Villains are the coolest. You can have the most awesome concept for a hero character ever, but if that hero's nemesis is lame, nobody's going to care. A well-crafted antagonist is what makes a story worth watching--or reading (yes, we're including books in our scope of what we consider entertainment here).
In an effort to make this blog post more interesting than your regular "Best/worst movie villains ever" list, we've decided to take a slightly different angle on the subject and explore the best movie bad guys that we as viewers/readers actually want to win.
Important: That means there are some major baddies that may not be on this list. The Joker, for example, is arguably the best bad guy ever; you won't see him on this list because when you watch 'Dark Knight', you want to see how Batman plans to overcome Joker's insane agenda. Deep down you know Gotham is screwed if Bat-Bale and Morgan Freeman don't save the day, no matter how awesome the Joker is.
Everyone loves them some Darth Vader, but had he disemboweled Luke at the end of 'Empire Strikes Back', the audience probably would have called foul.
"No third movie for you."
What follows is a list of antagonists that, for one reason or another, have us all rooting for them:
#3- Zombies, "I Am Legend"
Proving once and for all that test audiences are comprised of complete morons, the ending of "I Am Legend" was changed to what everyone remembers as "That stupid ending with the grenade". The most unfortunate thing about this slapped together explosive finale is that in the original ending, you find out the entire freaking purpose of the movie. The twist at the end that nobody saw coming, the climax of the film, the reason why the book it's based on is so imaginative, all got ruined because a bunch of test audiences were like "I DON'T GET IT THERE WEREN'T ENOUGH EXPLODY THINGS I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR MICHAEL BAY".
The ending this otherwise enjoyable film deserves is genius, take a look-
Zombies are banging on the glass door, Will Smith is shouting at them about how they're all "sick" and how he plans on "saving" them.....and then he gets the point. the dominant race on the planet is no longer humans. In the zombies' eyes, Will Smith is a twisted monster who steals their loved ones when they're asleep and sets traps to kill bunches of them, all while experimenting on their loved ones in his evil lab. Will Smith is the zombies' boogeyman. Thus the freaking title "I Am Legend". That's the twist the entire movie is building towards, the fact that for humans it's over. Bro leading the zombies just wanted his woman back.
Apparently that was too deep of an ending for the test audiences to handle.
"EVERY MOVIE SHOULD BE THIS"- test audiences.
#2- Predator- "Predator"
What a great example of a movie where all the work went into making the bad guy awesome, and everyone else one-dimensional special forces guys waiting to be picked off by the hunters of the universe. All we know about Predator's motivation is they kill other dangerous species for sport, so it's no surprise they came to Earth in search of Ahnold.
Poke holes in the theory if you want, you'd still pay money to see "Terminator VS Predator".
The Predator in the original 1987 film (only three years after "Terminator", just saying) gets beat by a clever Army Major who utilizes his special forces training to fashion booby traps and cover himself in mud. Knowing that it wouldn't be a fair fight, the gentlemanly Predator removes all its murderweapons and mask and proceeds to toy with the muddy major, before getting wrecked by said booby traps.
So the only way for a Predator to lose a fight is to underestimate Arnold Schwarzenegger, which is basically breaking the second rule of living on planet Earth.
The first rule being that, should aliens invade, Will Smith is in charge.
#1- Velociraptors, "Jurassic Park"
They're smart and vicious and, as Dr. Alan Grant makes clear just a few minutes into the movie, "You are alive when they start to eat you". So awesome, they're evil, and the stuff of nightmares, and you know going into the movie that not everybody is making it off of that island.
Problem is, all the wrong characters survive.
First of all, Samuel L. "Hold on to your butts" Jackson dies off-camera and all you see of him towards the end of the movie is his severed arm. But, he's the film's token black guy and I guess we should have all seen that coming.
But then you have Robert Muldoon.
Muldoon is the only person in this movie with any sense at all. His opening line is "They should all be destroyed". He is the only character with enough sense to see that they're all on an island with freaking dinosaurs. He's "hunted most things that can hunt you", a wily survivalist who is by far the most awesome individual in this whole film. He even has that freaky sense all wilderness men with great hats have, when he casually mentions to Laura Dern that they are actively being hunted by the vicious raptors.
Muldoon informs us earlier in the movie that they can run 50-60 miles an hour, they're astonishing jumpers, and they're super scary smart. So scary smart, in fact, that they tragically outwit him late in the film in what is one of best movie deaths ever (made even more awesome by his dying words- if you don't know what scene I'm talking about go watch the movie, it's the only way to get the full effect).
But if the nightmarish razor-clawed deathbeasts kill the most seasoned hunter and outdoorsmen of the group, who else on the island even stands a chance? Well, the movie was made in 1993, which means.....
The bratty kids freaking survive.
Now up to a certain point, everyone in the theater is in the humans' corner, hoping they all escape the island safely. But once the kids survive the T-rex attack on the car, then little Timmy survives an electric shock from a fence meant to contain vicious killer lizards of colossal size, we're all kind of going "umm when are these brats going to finally get it?"
That's why the iconic kitchen scene is so intense; everyone's going "It's finally time, those kids are about to get mauled into kid-colored jelly".
"Alright, pretend like we don't know where he is for a second, let's make this look good for the camera".
And then the kids escape. What the heck? The awesome hunter who wants to kill off the dinosaurs with his really big gun got outsmarted, but the bratty '90s kids escape? What's up with that? Before accusing us of being too gruesome, or pulling the "They couldn't eat the children! The movie would be too dark and wouldn't be very successful" card, let me go ahead and lawyer you with this:
Yeah. Jaws knows no mercy when it comes to kids. Jaws eats whatever has the audacity to enter its watery domain. The wimpy T-rex in Jurassic park killed a guy in the bathroom, Jaws went for anyone and everyone and did it just off of a popular beach, not a remote island.
So there was precedent for taking out at least one of the kids, and the velociraptors were absolutely capable of doing so. They were only beat by a cheap rule of '90s movies, which states that all '90s kids must be invincible technological geniuses.