10 Movie Villain Plans That Were Incredibly Dumb

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Summary

  • Some villains’ motives in popular franchises like
    Star Wars
    and
    Harry Potter
    can be ridiculous, undermining the effectiveness of their plans.
  • The plans of certain villains, like Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy in
    Batman & Robin
    , can be contradictory and ultimately lead to their own downfall.
  • Villains like Syndrome from
    The Incredibles
    often overcomplicate their plans, resulting in little impact and absurd choices that hinder their own success.

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Great villains rival the heroes with masterful plans that will allow them to gain power, wealth, and control, but some villains’ motives are absolutely ridiculous. Villains can be clever, deceptive, and intimidating, but even in great stories, some villains aren’t very well planned out. With singular motives, flat underdeveloped characters, and ludicrous methods to achieve their goals, there are plenty of villains that don’t appear to have thought through their own plans.

Even some of the greatest villains from popular franchises like Star Wars, Harry Potter, and The Matrix can have misguided ideas about how to achieve their goals. Alternatively, other villains appear to create the very obstacles that end up stopping them from reaching their goals. Ultimately, had some notorious villains put a little more time into making sense of their plans, they might have actually presented a challenge to the heroes who defeated them.

10 Palpatine: Live Forever & Possess Rey

Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Emperor Palpatine of the Star Wars franchise was the underlying villain during all three trilogies. As the leader of the Sith, Palpatine has trained several apprentices and ruled the galaxy with multiple oppressive armies, but despite his ability to draw so many followers, his ultimate goal in The Rise of Skywalker seems a little undercooked. Palpatine wishes to live forever by possessing the body of his granddaughter Rey. In a scene that plays out remarkably similarly to the conclusion of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, Palpatine attempts to convince his apprentice to enact his will, only to have them turn against him.

Palpatine trying to live forever makes sense; he is evil and greedy and power-hungry. However, once he made the fatal flaw of training an apprentice who turned against him, that should have been the last time he made that mistake. Instead, Palpatine goes on to induct the grandson of his former apprentice and allows the exact same events to play out just as they did before.

Related: Everything Star Wars Has Revealed About Palpatine’s Rise Of Skywalker Resurrection

9 Gustav Graves: Use Solar Rays To Invade South Korea

Die Another Day (2002)

Gustav Graves on an airplane in Die Another Day

Pierce Brosnan’s final outing as James Bond was full of over-the-top action and exciting chases with Brosnan and Halle Berry leading the whole affair. The franchise has changed a lot over the years and it experienced ups and downs with each actor who played James Bond, but the primary antagonist of Die Another Day takes the cake for dumb plans. Colonel Moon, who reinvented himself as Gustav Graves, wants to unite the Korean peninsula into one united body. In order to do this, his plan is to use a giant satellite called Icarus to redirect sunlight and clear a path for a North Korean invasion.

The mass destruction, the blatant attack on South Korea, and the use of immeasurably powerful sun rays make this plan incredibly overcomplicated, and the outcome would never be exactly as intended anyway. This would destroy South Korea and invite a response from South Korean allies. Not to mention, it may trigger a global nuclear war as the first strike is inflicted with the literal power of the sun. Graves’ plan is ridiculous in concept and practice, and the fact that he was able to get so far along is as ridiculous as the rest of the story in Die Another Day.

8 Voldemort: The Tri-Wizard Cup

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Harry fights against the evil wizard throughout the series, fending off wicked plans to invade the school, regain a body, overthrow the wizarding world, and become immortal. However, He Who Must Not Be Named really overcomplicated things for himself in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Voldemort needs to steal a few drops of Harry’s blood in order to get his body back. Sounds simple enough, but his plan to secure the blood is extremely elaborate and lasts most of the school year to finally get the outcome he needs, all while making Harry a better wizard than ever.

Barty Crouch Jr. brews a huge amount of Polyjuice potion and takes over Mad-Eye Moody’s identity to infiltrate Hogwarts and get to Harry. With easy access in the boarding school where they both occupy a shared living space, Crouch decides to get Harry where he wants him by submitting his name for the Tri-Wizard Tournament and guiding him to win the entire thing. All this work is because he enchanted the final prize as a portkey to get Harry in front of Voldemort and obtain his blood. Since anything could be a portkey, what was the point of helping Harry become a much more powerful and capable wizard?

Related: 5 Things Goblet Of Fire Left Out About Harry Potter’s Triwizard Tournament

7 Mr. Freeze & Poison Ivy: Freeze The World & Grow Mutant Plants

Batman & Robin (1997)

Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy join forces to defeat Batman and enact their evil plans in Batman & Robin, but the two have very different plans, both equally ridiculous. Mr. Freeze is upset after the death of his wife and decides to freeze the entire world as revenge. That’s it – the whole plan is simply to wipe out all life on Earth because he is sad. Ivy, on the other hand, wants to give the Earth over to mutant plants that she rules over.

Somehow, Freeze is okay with Ivy, and the pair plan to rule their new world together. His wife is thus quickly replaced, and he will reset the world for her with a global ice age. Freeze’s plan is directly contrary to Ivy’s and both will end up with no one to rule, simply being alone on a cold block of ice before they eventually expire. The early Batman movies had a lot of poorly developed villains, but this duo may just take the cake in terms of making no sense.

6 Syndrome: Make Everyone Super

The Incredibles (2004)

Syndrome in The Incredibles and the Supers at Bob and Helen's wedding

Buddy Pine dreamed of being a sidekick to his idol, the powerful hero Mr. Incredible. But Buddy had one big obstacle: He didn’t have any powers. Over the years, Buddy used his incredible intelligence (which other heroes like Batman and Iron Man proved enough of a power on its own to be a hero), he amassed vast wealth, and refined technology to grant him power to rival major heroes. In classic villain style, an adult Buddy, who has assumed a new heroic persona as Syndrome, reveals his master plan in a rambling monologue about how his technology will make everyone super, so as a result, no one will be.

Syndrome has the intelligence, technology, and wealth to actually accomplish his goal, but ultimately, it amounts to very little by The Incredibles‘ ending. As a boy, he felt he was wronged by his hero because he didn’t have powers, so as a result, he plans to empower everyone. It doesn’t appear very villainous, and he overcomplicated things by trying to create wild spectacles where he fights powerful machines to become a hero himself. His plan is executed without much impact, because he ends up in his own way and stopping whatever good he could have accomplished by making absurd choices.

5 The Machines: The Matrix

The Matrix (1999)

A baby hooked up to machines in the Matrix, and Morpheus holding a battery in The Matrix.

The Matrix is undoubtedly one of the best sci-fi movies of all time, but the plot of the sinister machines is deeply flawed. The machines have abducted the human race and plugged them into a virtual reality while they slowly use their life force and energy to power themselves. The digital prison in which they exist is entirely dictated and controlled by the machines, and they can create whatever world they wish to sedate their prisoners. Initially, they created a utopian society that fell apart and then proceeded to introduce more negative aspects of history when that failed.

What finally worked was creating a reality in which the humans were given the simulated illusion of choice. So they proceeded to build a more mundane and realistic reality to keep the humans trapped as long as they could, setting the simulation to play out in a period based just before the year 2000. This gives humans access to the internet and technology which didn’t exist even ten years earlier and appears to be how people like Neo discover the Matrix and connect. Why not set the world earlier and remove the risk of having such easy methods for humans to communicate and learn?

4 Richmond Valentine: Kill Everyone To Stop Global Warming

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Samuel L Jackson as Richmond Valentine in Kingsman

Samuel L. Jackson stands out in his role as the eccentric tech billionaire Richmond Valentine. His goal is to gain control of the entire world by causing the entire population of the planet to become uncontrollably violent and wipe each other out. But this plan leaves him in an unlivable condition, isolated, and with few survivors. There is no way to control exactly who is left, and he seems to offer protection from the purging to those wealthy enough to buy their way into his future.

Global warming would likely be halted due to the lack of many people remaining to gather food. As such, power machines and the survivors would have to resort to a much simpler way of living. That doesn’t sound like what Valentine himself is used to in his high-tech lavish lifestyle, and it’s unlikely his companions will have a lot of experience farming and hunting their food with no advanced technology to help them.

Related: 8 Characters We’d Love To See Return In Kingsman 3 (Besides Eggsy & Harry)

3 Simon Gruber: Steal Billions While The Police Are Distracted

Die Hard With A Vengeance (1995)

Jeremy Irons as Simon Gruber in Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)

Simon Gruber is the brother of the original villain of the Die Hard franchise, and he sets out to make his fortune in a similarly criminal fashion to his deceased brother, Hans Gruber. Gruber reveals that his desire to acquire wealth outweighs any desire for revenge, and that’s really where his plan falls apart. Gruber has many men at his disposal and the ability to redirect the police away from his mark.

But, Gruber never needed to involve John McClane in the first place if his goal was to successfully steal money. McClane proved how effective he is as a detective and his ability to get to the masterminds behind evil plans, so why risk his heist by luring McClane in? The plan wasn’t well thought through, and, ultimately, Gruber doomed himself from the start by creating a plan full of obstacles needlessly placed in his path.

2 Emma Russell: Let Monsters Take Over The Planet

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

The sequel to the modern retellings of Godzilla saw the films much more focused on efforts to save the planet by fighting against environmentally damaging practices. One victim who then turns out to be a double-crossing villain is Emma Russell, a biologist who wants to give the Earth back to the monsters because humans are destroying it. She helps Alan Jonah, an eco-terrorist, to carry out his plans in hopes of achieving her goal. However, when she sees the reality of monsters destroying human cities and killing people, she quickly backtracks.

1 Deacon Frost: Turn Everyone Into Vampires

Blade (1998)

Deacon Frostholding up his bloody hand in Blade

Deacon Frost may be a terrifying and deadly vampire in Blade, but his plan to turn the entire world into vampires is deeply flawed. Vampires are immortal, they are powerful, and Frost hopes to create a new better society with them in charge, but the main source of food for vampires is living humans. If he turns everyone into vampires, they will all starve. The only way vampires survive is with a plentiful food supply, so how can that work when all the food has been turned undead? None of the plans from these villains are practical, but this one is downright dumb.