Top 10 Dumbest Movie Villain Decisions

Written by Nick Roffey

Movie villains are often maniacal and brilliant, these guys on the other hand, made some serious errors that cost them their master plan! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Dumbest Things Done by Movie Villains! But what will take the top spot on our list? Will it be the villains from Signs, Battlefield Earth, or John Wick: Chapter 2? Watch to find out!

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Big thanks to calvinator2012 for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here:
Even the most brilliant evildoer can slip up from time to time. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Dumbest Movie Villain Decisions.

For this list, we’re looking at awful judgment calls made by big screen antagonists. A SPOILER ALERT is definitely in order.

#10: Assuming Kirk and Khan Won’t Talk
“Star Trek Into Darkness” (2013)

Sometimes, when you want something done, it’s better to do it yourself. When Admiral Alexander Marcus sends Kirk after Khan, his plan hinges on the maverick captain following orders. He tells Kirk to blow Khan to kingdom come - an extrajudicial killing that goes against everything Starfleet stands for. If Kirk changes his mind and has just one conversation with Khan, Marcus’ whole house of cards falls apart. And, of course, that’s exactly what happens. After Spock protests, Kirk decides to capture Khan, who exposes Marcus’ shady past and hidden agenda.

#9: Assembling a Team of Heroes and Revealing His Entire Evil Plan to Them
“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” (2003)

Moriarty’s master plan seems solid enough . . . when you leave out all the details. As the Fantom, he’ll stage attacks that manipulate European powers into war. Then he’ll sell superhuman abilities to both sides, and voila - profit. But to obtain physical samples from superpowered individuals, he assembles the titular team of extraordinary gentlemen and sends them on a mission . . . against himself. Worse, after getting what he needs, he leaves them a recorded message explaining the whole plan. After all, what’s a clever scheme if you don’t get to gloat?

#8: Trading His Firearm for a Bow
“Beauty and the Beast” (1991)

No one matches wits like Gaston, and no one shoots like Gaston. So why does he bring a bow to kill the beast? During the song and dance celebrating his thick neck and hirsute chest, Gaston shows off his blunderbuss skills by somehow firing off three shots in rapid succession. And in an earlier scene, he proves he can use the firearm with pinpoint accuracy. Might have been a good idea to bring that along to the final battle. Gaston might be burly and brawny, but he’s definitely not brainy.

#7: Releasing a Psychopath to Preserve a Utopia
“Demolition Man” (1993)

Doctor Raymond Cocteau has created the perfect society; one rife with politeness and awkward high fives. But he’s achieved pacifism at a cost: personal freedom. Rather than retraining his own docile police force to put down a rebellion, Cocteau helps psychopath Simon Phoenix escape prison and put together a merry band of violent criminals, hoping the ruffians will eliminate the resistance. Shockingly, this ends terribly for Cocteau, whom Phoenix orders to be executed. Who woulda thought? Sometimes, fighting fire with fire just creates more fire.

#6: Choosing THE Hardest Way to Kill M
“Skyfall” (2012)

Embittered and vengeful former agent Raoul Silva has a plan; the most elaborate, improbable plan possible. He could probably just kill M by triggering the bomb that blows up MI6 headquarters while she’s actually inside the building, but that’d be too easy. Instead, he hires an assassin to steal a list of undercover agents, luring James Bond to come after the assassin, which results in Bond meeting his associate Séverine, which in turn leads to Silva’s capture, allowing Silva to confront M, escape capture, aim a subway train at Bond and attack M during a public inquiry… which fails, forcing him to start over.

#5: Letting Luke and Co. Escape with the Plans to the Death Star
“Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope” (1977)

Darth Vader fought hard to regain the stolen plans to the Death Star. So, it’s pretty fortuitous when the plans fall back into his lap, smuggled inside R2D2 in the captured Millennium Falcon. Vader surmises that the plans are on board and knows they’re dangerous in rebel hands . . . but then decides to let Luke and company escape, in order to follow them to the rebel base and destroy the Rebellion all at once. Even Tarkin has a bad feeling about this. Turns out, he’s right.

#4: Sending His Glider Speeding Towards Himself
“Spider-Man” (2002)

After an epic battle with Spider-Man, the Green Goblin lies defeated. But he has one last trick up his sleeve. Or, on his sleeve. While pretending to be a good person plagued by dark forces, Osborn surreptitiously steers his glider into position behind Spider-man. When the ruse fails, the knives come out, and the glider dives forward. Osborn is killed instead, but even if Spider-man hadn’t jumped out of the way, the glider would have just impaled them both. Being turned into a shish kabob doesn’t seem to be what Osborn was hoping for.

#3: Everything the Psychlos Do
“Battlefield Earth” (2000)

Supposedly, the Psychlos defeated Earth’s armies in nine minutes. But looking at John Travolta’s lumbering, dreadlocked Terl, it’s hard to see how. He’s baffled that dogs aren’t good at manual labor. And when human hero Jonnie shoots a guard, Terl hands him back the gun, insisting humans are too stupid. Then, wanting Jonnie to mine gold, he educates him in science and the Psychlos language, and even brings him to a library so he can read about humankind’s cultures and history. When all this comes back to bite him in the ass, only Terl is surprised.

#2: Double-Crossing the World’s Most Feared Assassin
“John Wick: Chapter 2” (2017)

Getting on John Wick’s bad side seems like a pretty bad idea. According to legend, he once killed three men with a pencil. He’s the man you send to kill the boogeyman. He massacred dozens of gangsters to get to the man who killed his dog. So, when crime lord Santino D’Antonio chooses to double-cross him, he’s obviously asking for trouble. After John fulfills his end of the deal by assassinating Santino’s sister, Santino could just let him go. Instead he decides to tie up loose ends - resulting, inevitably, in his own assassination.

#1: Invading a Planet That’s Mostly Water When They’re Vulnerable to Water
“Signs” (2002)

They’ve mastered interstellar travel and the art of crop circle drawing, but apparently not waterproof clothing. When aliens invade Earth, they manage to carve up a few crops and incite occasional jump scares, but are quickly sent packing when humans discover their weakness: H2O. The aliens apparently forgot to do their research, overlooking the fact that there’s quite a lot of it here, and eschewing any sort of protective gear. As Merrill swings away, the last alien standing falls back, and is killed by a simple glass of water.