It can happen to anyone: you're minding your own business when you suddenly trigger the countdown on a Doomsday Device or become involved in a high-speed blimp chase. And all of a sudden you realize you're a tuxedo-clad, eye patch-sporting arch-villain in an action movie. It'll ruin your day every time-not to mention humanity's day. So, please, read this article and get to know the warning signs before it's too late.
Warning Sign: The mild-mannered computer programmer, bank teller or President you're trying to put one over on turns out to have biceps the size of coconuts and be an uncannily resourceful kung-fu specialist.
Your Chances: Seagal you could probably take; he's a bit doughy these days and you could wear him out with some rabbit punches and a plate of sandwiches. But if it's Ford, just run and keep running, man. It's not worth it. Dude was Han Solo AND Indiana Jones.In terms of action hero pedigree, that's slightly behind God and far, far ahead of every other person on the planet. He'll demolish your henchmen with little more than a steely gaze, double-fisted punch and/or laser blaster.
Warning Sign: Ever since Shakespeare's Richard III, villains have had physical deformities meant to "subtly" mirror their twisted souls. Of course, having a gimpy arm doesn't necessarily make you evil, but... well, yes. It does. Got a handlebar mustache too? How about a monocle?
Your Chances: We won't lie to you, they're pretty shit, man. If you're plotting against a good-looking guy and you've got the sort of cringe-inducing deformity or physical accessory that makes you look like a 1920s railroad baron, chances are that means you're the bad guy, and about to get your ass kicked. Being foreign is even worse, because, as all Americans know scientifically: all British, German and vaguely Eastern European are not to be trusted.
Warning Sign: Look behind you right now. We need you to check something. Is there a little person back there, hunched over for fear that you'll strike him furiously again? If so, that's either your henchman and you're a villain in an action movie, or it's your daughter and you're Alec Baldwin.
Your Chances: That depends. Can you find any reasonable justification for why this person would knowingly ally himself with you, despite the fact that you routinely throw employees who disappoint you (letting someone escape, not checking for a dead body, letting your latte get cold) from tall buildings?
No? Then we hate to break it to you, but you're probably the star of this summer's biggest blockbuster. And yes, that means Bruce Willis is about to drive a car right the fuck into your helicopter:
Warning Sign: No matter how sharp your sense of dress is, how badass your new sports car is or how hi-tech your surveillance center is, all of your ill-gotten funds can't buy you love. Pushing European sex kitten after European sex kitten out of bed after they ride you while apathetically smoking a cigar with your hands behind your head is a bad sign. Laughing while they run out of the room after you put your cigar out on their bare flesh, doubly so.
Your Chances: It comes down to bowties. If you're wearing a black bowtie, just shoot yourself now.
Warning Sign: After multiple setbacks it honestly, truly seems like you're going to win. Really this time. There's no way he'll get out of this one; it's a done deal. The world is yours, or the money, or whatever. The thing's gone off. It's too la...
Noooooo. You could've sworn he was dead. Curses! He was immune to the spider venom! The guards you hired must have gotten sleepy, and he karate-chopped them in the neck. The system was infiltrated at the last second because he figured out that your password was "Ferris," after the guy who used to beat you up in elementary school but who you ironically had a quasi-gay crush on.
Your Chances: Yeah, you're done. Your only hope now is to narrowly escape, and even then you're just going to have to go through all this bullshit again for the sequel. Damn you, Bruce Willis/Harrison Ford/Steven Seagal!