Photo: Kill Bill: Volume 2 / Miramax Films

Action Movie Villains Who Got Exactly What They Deserved

Over 700 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Action Movie Villains Who Got Exactly What They Deserved
Voting Rules
Vote up the action movie villains who found out what goes around really comes around.

There are few cinematic moments that feel quite as good as watching satisfying villain ends in action movies. The best examples push things to the next level by not only letting good triumph over evil, but by offing villains in a display of karmic justice in which their own cruel deeds come back to bite them. If the audience is lucky, the villain goes with an exceptionally bitter taste of their own medicine. 

It seems like, across all film genres, action movies scratch this specific itch better than most (although horror movies do a pretty good job). The mean ex-boyfriend in a rom-com probably won't end up asphyxiating in an alien atmosphere or tumbling off a skyscraper, but in an action movie, anything is possible.

Photo: Kill Bill: Volume 2 / Miramax Films

  • What Did He Do: In Total Recall, Vilos Cohaagen was the greedy governor of Mars. His initial attempts to colonize the planet ended with early settlers becoming mutants. Cohaagen attempted to brush this under the rug, even going as far as to try and eliminate them by erasing the mind of his right-hand man so he could infiltrate the group without being caught by their psychics. Cohaagen had the means to terraform Mars into a breathable atmosphere but refused to on account of the money he could make selling oxygen. 

    What Was His Fate: Cohaagen was blasted out into the unforgiving atmosphere of the planet's surface, leading to his gruesome end. It was an especially poetic end considering that if he had allowed the planet to be terraformed, he would have instead been blasted out into a totally breathable and livable environment.

    372 votes
  • 2
    539 VOTES

    Iosef Tarasov Got Put Down Like A Dog In 'John Wick' 

    Iosef Tarasov Got Put Down Like A Dog In 'John Wick' 
    Photo: Lionsgate

    What Did He Do: Iosef Tarasov, the son of a powerful mobster, was at a gas station when he saw a man pull up with a Mustang he liked in John Wick. He offered to buy the Mustang from the man but was told it wasn't for sale. So, Iosef broke into the man's house, offed his dog, and then took the Mustang. 

    What Was His Fate: As it turned out, the Mustang belonged to the most dangerous assassin in the world, John Wick. Iosef remained unafraid of Wick, but his father, Viggo, was absolutely terrified. Viggo did everything he could to protect his son, including putting a bounty on Wick's head and sending a hit man to his home. Wick eventually found Iosef, and even though Iosef begged for his life, Wick shot him in the head. Wick didn't speak to him or give him a moment of mercy; he treated him exactly like Iosef treated Wick's dog.

    539 votes
  • What Did They Do: In the world of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Third Reich leader believed that his forces would become invincible if they discovered the lost Ark of the Covenant. To do so, the SS enlisted the help of Belloq, a rival of Indiana Jones. Also on the case was Toht, a Gestapo agent introduced in the film after he went after and seemingly offed Indy's former lover, Marion. After Indy found the Ark, Toht and his men took it from him and then sealed Indy in a well filled with snakes. 

    What Was Their Fate: Toht, Belloq, and their fellow SS had absolutely no respect for the Ark and failed to heed any warnings about it. Thus, when they opened the Ark, they were beset by spirits lying dormant inside. They were absolutely powerless to fight back, and the Third Reich forces all met gruesome ends. They got exactly what they wanted, but even though they put in all that manpower to find it, they never truly respected its power. 

    383 votes
  • What Did He Do: Hans Landa was a sadistic SS officer who took great pleasure in hunting down Jewish people for the Third Reich. Landa relished the opportunity to twist the knife as he took out a Jewish family hiding in a farmhouse at the beginning of the film. Landa drew out this encounter as long as possible, and he seemingly took a great bit of joy from the fear and pain he inflicted. Later in the film, he had a group of Third Reich hunters captured but attempted to negotiate with them. He made an agreement with the men that if he allowed their mission to be successful, the conflict would end that night, and he would be pardoned of his offenses and gain American citizenship. 

    What Was His Fate: Landa struck his deal with the higher-ups in the American military, but the Basterds weren't so ready to forgive an SS officer. Before they brought him in, they made sure that he couldn't just take off his "pretty little" uniform and make it so no one would ever know what he was. They did this by carving a swastika into his forehead, forcing him to be forever remembered for his deeds.

    385 votes
  • 5
    243 VOTES

    Captain Frye Gets A Mouthful Of Nerve Gas In 'The Rock'

    What Did He Do: In The Rock, a group of Marines take over Alcatraz with plans to launch chemical weapons at San Francisco if they don't receive a handsome ransom. The mission was led by General Hummel, who simply wanted to give money back to the families of Marines who died in the line of service. Alongside him, though, was Captain Frye, who gained a sadistic enjoyment out of the lives he took in the takeover. After Hummel's bluff was called and he refused to launch the missiles at San Francisco, Frye eliminated Hummel and took over the mission in an attempt to go through with the original plan. 

    What Was His Fate: In a final face-off with Frye, chemical weapons expert Goodspeed shoved a ball of the chemicals into Frye's mouth and then struck his jaw, causing it to shatter inside of him. Frye's end was grotesque as he succumbed to the very fate he attempted to inflict upon thousands of innocents.

    243 votes
  • What Did He Do: Dick Jones was a senior vice president at Omni Consumer Products (OCP) in RoboCop. He spearheaded the creation of the Enforcement Droid, Series 209, which competed internally with the RoboCop project. To defeat his competition, Jones went as far as to hire syndicate leader Clarence Boddicker to eliminate Bob Morton, the head of the RoboCop program. Boddicker failed in his mission, and RoboCop went straight to haul in Jones. RoboCop's programming made him unable to apprehend a senior employee of OCP, but Jones was fired after he tried to take the head of the company hostage. 

    What Was His Fate: No longer an OCP employee, RoboCop wasted no time in shooting Jones, which sent him flying through the window of his penthouse office. Jones went through all that trouble attempting to prove that his Enforcement Droids were the superior crime-fighting machines, but in the end, his own end proved the effectiveness of RoboCop.

    240 votes