It’s Good To Be Bad

Ana Ramos, Online Editor

Think about all your favorite heroes, super heroes, protagonists in general. Now think of their villains and super villains, or antagonists. Of course everyone wants to see the bad guys lose and the good guys win… but what if there were no villains at all, in any story that we read, or watch… The story would be very dull and with no conflict, and let’s be honest, no one likes that. One must try to see through the villain’s’ eyes at times to understand where they are truly coming from, and it also makes the story a whole lot more interesting to try to see their point of view. No one is bad just because they are bad (with a few exceptions, of course; some are insane). As Ryan Reynalds, who has portrayed many different characters such as Green Lantern and Deadpool, said, “I don’t personally believe that villains exist. Villains are just a way of saying that somebody has an opposing conviction.” When seen in a different perspective, bad guys can become protagonists and steal our hearts away. Some villains along the road have succeeded in doing so: our beloved villains.

We are one of the many generations that has grown up with Disney movies. Many identify with the protagonists, but there are those that love the stories for their bad guys. Like the saying goes, a hero is only as good as their villain. Who doesn’t love the sass of Disney villains? The temper tantrums of Captain Hook or the Queen of Hearts, the glamour of Ursula and Mother Gothel, or the cunning of Jafar and his loyal sidekick Iago… Disney knows how to make their villains unforgettable; remember Scar? That lion is an iconic bad guy! To prove that villains make an impact, take for example the movie Maleficent, which explains that our bone-chilling enchantress wasn’t that bad after all like we used to think as kids. It all depends on who is telling the story; every villain in a hero in their own minds.

Disney also brought some comic villains to the table people won’t ever forget… Talk about the King of the Underworld (and of Sass, mind you) Hades! Giving Meg advice on love, which honestly girls is much like a golden rule. Hades is one of the most beloved villains because just how many people can relate to him. When in need of love advice Hades is there to tell us what to do, that is for sure.

No one can forget that Marvel and Lucasfilm are also a part of Disney, so let’s place these names out there. No need to say these three are considered lovable villains: Loki, The Winter Soldier and Darth Vader. Some of them turned out to be good in the end, it’s true, but no one can lie and say that they weren’t amazing villains! Of course when seeing things through their eyes they aren’t villains at all; but isn’t that the best part about misunderstood villains? Their backstories add depth to the characters, make people wonder if they are really mean at all. Isn’t Loki just a boy who feels betrayed and overshadowed by his adopted brother; isn’t the Winter Soldier just a victim of brainwashing; isn’t Darth Vader just a Jedi seduced by the Dark Side?

Filmmakers have managed to get us to love them and pity them, disregarding the massive amount of people they were responsible for killing. Talking about killing… how many people did the Joker kill and torture again? Don’t mind that! He is one of the best well known villains out there, according to many. Take for example the actor that portrayed Loki, Tom Hiddleston, that said, “Heath Ledger’s performance in ‘The Dark Knight’ quite simply changed the game. He raised the bar not just for actors in superhero films, but young actors everywhere; for me. His performance was dark, anarchic, dizzying, free, and totally, thrillingly, dangerous.”

Villains are crucial to any plot. Without them heroes wouldn’t be heroes at all. When watching movies from now on, wonder why the villain is doing what they are doing in the first place. What would you do in their place? It makes any story more fun when thinking that way!