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TigerBright19

Why are Movie Villians so Likable?

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TigerBright19
Posted (edited)

Ever watched a movie and you find yourself liking the villain more than the hero and you genuinely feel upset when the villain dies at the end?  Was that meant to be the writer's/Director's intention, or is it really a case of liking the actor's performance and not the villain itself?  When actors are told that their character is liked by many, do they feel great, or do they ever say "I must have failed, because you're not supposed to like him."  When I was a kid I remember watching school pantomimes and I booed when the hero came on and cheered when the villain came on.  Never could figure out why.

Do you find yourself rooting for the villain more than the hero in some films?

 

A random selection I can think of.  Liked all of them.  Were we supposed to?

 

 

villians.png

 

 

Edited by Aaron2017
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Desertrat56
Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Aaron2017 said:

Ever watched a movie and you find yourself liking the villain more than the hero and you genuinely feel upset when the villain dies at the end?  Was that meant to be the writer's/Director's intention, or is it really a case of liking the actor's performance and not the villain itself?  When actors are told that their character is liked by many, do they feel great, or do they ever say "I must have failed, because you're not supposed to like him."  When I was a kid I remember watching school pantomimes and I booed when the hero came on and cheered when the villain came on.  Never could figure out why.

Do you find yourself rooting for the villain more than the hero in some films?

 

A random selection I can think of.  Liked all of them.  Were we supposed to?

 

 

villians.png

 

 

No, when I find the villain more likeable than the hero I quit watching unless the story is written well enough that I might expect a twist at the end that reveals the "villain" to actually be the "hero". 

I like redemption stories.  I have found some where there were no redeemable characters, like any Woody Allen movie, who gives a crap about a room full of angst ridden neurotic *******s?    I have always wondered what he did to be able to blackmail hollywood producers to make his movies.

As for some of the villains you show above, the Khan character in the old Star Trek movie was not really a villain, he was a tortured soul wanting revenge, and captain kirk was also a torutured soul wanting revenge.  That was a poorly written redemption story in my opinion. 

The invisible man was an ******* and it is his story, so who is the hero in that one?  I didn't see the movie, just read the book. 

There is no way I would like the joker better than batman, equally maybe, since batman was really hard to like, there was no redemption for either of them in that movie in my opinion.

I can't comment on the others as I never saw those movies that I remember.

P.S. My favorite redemption movie was Cowboys and Aliens where all the "heros" were bad guys who had to work together to save the earth, though they didn't really understand saving the earth part, just saving their community and their livelihoods.  It was cheesy in some ways but a great story.

Edited by Desertrat56
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rashore

Oohhh, good topic.

I think in a way giving the villan a likable, redeemable, or akinable feature is a norm. There must be SOME reason the villan is who they is, a backstory that lead to this... . Some of the most terrifying villains that apparently lack any of those qualities. Or any way to overcome the villany.

Some of it is a way of Hollywood to make even the most evil in a bit of likable gloss in various ways. It's part of the selling of movies.

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and then
Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, Aaron2017 said:

Never could figure out why.

A couple of choices come to mind.  You like being different and express it that way - perfectly fine.  OR, you really are a bent, evil troll and need to be destroyed :w00t:

Of course, I am joking ;) 

ETA - I usually go with the one who seems to be working the hardest to foil the villain but your set of images reminded me of one stark example of feeling something like respect or pity for the bad guy.  Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) in the 1999 version of the Mummy.  At the end of the story you realize the guy is evil BUT he was also acting out of a love that was a couple of millennia old :) 

Edited by and then
corrected an actor's name

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Desertrat56
Just now, rashore said:

Oohhh, good topic.

I think in a way giving the villan a likable, redeemable, or akinable feature is a norm. There must be SOME reason the villan is who they is, a backstory that lead to this... . Some of the most terrifying villains that apparently lack any of those qualities. Or any way to overcome the villany.

Some of it is a way of Hollywood to make even the most evil in a bit of likable gloss in various ways. It's part of the selling of movies.

I do see a point to knowing what the back story is or what motivates the villains.  It adds dimension to the story, it is the villains that are so flat and nonsensical that are annoying.  Like the Mr. Dursley character in the Harry Potter books.  I don't know why the author never gave him any depth.  She finally gave Mrs. Dursley some depth and even filled in the back story to the evil one.  It was that first book that was not so well written.  Even so, I find it hard to see the villain more likeable than the hero, usually we are supposed to know everything about the hero, how he thinks, what happened to get him where he is, etc.  And we need some way of knowing what actually motivates the villain.  (Spiderman is a good example of that) Otherwise it is just woody allen type stuff.

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rashore

Not a usual villain for horror.. but in some random watching around recently. (old hollywood stories) JR from the TV show Dallas. Dastardly and a villain all the way around. Got to the point he was so.. so. Folks cheered when his wife cheated on him, and cried with him when his universe shifted to his love for his child. And wondered for months who had the pluck to shoot the villian, and if he deserved it or not to boot.

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Desertrat56
Just now, rashore said:

Not a usual villain for horror.. but in some random watching around recently. (old hollywood stories) JR from the TV show Dallas. Dastardly and a villain all the way around. Got to the point he was so.. so. Folks cheered when his wife cheated on him, and cried with him when his universe shifted to his love for his child. And wondered for months who had the pluck to shoot the villian, and if he deserved it or not to boot.

I remember that.  I remember being in college with my brother and riding the bus downtown with my dad every morning and the women who were also regulars always talking about who shot JR.  :lol:  My dad was annoyed because he didn't watch soap operas or even much television at all.

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rashore
14 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

I remember that.  I remember being in college with my brother and riding the bus downtown with my dad every morning and the women who were also regulars always talking about who shot JR.  :lol:  My dad was annoyed because he didn't watch soap operas or even much television at all.

Yes. I never watched Dallas,a bit before my time. But watching the story about it and this thread made me think of it. JR was a horror story worthy villain IMO. Would fit right in with some King, Koontz, or Saul bad guys.

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XenoFish

The hero's of many stories seem to represent order and control. In a too good to be true way. The villains are basically agents of chaos and unbound freedom in some cases. In Hellraiser the cenobites are not the enemy Frank is. What the cenobites do is enforce the will of hell. Neither good nor evil. They come for the one who opened the box. 

I really think that if you like the villain of a movie what you are really liking is the sheer freedom they have. No rules, no limitations. 

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zep73

To me a successful villain in someone you fear and despise so much, that you curse at the hero, when they don't act on an opportunity to kill him. You hate him so much, that you're willing to execute him yourself. And when he finally dies, it was a good movie.

The characters from the OP are, IMO, caricatures of evil. They're not really, truly, despicable evil.

One character that really impressed me, was the guy in the wheelchair from Breaking Bad. He makes himself despicable without saying a single word. World class acting and directing!

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Piney
4 hours ago, Aaron2017 said:

Do you find yourself rooting for the villain more than the hero in some films?

Jigsaw, he only takes out the garbage.

Heath Ledger's Joker. When I was released from prison I felt the same way and felt it ever since......

Let the world burn, let it all burn....... 

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third_eye

Search your feelings... 

Quote

1*jbfflVPlfo_2E4VfvmfC-w.jpeg

~

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drakonwick

I've always been a fan of horror movies, especially classic 80's horror movies! The writers mostly display the characters as stupid, or completely oblivious as to what's happening, so yes I often root for the bad guy in these movies. lol

 

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