What really makes a movie great, and what makes a movie worth watching is the villain. The villain is the glue that holds the movie together. You can have the greatest hero in history, with the greatest musical score, with the greatest cinematographer, but if you have a flat villain, the movie will not feel complete. The best villains are not the most evil, but the ones that make you see their point of view. They believe that they themselves are the hero and that our “heroes” are the true villains.
This year, ten years of cinematic masterpieces brought together one of the most star studded movies to ever be produced; Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War. With an astounding 18 movies over ten years, Marvel brought to life some of the biggest, and smallest names in comic book lore. If you add in the other franchise movies, owned by other studio, that number almost doubles and adds even more stars.
With Marvel, and Disney’s massive budgets, no expense was spared when choosing the main villain for each of the eighteen movies. While there are many, I present my list of the five greatest Marvel Movie Villains:
Ego, The Living Planet – Kurt Russell – Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2.
Kurt Russell playing an all powerful being, that enjoys music, and flies through space on essentially a giant nut? I am sold. For an all powerful being, his history is a bit of a mystery. In the second Guardians of the Galaxy movie, he came into being, while in the comics he informs Thor that he once was a scientist that merged with a planet.
Kurt Russell makes a fantastic bad guy. The fact that he is an all powerful being that simply wants to have a kid like him, even if it means culling all of the ones that are normal, means that he gets to have fun doing it. While his plan, and his thought process is truly insane, you cannot help but like him; he has a charm about him that many movie villains lack.
The Red Skull – Hugo Weaving – Captain America – The First Avenger
While it is hard to list a former Nazi sympathizer as one of the best Marvel Villains, Hugo Weaving plays a solid Red Skull. Created of the same make as Captain America, The Red Skull was a key founder of Hydra, and the arch-nemesis of Captain America.
Now, I may be bias, as I am a huge Hugo Weaving fan, but the role of The Red Skull could easily have been horribly made. They could have gone extremely evil, and made him the worst kind of Nazi. On the flip side, they could have completely CGI’d him, and created someone bent only on destroying the world. Instead they found a nice middle ground in a loveable hairless villain.
Adrian Toomes/ The Vulture – Michael Keaton – Spider-Man: Homecoming.
A good villain makes the movie, and in my opinion the Vulture was a worthy villain to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After several lackluster Spider-Man movies, there needed to be a revival, and they succeeded. While he may not be one of the first Spider-Man villains you think of, I do not think they could have picked a better one for another reboot. Keaton, in my opinion, killed the role, with a likeable attitude, a grave tone, with sprinkles of humor, makes him a killer bad guy.
His views, and his motives are something that every person can agree on. His only wish is to take care of himself and his family. He is an electrical engineer that has customized a number of tools. He is essentially an evil Tony Stark. It was painful to put him at number three, but Loki is just so good.
Loki – Tom Hiddleston – Thor, The Avenger Movies
Born of Frost Giants, raised by Odin, King of Asgard, Loki the trickster god has a complicated past. He has both battled, with and against his step-brother Thor, and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes many times. Loki has ruled Asgard, he had a time out in the dungeons of Asgard, and he fought the Hulk, and lost (puny god). He was the factor that brought Phase One of Marvel together, and we were given our first taste of the Infinity Stones.
Tom Hiddleston brings a wit to the trickster god that a good majority of movies lack. He is able to play a truly evil villain, all while cracking a joke. He makes you hate how much you like Loki as a character. If Robert Downey Jr. was born to play Iron Man, Hiddleston was born to be the god of mischief.
Thanos – Josh Brolin – Avengers Infinity War (Spoiler Free)
Ten years, and 18 movies led up to the full reveal of the glory that is Thanos. Born on Titan, a moon of Saturn, Thanos was born a pacifist, though over time he became obsessed with death. Eventually falling in love with Death herself in the comic.
Brolin’s embodiment of Thanos has been a long time coming, and in my opinion he did not disappoint. From his first appearance in the film, you feel the gravity of his character. While his view of his version of the universe, is what most civilized people would see as flawed. He has reasoned it out, and presents his view in an extremely visually appealing way. He sees himself as the universe’s only hope, and that he must be the one to save it. In my opinion, he is the vest Marvel villain to date.
While a list of five cannot do the Marvel Cinematic Universe justice, I feel that it is a good start. Many were left out, and there are others that never had a chance. Simply due to not being part of the official MCU (I am looking at you Magneto). With the next addition to the MCU approaching within the next few months, I am sure this list will change sooner rather than later. For more Marvel check out our predictions for what will come next.
Agree with the list? Disagree? Did I leave your favorite villain off and you need to make your villain speech to tell me why he is the best? I want to hear about it in the comments, or on Twitter!