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.
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.26110Totally had it coming?
- Photo: The Weinstein Company
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.20511Totally had it coming?
- Photo: Universal Pictures
What Did He Do: Dennis Nedry was a computer programmer at the fictional Jurassic Park. Unsatisfied with his pay, he took a $1.5 million bribe from a rival company to sneak out dinosaur embryos from the park. To complete his mission, Nedry created a computer program that could shut off the security in the park. This allowed him a window of time to grab the embryos without anyone's knowledge. The first part of his plan was successful, but he wrecked his Jeep on the way to deliver the embryos.
What Was His Fate: Nedry's computer program turned off many of the gates that kept the dinosaurs in the park at bay. This allowed many of the prehistoric monsters to break out, including a Dilophosaurus that cornered Nedry and devoured him. Considering every demise in the park that night was caused by Nedry, it was a fitting end that he was among the victims.18810Totally had it coming?
- 4Photo: Paramount Pictures
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.18711Totally had it coming?