When your hero gets to the final boss scene in a movie or TV series, you want to see some serious action. Maybe there's a Rocky-style moment where the good guy almost gets snuffed, but then rallies. Hopefully somebody actually dies (farewell, Wash!) or loses a limb. There should be punching, stabbing, exploding, crazy-in-your-pants freakouts. But the problem is that some bad guys are just way too easy to defeat. You can kill them with water, or yodeling, or just pop their heads off like a Pez dispenser. Here are 18 bad guys who were crushed so easily that it was just plain disappointing.
1. Freddy from the original Nightmare on Elm Street
He's a super-murderer with metal claws for hands who can invade your dreams and kill you with surrealism. For the whole flick, we see him slash and mash a batch of nubile teens, who can only fight him off with No-Doz. Basically, if you fall asleep, you're dead. But then! It turns out all they needed to do all along was just not fear Freddy. That's right — if you stop fearing him, he just melts away into a pile of foam or something. Really? That is the weakest scenario ever. But it's super popular in horror movies that can't figure out how to defeat a seemingly unstoppable villain.
2. Tripods in War of the Worlds
This is the classic "fragile aliens" scenario, and it dates back over a century, to when H.G. Wells' novel was first published. A group of Earth-destroying aliens arrive in their giant tripod robot exoskeleton things, and start Mars-o-forming the planet. Humans are mulched, and every plant is being converted into the aliens' beloved red weeds. Basically, not even Tom Cruise can stop them with the power of Xenu. And then! They all just die. You know why? The common cold. That's right — they can't deal with a little viral infection that humans brush off with aspirin and decongestant. The idea that omnipotent aliens can be felled with something really basic to Earth's ecosystems has practically become its own subgenre. Witness, for example . . .
3. The aliens in Signs
It's popular to hate on M. Night Shyamalan these days, but let's not forget how seriously fucking spooky the first two acts of this movie are. The creepy alien signals coming over the radio? The weird glasses of water everywhere? The strange silence as the family waits for something terrible to happen? You know you were terrified. And then, of course, it turns out you can just kill those aliens with water. Seriously, the aliens didn't notice that our planet is COVERED WITH POISON before landing? At least with the Tripods, I could understand that they might not be able to see a microbe from space. But the freakin' Pacific Ocean? And speaking of more weak aliens, how about . . .
4. Galactus in the Fantastic Four comics
The dude is basically power incarnate. He has a hat that's cooler than the Pope's. But all it takes is this magical weapon called the Ultimate Nullifier to get rid of him? I haven't heard of anything that ridiculous since the "oxygen destroyer" that took down Gojira in the original 1950s flick.
5. The Borg in Star Trek: TNG
And while I'm complaining about aliens, let's talk Borg. These are the hive mind cyborgs that the Enterprise crew meets when superbeing Q wants to show them how unprepared they are to deal with the terrors of the galaxy. The Borg assimilate all life forms, have a self-healing spaceship, and weapons that can cripple the Enterprise in no time. Basically, they are the scariest enemy the Federation has ever met. And then the show does something that happens in a lot of stories with easily-defeated bad guys: Change the rules. Over time, the Borg go from dead-eyed megaforce to disorganized space vampires who want to turn Data into a sex doll. There are a few good reasons for the transformation — the Enterprise manages to plant a "bug" of individualism into the Borg system. But my overarching point stands. By the time the Enterprise defeats the Borg, they are no longer the Big Bads they once were.
6. Cloverfield in Cloverfield
This is a bit of a cheat, because we never actually see Cloverfield being defeated. But when the movie opens, what we do know is that the existence of Cloverfield has been completely covered up by the government. And that's just too pat. Given all the footage we see from random people running around, how are we supposed to believe that it was all neatly covered up? New York City is destroyed and it's "classified"? Clovie may have been hard to defeat, but crushing media coverage of the event was way too easy.
7. The Leviathans in Supernatural
Last season on Supernatural, the Leviathans were the big bads — they come from Purgatory and they want to colonize Earth, turn humans into feedstock, and generally rule everything. They can take on the form of any human, so they have infiltrated government, industry, and science. And then the Winchesters take them down. First with the cleaning fluid that turns out to be poison to the monsters. But when it comes to defeating Number One Leviathan Dick Roman, all they need to do is stab him with a magical bone and he goes poof?
8. The Wicked Witch of The West in the movie The Wizard of Oz
Speaking of making people go poof, how about the Wicked Witch of the West? She's painted as a terrifying force of evil and great power. She must be a threat to Oz if the Wizard himself set Dorothy on the impossible task of killing her and taking her flying broom, or thought the witch was evil enough to kill a kid and get Dorothy out his hair before she exposed him as a scam. Embarrassingly the Wicked Witch, who commands an army or truly terrifying flying monkeys, is killed accidently by a twelve year old throwing a conveniently placed bucket of water. If water causes you a painful death by melting you should probably rethink keeping buckets of it randomly around your fortress. The aliens in Signs were clearly in the Wicked Witch's "prepare for all eventualities" class.
9. The Fallen in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
This a 2 ½ hour movie. The Big Bad The Fallen has his name right there in the title. In fact he isn't just a big bad he is the biggest bad. He is a rogue prime and potentially the first Decepticon on Earth and has no problem demoting Megatron and making him a lackey. When he finally shows up on the battle field he makes an impressive entrance with a powerful telekentic wave that destroys the puny human air support. We never get a chance to see where that is going though as he is promptly sucker punched by Optimus Prime and impaled on his own spear in roughly 45 seconds. Mind you, part of those 45 seconds also included Optimus taking time rip off half of Megatron's face. So the titular bad guy who had been on Earth since 17,000 BC and threatened a visually confused audience for 2 ½ hours was polished off in a matter of seconds.
10. The Volturi in the Twilight movies
The Volturi are a powerful and ancient clan of vampires that serve as the law enforcers in vampire society. They have their mind set on destroying the hybrid child of Bella and Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. At first they want to kill her because of a misunderstanding of the child's nature, but once that's cleared up they decide to kill her because why the hell not they came to the Pacific Northwest all the way from Italy. The Cullen family and friends aren't happy about this. In the movie a big battle scene plays out where most of the participants including the Volutari leader die. But - big movie spoiler surprise - it was all just a dream! The Volutari are spooked by the vision and pack up and go home without any showdown and are thus defeated by a dream sequence.
11. Hades in the 2010 Clash of the Titans
Poor Hades, in Greek mythology he pretty much keeps to himself in the underworld and occasionally has his guard dog attacked. He kidnapped, raped and made Persephone his queen which upset her mother Demeter and caused winter, but compared to Zeus' record he is a homebody. The 2010 version of Clash of the Titans plays pretty fast and loose with its source material. In it Hades covets Zeus's power and place. He is the evil mastermind attempting to weaken the Olympians by destroying humanity's faith in the gods and increase human fear to boost his own power. All the subsequent actions are the result of his planning. So the climactic scene of the movie has Perseus overcoming the Kraken in a short but epic struggle (he spent more time fighting scorpions). As Perseus claims victory over the Kraken, Hades, suddenly forgetting he is a mastermind, appears and is banished with a quick toss of a magic sword and an afterthought. He doesn't even get his own scene. One of the greater powers of the world is tied up as a loose end.
12. Goro in the first Mortal Kombat movie
According to the mythology of the first Mortal Kombat movie Goro was the undefeated Mortal Kombat champion. The brute was a four armed Shokan warrior from the Outoworld that disdained humans. Goro's fearsome fighting prowess is shown when he handily beats and kills the human competitor Art Lean and allows the evil Shang Tsung to take his soul. He is beaten by Johnny Cage punching him in the balls and then subsequently kicking him off a cliff. There isn't even a real fight. Johnny Cage punches him, runs away, and ambushes him with a boot to the head that sends him off a convenient cliff. It is shameful enough that Goro spent the majority of his last round in the Mortal Kombat competition writhing around clutching his nuts but it is downright embarrassing to be defeated by Johnny Cage.
13. Thunder in Big Trouble in Little China
Thunder is one of the "Three Storms", powerful magician warriors, which serve the evil sorcerer Lo Pan in Big Trouble in Little China. We first encounter Thunder as he and his fellow warriors destroy and entire rival gang. He is definitely tough as he stands there posing taking a hail of bullets. Later he grabs the hero Jack's gun and makes it explode into shards. He is not a man to be troubled by mundane men and weapons. His death is unfathomable and messy. When Jack kills the evil sorcerer Lo Pan with a reflexive knife throw Thunder becomes so enraged and shamed he blows up like a balloon. His body distends, his shoes burst of his feet, smoke pours out of his ears and nose and then he pops in a font of goo killing himself in an epic temper tantrum.
14. Triffids in the 1962 movie The Day of the Triffids
Mobile genetically engineered plants devastate a world crippled by a freak plague blindness caused by a meteor show. The movie plays like a zombie flick as survivors flee the shambling monsters only to be pinned in and surrounded by certain doom. Society is falling to the plant apocalypse and the heroes find themselves trapped at the top of a lighthouse as the horde advances up the stairs. In desperation the hero turns the fire hose onto the creatures and lo! They dissolve. The fire hose is using salt water since they are near the sea. The world over whelming alien threat is defeated by salt water. In the end of the novel the movie is based on humanity loses and has to retreat to protected enclaves. It is a shame M. Night Shyamalan decided to rip off the weak movie ending instead of the novel.
15. Aliens in Independence Day
Really? Really they hacked into the mother ship using a MacBook? They hacked into a computer developed by an alien civilization so advance they have an entire fleet of interstellar craft using a 1996 MacBook. Most desktop support techs now have a headache working in an office with multiple operating systems as nothing plays well together. Then the virus introduced by the MacBook brings down all the ships shields. The aliens in Independence Day were brought down by terrible network security.
16. Darkseid on Smallville
In the final season of the series, Darkseid was introduced as the series ending threat. This is the monster that was going to make Clark Kent into Superman. Darkseid spends the season corrupting people and branding them with the Omega symbol including Oliver Queen. Eventually Darkseid comes to possess Lionel Luthor, who bargained his life away so Lex could be returned to the living by the godlike Darkseid. Wearing Lionel Luther's form Darkseid confronts Clark in the final episode and throws him telekinetically. Clark has happy moment of reflection that conveniently recounts the events of the series, maybe this was poignant if you were a fan, and realizes he can fly. So he flies right through Darkseid and Darkseid goes poof. That's it. He goes poof as Superman flies through him. No punch or fight. He doesn't even slow Supes down as he heads out the door.
17. The Reapers in Mass Effect
Talking about video games isn't fair to final bosses in general. In every Japanese role playing game you can do all the side quests, craft the weapon of supreme awesomeness and grind into eternity. Actions which turn every final boss into a curb stomp. But the Mass Effect trilogy wasn't one of those kinds of games. Over the course of three games and 100+ hours of game play the story was painted that the Reapers were an unstoppable force that harvested civilizations for millions of years, but Commander Shepard through sacrifice and against all odds might be able to break the cycle. How did this epic conflict resolve itself? By choosing what was behind curtain one, two or three with Starchild playing Monty Hall. There was no final boss there. There was no ultimate conflict. The Reapers were defeated by picking a color. Sure story wise there were supposed repercussion of the relays blowing up but all of that was dwarfed by an unsatisfying game mechanic. The Reapers were destroyed by picking a door and to add insult to injury the Illusive Man, the other opponent in the game, bit it in a dialog scene.
18. The Martians in Mars Attacks
Sure, this is a parody of the 1950's and 1960's alien movies where the aliens had convenient and ridiculous weaknesses (see the Triffids above), but an alien race being defeated by yodeling is still pretty funny and absurd.