Thursday, June 21, 2007

Question: Does The Bad Guy Ever Win?

One advantage to working in a warehouse is it gives me and my co-worker the opportunity to wax poetic on a variety of subjects from Southpark, to pro-wrestling, and even the occassional question about race. Today we were on the subject of movies, mainly our problem with too many sequels and we can usually figure out the story line and how it should end. Let's face it, unless you go the foreign or independent route you aren't going to find many original movies. How many times can you watch the movie where an underdog team goes on to beat the bullies from the other side of town with the help of their reluctant and flawed coach who somehow manages to make them a winning team? Or how a guy gets a woman, but does something to lose the woman, but realises he's done something stupid to lose the woman and is somehow able to get them back again? Or my personal favorite, there is a monster lurking somewhere that is killing people off so everyone dies except one person who manages to kill the big bad beasty? Then my co-worker brought up an interesting point how he'd like to see one movie where the bad guy wins and the good guy loses. At first we coudln't come up with any movies where that occurs. The few movies I thought came close still cheesed out in the long run. Can you think of any movies where the bad guy wins and the good guy looses? I have come up with one. This is my challenge to you my faithful cube heads. What can you come up with?

Also, on a heavier note I will also be contributing to the conversation about war and peace over at a new blog started by Unbelievable called War Kills...Or At Least Tries To. Go and check it out. Join in on the conversation.

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:14 PM


Blogger Rick said...

My wife and I felt that Topher Grace in IN GOOD COMPANY had an atypical character for a movie. I liked it, she didn't - because the guy doesn't get the girl in the end, doesn't really get the job, etc. Also, just in one film, REVENGE OF THE SITH doesn't end well for anyone, except we know what comes next.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous MMM said...

In Pay it Forward, the good kid gets killed by a bunch of bad ones at the end. And in Higher Learning, the white supremacists kill the good girl and get no punishment.

Just two examples from my menu of movies. But the real problem with the bad guy winning is that we still have hope it's temporary, because of the whole thing about Jesus setting all things good eventually. So....

6:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Momento Great film the hero... well see it if you haven't. You decide if the villian wins in the end...

5:09 PM  
Blogger RC said...

i don't know if you saw my comment when you asked this on my blog...

but Ocean's 11 is the excellent answer.

In the original rat pack version the "heisters" get caught and put in jail.

in the modern version Clooney's crew gets off freely.

It's more of a protagonist/antagonist issue that good guy/bad guy in many modern's not about his right but it's about who we care about winning.

11:29 AM  
Blogger dorsey said...

Yeah, but the Ocean's 11 villain-win is like Payback, where Mel Gibson is a bad guy who wins, but only against worse guys.

I think the real question is one of evil triumphing over good. One that might come close is Seven. The bad guy beats a good guy (Brad Pitt) by sufficiently provoking him to wrath. Does that qualify? It certainly was a downer.

Was Othello a film? The bad guy was the last man standing in that one, I think.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I think Se7en is a great example, although one could argue that there is a sense a light at the end of the film, since Morgan Freeman's character decides to get back in the game of fighting evil.

Othello was indeed a film (a few times in fact), but in the play itself although Iago manages most of his ends, he is sent to prison to await justice while Cassio is still alive, albeit without Othello or Desdemona...

Going to horror I think you find a few examples, notably Night of the Living Dead (film ends with Ben getting shot by rednecks mistaking him for a zombie) and The Ring (didn't like the US version, but I think it ends the same way as the Korean version - the boy is saved by spreading the virus, in the US to a Blockbuster, in the Korean to his grandparents).

But a non-genre film? REALLY hard to think of one...great post!!

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Ophalion said...

The Usual Suspects - one of my all time favorites. This is a true, "really bad guy gets away with it" movie.

Silence of the Lambs/Hannibal - Although there was always another, worse bad guy in all of the Hannibal films, Hannibal making his escape in both of these seems to fit the bill to me. And that's even considering that they drastically changed the ending to the movie Hannibal from the book of the same title.

Primal Fear - not only does the bad guy get away with his crime, he manages to rip the floor right out from underneath you while doing it.

Fight Club - arguably, Durden isn't exactly the worst bad guy around. He not really killing/maiming/torturing innocent people or anything like that, but I think it still counts.

10:05 AM  

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