn’t see that coming. But up until this point, Thanos has kind of been a chump. We know he’s going to do things eventually, as evident by the Infinity War trailers and that his arc is a two movie ordeal, but thus far his big scene in the MCU has been sitting on a floating rock chair. When Ronan goes rogue on Thanos in Guardians, what does the Mad Titan do? Nothing. His unwillingness to do anything really for himself proves that he’s actually a pretty lazy villain thus far and has a lot to prove in his upcoming movies. He was perfectly content to let others do the work for him, including Ronan and Loki, and then take all the glory. But because of these actions, Thanos has lost three infinity stones! Loki was given the scepter, which housed the Mind Stone, failed to retrieve the Tesseract and Ronan kept the Power Stone for himself. So up until this point in time, pre-release of Infinity, Thanos hasn’t quite lived up to his namesake. But as he’s a minor villain in the MCU up until this point, we won’t fault him too hard for that-as long as he delivers in the future.
Who do you think is the best and worse villains of the MCU? Let us know in the comments and check out our Avengers: Then and Now piece and a special Friday The 13th tribute piece.
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