25 Movies Where We Resonate With The Villain In Hindsight
As kids whenever we watched a movie, the characters were clearly demarcated as heroes and villains, black versus white. However, with age, we have a better understanding of life’s intricacies and as such we now relate more to Thanos, than we do to Captain America.
Indeed, our understanding has deepened over time in appreciating the complex nuances of the villain in a movie or TV show. Sometimes, our original fond feelings towards the heroes and heroines change now due to seeing the antagonist’s perspective. Reddit user CynicalCosmologist brought up this interesting discussion where folks were quick to point out their observations of such incidents when asked, “What movie is really sad when told from the ‘villain’s’ perspective?”
Image credits: CynicalCosmologist
#1 Man, the Grinch just wanted to hang out with his dog on the mountain, and asked his stupid neighbors to shut up.
Ok, hear me out: Richard from Crocodile Dundee. You’re Richard, Sue’s boyfriend and boss (ok, off to a great start…). Your girlfriend Sue INSISTS on doing a human interest piece on some dude. You’re like, “come home I miss you”, and she’s like “just this one more story”, and you’re like “ok, you’re the best.” So she goes off to find Michael J “Crocodile” Dundee. Within 48 hours of meeting Mick, she’s making out with him. You, Richard, have no idea…but it’s gotta be suspicious that she BEGS to bring him back to NYC. It’s IMMEDIATELY apparent what’s going on. Sue is basically drooling over Mick, she’s parading him around the upper crust of New York society, they’re having some moments. She even f*****g invites him to the first date the two of you have had since she got back. You’re understandably salty about this…and you get punched out for it. Feeling desperate to save your relationship, you throw a Hail Mary. While visiting her family – which you’re on GREAT terms with – you propose. She says yes! Crisis averted…until the NEXT DAY when she takes it back and chases Mick into the subway to tell him she loves him. It’s been like a week since the two of them met. And you know the worst part? You, Richard, *paid* for all of this to happen: this whole thing went down on the newspaper’s dime. And the second worst part? You’re still Sue’s boss. You’ll be seeing her at the office on Monday. You have less than 24 hours to pull yourself together. Richard got cheated on, villainized, and broken up with in the coldest way…and his only crime was not being happy about it. He’s not the bad guy in this story. **Sue** is the bad guy in Crocodile Dundee. Thank you for attending my TED talk.
Thor 1. Loki loses everything, finds out his whole life is a lie, even his skin is a lie, the people who he was supposed to trust the most (his parents) betrayed him about who he was and brought him up in a society that thought his real race were disgusting savage monsters to the point that he thought it was ok to try and kill them all, and in the middle of having a mental break down his dad goes into a coma while his mom is emotionally unavailable to give him any support because she’s busy watching the dad, and his friends betray him to go help his brother on earth, so he is completely isolated with no support system undergoing the worst crisis of his life and goes off the rails, to the point of committing suicide because he realized no matter what he did he could never gain the approval of his father or belong there as the only frost giant in all of Asgard.
It’s an epic tragedy when you look at it from his perspective.
“Black Panther” Killmonger was a Prince. His father was murdered by his uncle, the King. He spent his life in poverty, while his family was incredibly wealthy. When he finally got to Wakanda, he was appalled that they kept all that wealth and technology from the descendants of the diaspora around the world. I love his last quote: “Bury me at sea with my ancestors who jumped from the slave ships because they preferred death to bondage.”
#5 Bee Movie ? A bee stole this man’s girlfriend.
It’s a wild ride. I shrugged it off years ago as just being some kid’s movie Jerry Seinfeld felt like making. I didn’t realize how insane the plot is… the courtroom scenes, the romance, the wild ending, the snipers…
This man is losing his wife to a literal bee and everyone thinks he’s crazy.
#6 Baby’s father in Dirty Dancing. Dude just wants to have a nice family vacation.
Right? Heaven forbid he protests against his 17-year-old daughter getting seduced by the 25-year-old resort dance instructor. The dad also has to medically treat Johnny’s ex-girlfriend for an infection after a back alley abortion. Of course he doesn’t want his underage daughter getting involved.
Worse, he wasn’t just a dance instructor. The story is he’s banging hot moms for money while giving private ‘dance’ lessons.
Anyone over the age of like 25 completely understands the father’s perspective.
#7 Tom and Jerry. They’re secretly friends, but Tom has to hunt him and “fail” every time. One episode the homeowners wanted to swap Tom for a cat who actually would kill Jerry, but Tom tried to stop that.
Sound of Music — not the N*zis obviously, but the baroness. Imagine you’re a wealthy, savvy, child free woman open minded enough to date a sulking widower with a billion children he ignores in favor of travel and partying– in other words, your lifestyle. You’re not into kids but you try to be a presence in their lives when he finally deigns to introduce you to them (same time he announces that he’s marrying you, so he’s a super great father). You put on a cheerful face anyway, and when it’s apparent the kids hate you (you are a stranger after all!), you consider sending them to boarding school where they might benefit from, say, structure and attention and schooling that they are not getting at home from their father/endless rotating nannies. Then the super virginal, younger au pair moves in, and your boyfriend suddenly decides he is totally into being father of the year again after his Austrian rumspringa, and dumps you.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Imagine: you’re 16 years old. Your father is in prison. Your home has been taken over by a N*zi cult that you’ve been indoctrinated into. The leader of the cult is telling you to kill your principal, someone exceptionally powerful who could easily beat you in a fight, or he will kill you and your family.
#10 Cato from The Hunger Games. He’s been brainwashed to believe that the Games are an honor. He’s trained his whole life, but then he gets into the arena and it’s a lot of killing and awfulness. Then he loses, dies a long death and all his preparation and fanboying isn’t worth anything.
#11 Jaws. Bruce is just trying to be a shark, man.
THESE SHARK INFESTED WATERS!!!!!
you mean their home?
KILL THE MONSTER!!
The phrase ‘shark-infested waters’ drives me nuts. Are our living rooms human-infested?? No. That’s just where people live. Sharks don’t ‘infest’ the ocean, that’s where they belong.
#12 I recently re-watched The Little Mermaid and, well, let’s just say I was rooting for her father rather than the 16yo wanting elope with a person she saw for like a minute. That said, Triton doesn’t really handle the situation well.
Ariel: ‘I’m 16! I’m not a child anymore!’
7-year-old Me: ‘Yeah! She’s basically a grown up! Don’t be mean, Triton!’
41-year-old Me: ‘She is absolutely a child and I wonder if my parents thought that line was as ridiculous as I find it now when we watched it 30+ years ago’.
‘bUt DaDdY I LoVe HiM!’ Sh*t makes me cringe now every time.
#13 Peter Pan. Poor Captain Hook. Constantly taunted by a group of hoodlums who never want to grow up. Imagine the PTSD this guy has from losing a hand to a crocodile! Then he’s constantly taunted by these kids and their clock-filled buffoonery.
#14 Yeah, I gotta say that ‘Despicable Me’ hit me right in the feels when you saw how Gru went from stealing an entire moon to being a dad. Who knew little yellow minions could make such an impact? Overall, 10/10 would ugly cry again.
Family obsessed with ‘keeping up appearances’ shun Bruno for simply telling the truth, that people naturally don’t like to hear. Ends up being demonised and alone while the head narc and family lie and blame him for their failings and bad experiences.
#16 Squidward from SpongeBob SquarePants. All he wants is some peace and quiet.
You know you’re a fully developed adult when you start to find SpongeBob really annoying and identify with Squidward’s point of view.
#17 We Bought a Zoo – I mean damn, the ‘villain’ literally is a safety inspector and is doing a public service making sure the dangerous animals you’re keeping for public display are safe, secure and not mistreated.
#18 Titanic – Imagine you are just chilling in the ocean and a big boat comes and hit you and the boat gets all the attention.
#19 The hyenas in the Lion King were banished to an elephant graveyard and were hungry. It’s not like the lions weren’t killing things to eat themselves, but Mufasa wasn’t going to let hyenas get away with that.
Of course they’re going to follow the guy who promises them food. Their part in Be Prepared is “we’re going to be able to eat!” And then when they do get to leave the graveyard they overdo it because they’d never been allowed to eat anything but elephants who came to die, which probably isn’t an everyday occurrence.
#20 Meet the Robinsons.
Goob just needed some sleep is all.
I can understand that. I’ve shouted at people who wouldn’t let me sleep, before.
#21 X-Men. Magneto was right and his backstory was very sad.
#22 Lion King. I’m not saying Scar was right for killing his brother and running the Pride Lands into the ground, but they call him Scar because he had a physical deformity. Before he was nicknamed Scar, his parents named him Takka… Which means garbage. “Oh hi. Let me introduce you to my sons ‘King’ and ‘Garbage'” How is that not setting your youngest up for failure?
#23 Mrs Doubtfire because imagine how scared Pierce Brosnan was when Mrs Doubtfire tried to kill him with pepper.
He also survived a drive-by fruiting.
Of course your wife is going to divorce you if she comes home from her breadwinning job, and you’ve got a petting zoo running around the house, after walking out on yet another job, when you’re already on thin ice! But the whole movie is acting like his ex-wife is a mean, borderline-evil shrew! And all the judge was asking him to do was get literally any job and keep it in order to see his kids more often! I love my kids!’ Fine, why don’t you show it by acting like a goddamned grown-up for once.
#24 Prince Nuada from Hellboy: the Golden Army. He’s the Prince of a dying race of fae, has to see his father lead his kind into darkness and obscurity, and THEN see humanity tear down everything he loved for their own greed/expansion. His speech about how the world will never see the likes of the Elemental Forest God was heartbreaking.
This isn’t the first story where humans started off living side by side with fairy tale or mythical creatures, then ultimately pushing them out to extinction. This movie did have me wishing for an alternate version where humans are the ones to lose.
Anakin Skywalkers’ story from the light side to the dark side was motivated by the love he had for his mother and Padme, but in the end, he can’t save his mother and nearly kills Padme. He loses them both and ends up horribly disfigured in the confrontation with his life-long master obi wan. He has to suffer the rest of his life without his loved ones, and he now is more machine than man. He can’t live without his suit. The tragedy of Darth Vader is incredibly sad.
Born a slave on a desert planet with no father. Forced to join a cult of space wizards at a young age. Watches his mother die, was only allowed to marry in secret because of the wacko cult’s rules. The man who offers him salvation is the devil himself. He loses all four limbs, scarred and burned to the point that he was put into a living coffin in order to survive. Enslaved to the devil himself.
Never knew freedom, never allowed to live his life. Used by everyone…