Not every film antagonist is made equal. Sometimes, when the chance to put up or shut up presents itself, there are villains who don't fight back at all. Why go out in a blaze of glory when you can go out with a mere whimper? Why take a chance when you can fold your hand? There are numerous examples of this throughout Hollywood history, though the circumstances vary from film to film.
Some villains, like Helmut Zemo in Captain America: Civil War, have already accomplished what they set out to do. If there is no goal left to accomplish, where do you find the will to fight? Some villains, like Dr. René Belloq in Raiders of the Lost Ark, didn't really have much of a chance to put up a fight in the first place. Others still, like William Stryker in X2: X-Men United, could have attempted to put up a fight - but to what end? Sometimes, you just hate fighting.
Richmond Valentine In 'Kingsman: The Secret Service'Photo: 20th Century Fox
Leave it to Matthew Vaughn, writer-director of Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class, to bring a larger-than-life villain to the big screen. Portrayed by the incomparable Samuel L. Jackson, Richmond Valentine is a cliched, comic book-esque supervillain with a unique style and a lisp that never quits. Of course, seeing as Valentine is a maniacal genius who vomits at the sight of blood, he was never going to be one to get his hands dirty. That's what he pays other people for!
Valentine is not a fighter; he's a thinker. Or, he was a thinker. He is slain by Eggsy at the end of Kingsman: The Secret Service after his evil plan to save the world from climate change (an evil plan, indeed) is foiled. The climax of the first Kingsman film is a wild ride, by the way. Unless you're used to seeing a bunch of people's heads blow into colorful fireworks.No fight in 'em?
- Photo: 20th Century Fox
William Stryker is not a good man. Portrayed by the ever-brilliant Brian Cox in X2: X-Men United, Stryker is the kind of guy who hates his own son because he is a mutant. Going so far as to use mind control to stage a mutant-led attempt on the president's life, Stryker is looking to take down all of mutantkind no matter the cost. The problem with being a regular dude who goes up against mutants is you're basically at a disadvantage from the beginning.
Though Stryker spends much of the film's runtime with the upper hand, by the time X2 is over, he has been humiliated twice by the very people he hates so much. Firstly, Wolverine chains him to a helicopter and leaves him to perish. And after that, Magneto uses the same chain to bind him to a concrete wall. Stryker doesn't put up a fight outside of throwing a bit of a tantrum because, well, there is no fight to be had. He's a middle-aged human man going up against superpowered beings.No fight in 'em?
- Photo: Buena Vista Pictures
Elijah Price is an unfortunate soul in that he is afflicted with brittle bone disease. The cruelty he has suffered throughout his life - both from his disease and as a result of a life ruled by it - has twisted him into a broken man who is obsessed with duality. If he is so easily breakable, there must be someone who isn't. Comic book logic, or in this case, film logic, at its finest.
Price finds the opposite side of his coin in Bruce Willis's David Dunn, a nearly invulnerable man with super strength. Now, what do you think would happen if these two men got in a fight? Taking his cues from Lex Luthor's less direct plans, Price never intends on getting into fisticuffs with Dunn, as that would be tantamount to offing oneself. The twist ending of Unbreakable is that Price is responsible for a bunch of planned "accidents," which result in him being sent to a psychiatric hospital. Not that he puts up much of a fight about going.No fight in 'em?
- Photo: Paramount Pictures
This one seems a bit unfair. After all, what kind of fight could René Belloq have put up during the ending of Raiders of the Lost Ark, anyway? It's not like he was much for fighting in the first place, being a high-class archaeologist. But it wouldn't have mattered if he were a fighter or not because there was no way he was ever going to escape his fate at the end of the first Indiana Jones film.
After discovering the mythical Ark of the Covenant at the behest of his extremist leader, Belloq and his minions perform a ritualistic ceremony to claim the ancient power hidden within. This, um, was a pretty bad idea. The powerful spirits hidden away in the Ark of the Covenant are released and promptly terminate each and every Third Reich zealot in attendance in various disgusting ways. For his part, Belloq's head explodes as he is surrounded by a blaze of towering hellfire. So, he didn't put up a fight... but what kind of fight was there to be had?No fight in 'em?