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What makes a bad villain?

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Technology' started by Canterpiece, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. Canterpiece

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    As in, a villain that is badly written. People often talk about what villains they enjoy watching or reading about, but are there any villains you can think of that you can't help but groan at? What kind of villain do you dislike? How do they compare to the type of villain you enjoy? Any does and don'ts when writing and inventing a villain? Just something I've been wondering about lately whilst listening to some villain songs.

    And...let the conversion begin! I hope. :slight_smile:
     
  2. Blackangel

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    In Batman Forever 2 Face, was a joke. They tried so hard to make him be psychotic that they over did it. If they had scaled it back, he could have been acceptable. To me, Tommy Lee Jones wasn't given a role that was anywhere near salvageable, but he did his best with what he was given. Also Jason Voorhees is just a joke anymore. They have made so many Friday the 13th movies and spinoffs, that a 2 year old would laugh its self to sleep.

    A good villian would be something like Rose Red. The house was the villian, and no one fully understood what they were doing when they went there for their psychic study.

    Or if you can combine the antagonist into the same character as the protagonist, then you usually have something genuine.
     
    #2 Blackangel, Sep 30, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  3. Creativemind

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    - "Take over the world" motivation
    - Pure evil without any gray, although I don't mind the pure evil thing if we're talking about diagnosed sociopaths that are written well (problem is that they usually aren't).
    - No backstory

    I love anti-villains a lot, or just plain villains who have reasons for doing what they do.
     
  4. Blackangel

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    I think one of the greatest villians in cinema ever was Hannibal Lecter. So far beyond insane, just so elegant.
     
  5. Loves books

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    The villians who just go too far. I hate villians who also have no good reason for being evil. Like killer frost in the flash. She was good then got powers and was suddenly evil. It never made sense.
     
  6. kibou97

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    For me, Villains either need to be crazy all the way yet very cunning (like the Joker) or be relatable and realistic to some extent. Some of my favorite villains are the ones who are clearly doing what they think is the right option and have reasons for why they think they're right and aren't just being evil for the sake of being evil. So basically, bad villains to me are villains that are doing things only for the reason of being evil and aren't being smart about it at all.
     
  7. Jinkies

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    Yeah, I'm gonna agree with most people here already and say that a villain without much of a cause doesn't make for a good villain. There are exceptions to that case though, for example, xenomorphs. But now it's revealed that even they have a creator who's got a motivation. Ramsay Bolton is also a great villain because he exists as George R.R. Martin's reminder of just how brutal Westeros can be.
     
  8. tranonymous

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    I don't like when villains are used to insult or degrade a group of people. Like when the villains are Arabic, or queer coded.

    And I also agree with all the other people who don't like villains with flimsy motives.
     
  9. Devil Dave

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    I think the Gotham TV series has some horrible villains, even though the Batman rogues gallery is one of the most popular collection of villains in comic book history.

    I don't get all the hype about the guy playing Penguin, he's whiny and irritating, and the show focuses way to much on him going up and down the ladder, first being abused and bullied, then scheming and gaining power, then getting betrayed and abused again, then getting revenge and becoming powerful again and so on. Jada Pinket Smith's performance is just terrible to watch, she can't act for shit, and when they brought her back form the dead she put on that stupid slow voice. Barbara Keen was another awful whiny thing to watch. And I don't like how they turned Leslie Tompkins into a villain, because they made her out to be the obsessed ex-girlfriend, when she's supposed to be a doctor who cares about people. She becomes too obsessed with her messed up love life being a bitch to Jim Gordon. They also messed up Mr. Freeze by making him murder random people for his experiments to create a cure for his wife, so I couldn't feel sorry for him. And he ended up becoming a henchman for other villains instead of being his own villain.

    Thing is, I actually like the good guys in that show, I like Bruce and Selina and Alfred, I like the banter between Gordon and Bullock, and I like Lucious Fox, but I don't care about the villains and I don't care about what happens to Gotham city, because the show makes everyone else in Gotham look like a cannibalistic psycho or a moron who doesn't care about anyone, so I find it hard to want to see Batman show up and save everybody.
     
  10. AbsoluteNerd

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    In general, a badly written villian is a villian with no reason to be a villian. This is different from motive, i.e. a sociopath may have no motive, but they still have a reason to be a villian: the fact that they're a sociopath. In general, I think cliches should be avoided, and all of my thoughts are subjective to the type of villian that the story needs.
     
  11. Flowey

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    The macho high school bully is my least favorite kind of villian. To me, the why of the villian doesn't matter as much as the how. How do they carry themselves? Are they fun and charismatic? Do they enjoy what they do?..
     
  12. Devil Dave

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    I also think Negan in the Walking Dead is a crappy villain. He's not scary, he's annoying. A lot of his dialogue sounds like it's been copied and pasted from an internet forum, written by over-enthusiastic trolls. I think the show has made him feel too up-to-date, and it's supposed to be set in a world where there is no modern media because the past 7 or 8 years have been overrun with zombies.
     
  13. Ghost93

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    In my opinion, the best villains have some sort of personal connection to the protagonist and the actions of the villain directly tie into the emotional crisis our hero faces. It is also preferred if the villain has a motivation that is understandable, even though it is not justifiable.

    The worst villains are the ones who have no direct ties to the protagonist. That is why almost all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe villains (with the exception of Loki and possibly the Vulture in Spider-man) tend to suck. They tend to have a bland motivation and they never really develop a personal connection with the heroes. They are just out to conquer or destroy the world and we don't really get a sense of why they are the way they are. And they never are given enough scenes with the heroes.