Thursday, 8 December 2016

Why epic villains are so important...

Everyone loves to have an awesome heroic protagonist in any blockbuster film, but in my opinion not enough credit is given to the villains.
Sauron the source of evil in The Lord of The Rings

No matter what genre of film you watch – fantasy, sci-fi, drama, horror, action – it is vital that the plot has a convincing ‘bad guy’. There to create conflict and cause havoc, villains are often the centre of the plot. Their evil encounters make them the iconic characters we love to hate.

It's so important to have villains in films who have real purpose, are actually threatening and sometimes even scary. A lot of the recent super hero films both from Marvel and DC haven't impressed me with their villains. It seems that they all want to take over the world, but they rarely have a good reason for doing so. Numerous movie antagonists seem to make bold statements but not actually execute any villainous acts.

Don't get me wrong, there have been some intriguing bad guys in recent films. For example, Kylo Ren from Star Wars The Force Awakens was a big hit with audiences straight away and that was no doubt down to the fantastic combination of his villainous appearance, numerous evil and threatening acts throughout the film, and his twisted backstory that made you want to know more about his decision to join the dark side. Kylo Ren is definitely a villain I look forward to seeing more of.

Similarly, I am a fan of Tom Hiddleston’s performance as Loki in the Marvel franchise. With his menacing grin, villainous laugh and powerful swagger he perfectly embodies the title: God of Mischief. Characters like this shock you with their acts of evil while also enticing you with their twisted personality – perfect for keeping you on the edge of your seat.

There are so many villains from older films that have made cinema history by becoming such iconic characters in popular culture. For example: Darth Vader, Sauron, He who must not be named (Voldemort), Darth Maul, and the multiple on screen incarnations of The Joker just to name a few. They were all fearsome and menacing villains with unique characteristics and dark backgrounds, this is exactly what I want to see more of in future films. The importance of illustrious antiheroes like these is exemplified by the excitement for the Darth Vader cameo in the upcoming Star Wars film: Rouge One. Science fiction fans were enthralled by seeing only a teasing glimpse of Vader in the trailers, thus proving the power of a legendary villain.

The evil exploits of a baddie is what gives shape to a plot and provides the hero with a job to do. Even in traditional fairy-tales there is usually a theme of good versus evil or right versus wrong. In my eyes the antagonist is just as important as the hero in any story and if both characters are perfect then it is bound to be a great film.

Let me know in the comments below who your favourite movie villains are. I'd love to hear your thoughts.