Midweek Movie Mouth-Off: Rooting for the Bad Guy

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Movies can be pretty black and white sometimes when it comes to morality choices. It’s taken as a given that this guy’s the hero and that’s the bad guy, we all know who we’re supposed to be cheering on. Though sometimes, I feel like the movie might get it wrong. If we get to see enough of the bad guy’s motivations, especially when he’s spoon-feeding them to the audience, maybe he might not be the bad guy after all?

I felt this way about Rise of the Guardians. Our hero, Jack Frost, is resentful that children no longer believe in him and has to help defend the world against Pitch Black, our clear and obvious villain. The whole idea of Jack Frost being forgotten and how he overcomes that is the main theme. This kind of fell apart for me when you discover that Pitch Black’s entire plan to get rid of the other guardians was because he was resentful that children no longer believed in him. All Pitch wanted was the same thing Jack was fighting for, to be believed in. See why I had a hard time with that? Now, I’m not saying I sided with Pitch Black, his methods were somewhat questionable and he did kind of want to bring about “the end of the world”, but how can you have a protagonist and antagonist with the exact same motivations, and expect me to root for one over the other?

It could be that you agreed Magneto had a point about humans hating mutants and how being nice isn’t going to get mutants anywhere. Maybe you thought that Sauron gave the poor and underprivileged races of Middle Earth a chance to fight back against their racist oppressors.

So if you’ve ever stopped to think about the bad guy’s side of things, did you find yourself agreeing with them?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.

Last Updated: July 6, 2016

Tracy Benson

All about movies, board games, cider, sci-fi, fantasy and geek culture.

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