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Old 05-22-2018, 10:43 PM
 
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A lot of times when you ask people who they thought the best movie villains are, usually the choices that come up are Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs version), The Joker (The Dark Knight version), Hans Gruber, HAL-9000, T-1000, etc.

But those are villains that do not go through character arcs and learn lessons and grow as the story goes along, and since Arc-less villains are often picked, I wonder if perhaps audiences prefer them more?
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Old 05-23-2018, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Maine
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Villains, even great villains, rarely have an "arc" in the same way the protagonist does. And that's okay, because the story is about the protagonist, and the antagonist is there to oppose the hero. In fact, I can only think of one really good example, which I'll get to shortly.

Now anti-heroes are a different story. There, you've got some great ones: Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange. Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver. William Munny from Unforgiven. Michael Corelone from The Godfather. Bud White and Jack Vincennes from L.A. Confidential. Ben Willard from Apocalypse Now.

But there really is only one villain I can think of who "goes through character arcs and learns lessons and grows as the story goes along." That is Rick Deckard from Blade Runner.

"But Deckard is the hero!" I hear people say.

To which I reply, "Pull your head out of your hind quarters. Deckard is state-sanctioned murderer whose job it is to hunt down people for the sole crime of not being 'like us.' He is no different from the Gestapo. He is a Klansman with a badge. Deckard is the villain. Roy Batty is the real hero. An anti-hero, I'll grant you, but he is the hero nonetheless."

It does throw us a bit because Blade Runner is one of the few movies told form the villain's point of view.

So yeah. There you go. In all of cinema there is only one great villain with a great character arc. It is yet another reason why Blade Runner remains one of the greatest movies ever made.


Last edited by Mark S.; 05-23-2018 at 06:27 AM..
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark S. View Post
But there really is only one villain I can think of who "goes through character arcs and learns lessons and grows as the story goes along." That is Rick Deckard from Blade Runner.

"But Deckard is the hero!" I hear people say.

To which I reply, "Pull your head out of your hind quarters. Deckard is state-sanctioned murderer whose job it is to hunt down people for the sole crime of not being 'like us.' He is no different from the Gestapo. He is a Klansman with a badge. Deckard is the villain. Roy Batty is the real hero. An anti-hero, I'll grant you, but he is the hero nonetheless."

It does throw us a bit because Blade Runner is one of the few movies told form the villain's point of view.

So yeah. There you go. In all of cinema there is only one great villain with a great character arc. It is yet another reason why Blade Runner remains one of the greatest movies ever made.
I'm sure there must be another out there somewhere, but agree with this.

Can't rep you yet, though.
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
I'm sure there must be another out there somewhere, but agree with this.
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Old 05-23-2018, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Maine
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Snake is an anti-hero, not a villain.
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Old 05-23-2018, 11:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mark S. View Post
Snake is an anti-hero, not a villain.
He is both. He's a convicted felon who only agrees to the mission for a pardon. When he thinks the Prez is dead, he's ready to abort. Hauk tells him to keep searching or risk immediate death at the wall, no alternatives.

We love Snake because he's such a badass that we want to be him. But he's not a good guy.

Btw, Carpenter lifted Snake right out of Zelazny's novel Damnation Alley. Read the first ten pages. Hell Tanner IS Snake Plissken, with bits o' John Wayne's Cahill.
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Old 05-23-2018, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Maine
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Originally Posted by AFtrEFkt View Post
He is both. He's a convicted felon who only agrees to the mission for a pardon. When he thinks the Prez is dead, he's ready to abort. Hauk tells him to keep searching or risk immediate death at the wall, no alternatives.

We love Snake because he's such a badass that we want to be him. But he's not a good guy.
That's why he is an anti-hero. But he isn't the villain. The villain is by definition the antagonist of the hero, whose main struggle drives the story. It is Snake's struggle that drives the story.
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Old 05-23-2018, 12:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mark S. View Post
That's why he is an anti-hero. But he isn't the villain. The villain is by definition the antagonist of the hero, whose main struggle drives the story. It is Snake's struggle that drives the story.
It is. I understand what you mean, but I think he straddles the line, the same way Deckard does (also an antihero, IMO).
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Old 05-23-2018, 01:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AFtrEFkt View Post
It is. I understand what you mean, but I think he straddles the line, the same way Deckard does (also an antihero, IMO).
Pliskin doesn't straddle the line any more than The Man with No Name or a host of other anti-heroes (or even some heroes, like Robin Hood). He is still the character that is positioned in opposition to the real antagonist in the story and is still morally superior to the antagonist.

Not necessary "good," but still morally superior. Pliskin never throttled old ladies, shot women in the back, or sliced up children, and certain other plot devices that normally label unredeemable characters.
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Old 05-23-2018, 01:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
Pliskin doesn't straddle the line any more than The Man with No Name or a host of other anti-heroes (or even some heroes, like Robin Hood). He is still the character that is positioned in opposition to the real antagonist in the story and is still morally superior to the antagonist.

Not necessary "good," but still morally superior. Pliskin never throttled old ladies, shot women in the back, or sliced up children, and certain other plot devices that normally label unredeemable characters.
He did begin and end the movie thinking he was above authority. We don't blame him.
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