10 Movies Where People Argue That The Villain Is Actually The Hero – CBR – Comic Book Resources

While most stories make a clear distinction between the protagonist and antagonist, there are movies whose villains made an impression on audiences.
Morality is often perceived to be a coin with two faces—good and bad, heroic and villainous, truth and lies—without taking into account the possibility that a tossed coin might land on its side. While most stories make a clear distinction between their protagonists and antagonists, there are a few movies whose villains have made an impression on audiences.
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In some cases, viewers insist that these antagonists’ characterization is unable to fully grasp the profuse complexity of their personalities. That being said, character judgments are subjective and are regularly disputed within the movie’s fandom.
Despite his Replicant status, Blade Runner‘s Roy Batty somehow breaks free of his coding and murders his creator, Eldon Tyrell, who refuses to acknowledge the former’s desire to express himself openly and without restraint.
This act appears villainous on the surface, but it fulfills the basic requirements for rebellion—the oppressed shedding their yokes and taking matters into their own hands. Batty’s incandescent intelligence and disregard for empathy overlap each other, producing a character who’s just as lost as any human would be in his situation.
Raven integrates into the Xavier household with relative ease, forging a seemingly indestructible bond with her foster brother, Charles. However, their relationship begins fraying at the edges when Erik Lehnsherr enters the picture.
Magneto convinces Raven that she is at her most perfect in her true form: red hair, yellow eyes, and plasticine blue skin. By the end of the movie, Mystique finds herself more in sync with Magneto’s perspective, abandoning Charles to help found the Brotherhood of mutants. She makes a few bad turns in life but eventually returns to the heroes’ side.
Erik Killmonger’s obsession for the throne of Wakanda is the prime mover behind every one of his decisions. His behavior is so egregious that it’s nearly impossible to justify his actions, and he makes it worse by carving every kill into his body like some kind of macabre trophy.
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On the other hand, Erik’s painful childhood and miserable youth are at fault for most of his megalomania. Many viewers can empathize with Erik’s struggles even after he transforms into Killmonger.
Patrick Bateman might be the protagonist of American Psycho, but his diabolical fascination for violence firmly entrenches him as one of cinema’s most chaotic villains. Unfortunately (for him), he doesn’t get to enjoy a reputation of infamy as he’s never blamed for the crimes he commits.
Bateman’s counterpart in the novel by Bret Easton Ellis is somehow more brutal, if such a thing can be imagined. Interestingly, a sizeable fraction of the film’s cult following admires Bateman as an antihero, although he possesses no redeeming qualities.
Tony Montana travels to the U.S. for a new beginning, but the specters of his past refuse to release him. He can only obtain a green card in exchange for assassinating someone for Frank Lopez, a crime that inevitably dominoes into a drug empire within the span of a few years.
While Tony usually takes delight in “offing” his opponents, he makes it clear that harming innocent people (especially children) is out of the question. Tony sadly dies at the end of the movie, but not before delivering his iconic line: “Say hello to my little friend!”
The Joker’s origins are shrouded in mystery; his very existence causes the city of Gotham to erupt in a bubbling mess, forcing Batman into moral choices the hero never expects to make in the first place.
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His role in the movie is largely symbolic, the protagonist’s antithesis, a deluge of conflicting emotions and character traits that serve to realize a single purpose: to spread havoc and confusion. However, the Joker’s schemes indirectly helped clear Gotham of organized crime, showing Batman that there is a limit to what vigilantes can accomplish.
The children who obtain the rare Golden Tickets to the Chocolate Factory are depicted with a fatal flaw—Violet Beauregarde is overly competitive, Mike Teavee is arrogant and churlish, Veruca Salt is spoiled rotten, and Augustus Gloop loves a hearty meal (of candy).
The important thing to note is that these characters are literal children, which means their problematic attitudes can be sourced back to their respective parents. Willy Wonka dismisses a century’s worth of developmental psychology when he uses extreme methods to “discipline” them. And yet, he’s still considered more heroic than otherwise.
Clarice Starling is left with little choice but to cooperate with Hannibal Lecter, a complicated character with a morbidly mosaic history. He is a fine psychiatrist, delving into the roots of human emotion with great precision, but any achievements in this regard are stained by his cannibalistic ventures.
However, Lecter’s sophisticated demeanor, soft tone, and incomparable intelligence lend him an air of dignity and prestige, not to mention the fact that he actually helps Starling identify Buffalo Bill.
Alonzo Harris isn’t exactly a villain, but he’s not the opposite, either. He takes advantage of the very same people his job expects him to protect, doing so with an irresistible charm.
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It’s easy to imagine him as a hero because his rationalizations are incredibly convincing, especially to new cops like Jake Hoyt. Alonzo’s logic is a spiral with no end, as he believes that the outcome of his tactics (and not the means) is the only thing that matters.
The controversy generated by Fight Club was so explosive that its fallout is still evident today. The movie spawned legions of fan clubs across the country, many of which took the meaning of “fight club” to a literal level.
Fight Club‘s “hero” Tyler Durden is supposed to be the narrator’s bad side—toxic masculinity that takes the form of a sly, deceitful, manipulative personality with a penchant for soaps and underground brawls. Several fans hero-worship Tyler Durden, taking his advice about the role of men in modern society to heart. Regardless, the narrator effectively “exorcises” Tyler because the latter isn’t a new age guru, he’s a sociopath with delusions of grandeur.
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Ajay’s natural habitat is his bedroom, which means that his time is spent staring at his TV screen in a hypnotic coma. He tends to rant about the lack of quality programming in his life, but the amount of content he consumes would make even Galactus gassy. You can contact him on Twitter — @stain_dprinc_ss.


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