Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Death of the Intelligent Villain.

In 2009, I would have to say that I went to the cinema less times than any other year. Sure, I showed up for midnight premieres and saw movies no one ever heard of, but I had done that in abundance in 2008. There were really hardly any films I needed to see. Out of those films, I can hardly remember the action movies. I literally looked up all the films in 2009 in case I missed any. I didn't. One other point before I get to the main reason for this blog. I like villains. Villains are interesting characters. They're the people we hate because they go against everything we've been led to believe is good and right in the world. They're destructive and selfish. We secretly envy them their "freedom", but we know the world cannot handle such chaos if everyone became selfish, etc.

The only film that made a lasting impression and stayed with me into 2010 was "Inglorious Basterds." The villain of the piece was Col. Hans Landa of the SS, played marvelously by Christoph Waltz. He was the only intelligent villain of the year! Every other villain I saw was an idiot and predictable! I'll put that down to crappy writing and story-planning. Landa had charisma, cleverness, and was wholly evil. He did everything with a smile that sent chills down your spine. He was almost as good a villain as Hans Gruber, who in my book is the standard of the Intelligent Villain. Landa essentially had several plans during the film, all of which involved him coming out on top. If the Nazis had won, he would have been a decorated officer living the good life in France. Since we know how the movie ended (if you've seen it), we know that he may be rich, living in the States, but the scar on his forehead is probably giving him hell.

"But, Alex, what about 'Avatar?' That was epic!"

Um... No. I cannot deny that the film was visually exciting, especially during the last battle. It was well done. I just don't like CGI or whatever new technology that James Cameron used. It has never impressed me (see The Fall). I could have done without 40 minutes of the movie also. I yawned and sat next to an obnoxious couple who kept digging into their back-pack for junk food and clapping whenever a "happy" moment appeared. They were the people "Avatar" was made for. The "villains" of the movie were the Corporation and Colonel Miles Quaritch. Quaritch, at the beginning of the film, was a good character. He slowly became retarded as the film progressed, ending it with pathetic one-liners and a plan that was doomed to fail and actually not even necessary! He had potential that was wasted for a sappy, happy ending. The fanboys pissed themselves whenever they heard the name of this movie. Good graphics do not equate to a good movie.

The second movie that failed in almost exactly the same way was "Watchmen." Ozymandias was intelligent, but boring. No charm. No daring. He was blah. He was a good villain but the audience could care less. I'm not going to mention the graphic novel since it is far superior to the movie so I'll leave this as is. It'll turn into another paragraph that's not needed here.

Come on, 2010. I need at least 3 films that I'll go crazy for. Give me a villain that will give me a charming smile while knifing me in the gut without me even suspecting it and me still liking him for it. That's all I ask.

1 comment:

B.STANK said...

Excellent thoughts...agree with every point.