Villains In Action Movies Need To Bring Their Dance Game
These days, being a villain in a movie is all about the spectacle. To make an entertaining and memorable villain, all you need is one slick and/or show-stopping wardrobe, at least one over-the-top, deranged villainous speech, and one Fred Astaire complex. Yes, it seems that the bad guys in our modern-day action movies simply have to show us that they, too, enjoy a bit of the ol' dancing.
There’s Jim Carrey as Doctor Eggman dancing like a stripper in Sonic the Hedgehog:
There’s the villain introduction in Bloodshot that’ll either enhance or ruin your enjoyment of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” forever:
There’s Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs kicking it like your uncle at a wedding:
There’s Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer from Iron Man 2 busting a move like Elon Musk wishes he could:
And then there’s this elaborate musical number from Gamer that were so incredibly bonkers that we won’t be surprised if many people went ahead and immediately blocked it from their memories:
Of course, there’s the famous Joker dance that we probably don’t have to show you because it’s seared into everyone’s brains by now, but Phoenix’s character was hardly the first Joker to pretend like his real dream has always been to star in a Broadway show:
Sure, clowns dancing kind of make sense. They’re traditionally part of the entertainment industry anyway, and pretending to be a dancing, happy fool before gleefully murdering someone just adds to their overall creepiness (see Pennywise the Clown doing this demonic jig in IT ). And that might be the key here because joking around with the whole “Look, I dance (terribly) with such joy and whimsy!” and then torturing and killing people are two completely different states of mind, or at least for most people they are. It’s unnerving to see a guy who goes around murdering others suddenly pull out a lip-sync-and-moonwalk routine like he wants to go viral on TikTok. It’s chaos and violence, perfectly captured in a “white men can’t dance, but dominance makes them happy” kind of way.
This modern trend of bad guys needing a musical number in a non-musical movie can probably be traced back to the success of the shocking “Singing in the Rain” routine in A Clockwork Orange. After all, it’s a sure way to show a movie villain exerting his power over others and loving it.
Except for any action movie starring Sam Rockwell. He just likes dancing in everything (and is pretty damn good at it).
Zanandi is on Twitter and wrote a comic for Trailer Park Boys that you can order here.
Top Image: Warner Bros. Pictures