Cinema is typically a medium of absolutes and opposites, big vs small, restrained vs over-blown, but most of all good vs evil. It is a contradiction that tends to appear in all genres, whether horror, epic or romance, with the most intriguing films often those that deal most explicitly with a blurring of the distinction.
And at the simplest stage, the idea of good vs bad inspired one of the fundamental relationship dynamics that exists in cinema – the clash of the hero and the villain. As a rule, villains must be equal to or greater than their virtuous adversary, or the film lacks soul and conviction, and we end up with something unbalanced and disjointed that feels like little more than a missed opportunity. After all, villains have to be the counterpoint of the hero – without darkness there can be no light, and without the Joker, or the Wayne murderer, there can be no Batman; no Flash Gordon without Emperor Ming…
If they represent a significant threat, we rejoice in their defeat, and herald the hero doubly so. Adversity is the chief marker of heroism after all, and great villainy is the chief exponent of adversity.
But sometimes, Hollywood gets it all wrong, presenting a great villain or villainous foe, who we are enchanted and captivated by, and has them defeated by the kind of bumbling oaf who would probably struggle to function in the real world. This article is dedicated to those hopeless souls, destroyed and embarrassed by the whims of poor writers…
The Aliens From Independence Day
The Hero: Windows 95
Yeah, because we all believe that Window 95 would have been capable of uploading a virus to an alien mothership…
Read on for the 12 dastardly villains who made the list.
This article was first posted on March 3, 2013