Content Warning: This article contains references / images of graphic violence
Movie villains tend to be overkill on purpose in an effort to create tension, drama, and excitement. They tend to be charismatic and fascinating no matter how horrid their demeanor is, and the only thing better is watching how they meet their creator at the Hero’s Hands during the film’s climax.
Many of these villains plunge to death with varying degrees of dramatic flair, and they’ve been immortalized onscreen in some of the most-watched movie scenes in history. It is also not enough for a villain to fall. They must give it that extra-special level of dramatic impact before the real impact occurs.
ten Saruman (Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)
This dramatic death can only be seen via the Extended Edition version of Return of the king, to the chagrin of moviegoers who went to see it during the opening night in theaters. The scene in question features Christopher Lee’s Saruman confronting Gandalf after his forces are defeated by the combined force of the Ents.
They share a brief exchange where Saruman hints at Sauron’s next move, only for things to fall apart immediately afterward. When Gríma Wormtongue stabs Saruman in the back, he falls from the tower of Orthanc and impales himself on the protruding tip of a water wheel.
9 Alec Trevelyan (Golden Eye)
006 and 007 had a tumultuous history together, with the latter learning that the former had become a thug after a botched operation. As Janus, 006, aka Alec Trevelyan, sought to get his hands on GoldenEye, a satellite-based EMP weapon developed by the Russians before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The two clashed one last time over a giant communications antenna in Cuba, ending with Bond grabbing Trevelyan by the leg. After delivering one of the coolest James bond quotes of all time, Bond let Trevelyan crumble to his death with a spectacular death cry worthy of Sean Bean’s caliber.
8 Travis Dane (Under Siege 2: Dark Territory)
One of the silliest and most hilarious drop death scenes in any action movie courtesy of Steven Seagal’s entertaining action vehicle, Under the seat 2. This sequel takes place on a moving train that has been hijacked by terrorists, who control a top secret satellite weapon that can trigger earthquakes anywhere in the world.
The ending streak finds the train ready to derail and Casey Ryback rushing for an exit. He climbs a helicopter ladder to safety, only to find the main antagonist, Travis Dane, also trying to get on board. Ryback slams the helicopter door, cutting off all of his fingers in a comical fashion and sending Dane crumble to fiery death.
seven The Joker (Batman)
The Joker’s climactic fight against Batman in the final act of the 1989 Tim Burton classic is one for the books. After taking out the Joker’s men, Batman turns to the criminal who murdered his parents so many years ago. Clearly outclassed in terms of physical strength, the Joker tips the scales in his favor by throwing both Batman and Vicki Vale over the edge of a church tower.
As they cling to the edge, the Joker laughs and dances, giving Batman the chance to tie his leg up with a grappling hook. As the Joker’s helicopter pulls him away from the edge, he grabs onto a stone gargoyle, which is enough to cause him to lose his grip, leading him to plunge to his death.
6 Hans Gruber (Die Hard)
The first one Die hard The film ended with Alan Rickman’s indomitable and devilish Hans Gruber falling to death in slow motion, with a wide shot showing the dive from a different perspective. This happens when John McClane pretends to surrender to Gruber in the final act, only to surprise him with a service pistol taped behind his back.
Gruber goes through the window but threatens to take John Holly’s wife with him. As Gruber prepares to kill them both, McClane undoes Holly’s wristwatch, causing her to lose her grip and plunge into death in shock. Director John McTiernan later revealed in the Die hard commentary trail that he dropped Rickman earlier than expected in order to capture a look of genuine fear on his face.
5 Goro (Mortal Kombat)
The 1995 Mortal combat The film pitted Johnny Cage against the dreaded Goro in a fight to turn the tide in favor of Earth Realm. It came right after Cage learned an important life lesson brought up by Raiden, where he decided to take his destiny into his own hands and stand up for something more than himself.
Clearly outmatched in terms of physical strength, Cage uses cunning and psychological warfare to bring him down before throwing him off the edge of a cliff. Hanging with one hand, Goro looked up at a victorious cage, which uttered the phrase “This is where you fall”. The rest is history.
4 Dick Jones (RoboCop)
The unscrupulous Dick Jones had a lot to answer in the first RoboCop movie. Not only did he have Bob Morton killed out of spite after he climbed the corporate ladder, he also teamed up with Detroit’s most violent and sadistic criminal. By the time the dust settled, RoboCop was ready for some recovery.
However, Jones had secretly implanted a fourth directive in the programming of RoboCop, preventing him from arresting any senior members of the OCP. When Jones took the old man hostage, Jones immediately fired him, which was enough to overturn the Fourth Directive. RoboCop shot Jones down and sent him crashing through the meeting room window.
3 Commander Kruge (Star Trek III: Finding Spock)
Saving Spock involved doing whatever it takes, and Captain Kirk and his crew were up to the challenge. After becoming thugs and stealing the USS Enterprise against orders, they fled to the very young planet Genesis, where Spock’s body was in a radical resurrection phase.
Commander Klingon, known as Kruge, had his own plans for the Genesis device, wanting to turn it into a weapon. After ordering the death of Kirk’s son, the two fought fiercely as the planet Genesis tore itself apart. Kruge met his head when Kirk threw it into a river of magma, then obtained his ship.
2 Mace Windu (Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith)
When Chancellor Palpatine finally revealed himself as Darth Sidious, the Jedi were sent to remove him from power. The Sith Lord brought several down in an instant, leaving only Mace Windu, a hardened Jedi warrior. The two fought tooth and nail, until Windu gained the upper hand and prepared to take him down.
Anakin Skywalker’s untimely intervention gave Sidious the opportunity he needed to turn things around. He unleashed the full power of the Dark Side Force lightning on Windu, which brought him out of the Chancellor’s chambers and to his presumed death. If Windu had succeeded in stopping Sidious, his story would have played out quite differently.
1 The T-1000 (Terminator 2: Doomsday)
One of the most dramatic villain deaths comes courtesy of Terminator 2, during the last metallurgy scene. After taking on its mother’s form, the T-1000 attempted to lure John Connor, its primary target, towards it for the killing blow. The real Sarah Connor showed up to tie the game, firing a grenade that detonated the T-1000.
The damage to the Terminator was extensive, and before it had a chance to recombine, it tumbled into a vat of molten lead, dissolving molecule by molecule, while struggling to try and save itself. The shrill cry was just a precursor to the final image of his melting face, ending the threat once and for all.
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