5 Films That Accidentally Made The Villain The Nicest Person
Most cinematic villains are dramatically, outrageously, cacklingly evil. And they have one simple job: Make Ben Affleck or Mark Wahlberg look like paragons of virtue in comparison. But sometimes, a movie will turn its intended baddie into the nicest person in the cast without even realizing it. When you think about it, it was awfully kind of these "evil" scoundrels to do stuff like ...
The Soviets Flew Rocky's Wife To Russia Just So She Could Support Him
Rocky IV is set in that far-flung distant era when Russia was America's biggest international rival, if you can imagine such a thing. After Rocky accepts an invitation to the Soviet Union in order to box the evil Ivan Drago, his wife Adrian tells him he can't win, and they get into an argument. Rocky embarks on the journey without her. He flies out to the frozen Russian wilderness ...
... and lands at a super remote outpost with armed guards. He then gets into a car and is driven even further into nothingness, where he resides in a frozen cabin.
Rocky performs the movie's obligatory training montage here, in the middle of nowhere. Then, one day, Adrian suddenly shows up, having decided she's actually OK with the fight for no real reason.
Unless Adrian has magical teleportation powers, that means she contacted the Soviet government and got herself admitted behind the Iron Curtain and flown into Russia at the height of the Cold War, then driven out to the cabin a million miles from nowhere in this frozen wasteland.
That's extremely nice of those supposedly heartless Soviets. Getting Rocky alone to this place was an elaborate and presumably expensive endeavor. And they were totally cool with flying his wife there as well, after she changed her mind about the trip like a couple days later? Super chill of them, honestly. Maybe there's something to this whole communism thing ...
Bane Kept Gotham City Super Clean
In The Dark Knight Rises, Bane takes all of Gotham hostage. The streets are patrolled by Batmobiles (but, like, evil ones), Scarecrow runs a kangaroo court for the rich, and the masses live in fear and despair.
And yet ... the guy sure could run a city. Here's a scene from Batman Begins which is roughly 80 percent trash.
And here's the same city after five months of Mayor Bane:
Gotham has never looked so clean. We guarantee there's more trash on your street than on the one up there. And that's everywhere. Even the edges of the city looks pretty clean, leaving aside the big pile of cars blocking this tunnel:
Those trees have been pruned! Is the Gotham Parks Department still running? Are they being paid? Has Bane done that? Does he have to balance a budget and attend cabinet meetings? Does he wear a tie over his usual getup during those?
Of course, then Batman comes back from his vacation and immediately starts burning public property and breaking shit. He does more damage to Gotham in five hours than Bane did in five months. This movie is about a masked vigilante literally cleaning the streets of Gotham before some rich vandal ruins everything. Bane was the hero Gotham needed, but didn't deserve.
Cruella De Vil Tried To Protect Her Protege's Career
Cruella de Vil is the villain of Disney's 101 Dalmatians, but if you put aside her name, look, and overall desire to murder and skin a truckload of puppies, we're left with a caring boss trying to look out for her underlings.
In the 1996 live-action version, Dalmatian owner Anita is a designer working for Cruella's fashion company. Anita is clearly Cruella's favorite, and has a promising future in the industry ... until she meets some loser played by Jeff Daniels. When she hears that Anita might quit her job once she gets married, Cruella laments (in her way) the loss of such a bright young professional.
Cruella even comments that Anita could be rich and famous working for other companies, so it's not a purely selfish concern -- it's the fact that Anita's obvious talent will go to waste. Later, Cruella pays the couple a visit in their less-than-impressive home, and doesn't hide how disappointed she is that Anita traded her career for having a child with some schmuck. But does she find an excuse to fire her, like an evil villain would? Nope. Instead, she offers Anita a more relaxed workload to ease her pregnancy. More like "Gooda de GreatBoss."
The name might need some work.
Cruella is a fiercely independent woman who had to fight to get to where she is, and who is disheartened to see her protege put her career aside to conform to traditional gender norms. So disheartened, in fact, that she seeks refuge in her other passion: murdering puppies. Which, to be clear, Cracked does not condone, even if you're a super great boss.
In Major League, Hiring Obscure Players And Then Releasing Them Would Help Their Careers
In Major League, Rachel Phelps, the new owner of the Cleveland Indians, tells her general manager to sign a bunch of cheap, obscure, no-name baseball misfits in order to drop attendance enough to justify relocating the team to Florida (thus becoming the Cleveland Floridas). What kind of villain would ruin these poor players' lives by using them as pawns in her evil relocation scheme? The answer is "not applicable," because this plan would have helped all those players tremendously.
Midway through the film, the team is actually playing rather well (as ragtag groups of misfits are wont to do), and a number of previously obscure or discarded players have really flourished. But as the team's success grows, the manager drops the bombshell about the owner's true intentions, saying she assembled them to lose intentionally. And if the players don't lose, "she'll replace you with somebody who will."
But ... that's great for the players. If they get released after playing really well and getting tons of exposure, other teams would be clamoring to sign them. They'd make more money as free agents, and they'd get on better teams not beholden to city-switching shenanigans. Even the manager would assuredly get hired by another, bigger team after guiding this group of total losers to the playoffs.
Rachel doesn't give a shit either way, of course, but that doesn't change the fact that her whole experiment turns out to be the perfect opportunity for a bunch of washed-up veterans and flawed prospects to get their games on track and fix their careers. The movie should have ended with the team carrying her off the field, Rudy-style.
The Bad Guy's Plan In Last Action Hero Would Have Brought Peace To Countless Universes
The villain in Last Action Hero, Benedict, obtains a magical, universe-hopping ticket, and he plans to use it to bring all of the greatest movie villains into the real world. Why? Because "in this world, the bad guys can win."
"... the presidency" is implied.
Benedict specifically mentions Dracula, King Kong, Freddy Krueger, Hannibal Lecter, and Rosemary's baby. But the thing is, the real world is probably the universe best suited to fighting off these monsters. Even ten-year-olds here know all of Dracula's weaknesses, unlike in his own universe. Hannibal Lecter happens to look exactly like Sir Anthony Hopkins -- not a hard dude to find. King Kong and Freddy Krueger would suddenly be beholden to real-world physics, and thus susceptible to bullets, among other things. Rosemary's baby was still a baby by the end of that film, and babies are extremely easy to fight.
Meanwhile, all the movie universes of these respective characters would have their biggest threats eradicated. Benedict's plan would have essentially purged all great evil from the multiverse. Instead, Arnold blows Benedict away, in what is admittedly Charles Dance's coolest death scene ever.
Spencer Thew aspires to one day reach the heights of villainy, but until then he will continue to slum it as just an asshole.
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