Hollywood has a very simple formula when it comes to its heroes: You root for the person you’re told to root for. Yes, even if the film’s evil antagonist is just some lowly municipal worker, or a Holocaust survivor, or someone else you would probably consider a role model if you happened to have the same unbelievably bad luck that they did.
6. The Star Wars Saga
Why you’re told to hate them:
Because the Jedi Council says so, that’s why! They must be killed on the spot with no mercy, no fair trial, and no exceptions.
Pictured: The Star Wars equivalent of an all-white jury.
Why they’re not all that bad: Picture walking just one day in Sith shoes, let alone being conceived by midichlorians in them.
From the instant they taste air, Sith are declared enemies by the very same Jedi Order that punished them to near-extinction—aka, genocide—1,000 years ago. That’s kind of hypocritical coming from a self-governing religious body that spends the whole prequel trilogy preaching about balance and harmony. If anything, the Jedi Council’s idea of bringing balance to the Force is for one side to have a monopoly over the other.
Case in point: Mace Windu’s refusal to put Emperor Palpatine on trial out of fear that they might lose the case, opting instead for immediate execution.
Who says only a Sith deals in absolutes?
5. The X-Men franchise
Why you’re told to hate him: For several reasons, but the chief reason being that he’s not Charles Xavier.
The other reason is his rad helmet.
Why he’s not all that bad: While we’ll be the first to say that mutant-sponsored terrorism is bad, it’s not like Magneto was some random lunatic making blind accusations about the world on FOX News. The man survived the Holocaust and correctly called out a genocide when he saw one unfolding in the United States.
Replace “mutants” with “gays” and this guy becomes Rick Santorum.
Granted his plan in X-Men was an epic failure, we attribute that more too bad writing than a character flaw. Don’t believe us? Find us one person who thought Storm’s quip about lightning and toads was hysterical.
Case in point: Every single claim Magneto made about the war between humans and mutants throughout the X-Men films was spot-on. In First Class, he correctly predicted that the Americans and Soviets would upon fire upon them in Cuba. In X-Men, he was correct about the Mutant Registration Act being used for dark purposes; mutants were kidnapped, enslaved, and subjected to scientific experiments by uniformed soldiers in X2. In X-Men: The Last Stand, we saw Magneto proved right yet again about the Cure being used as a weapon against mutants.
If anything, the case could be made that Magneto understands humanity better than Charles Xavier ever did, never mind mutants.
“Cause of death: Charles Xavier.”
4. Walter Peck, Ghostbusters
Why you’re told to hate him: Let there be no misunderstanding: the man has no dick. Also, just about every wild accusation he made about ghosts and ghost-busting turned out to be wrong, so seriously, he has no dick.
Just making that clear.
Why he’s not all that bad: Now that Reagan is no longer president and climate change is confirmed, it’s pretty safe to say that the EPA is not all that evil; at least not anymore. In this case, Walker Peck did what any government official should have done with the Ghostbusters: pay them a visit, ask them questions, and then make an official report for the government based on what he found there. Just because Peter Venkman is as bad a representative to the EPA as he was to Columbia University is no reason to hate the system. Peck was simply a messenger, while Venkman was, well… Venkman.
Case in point: No matter how irritating Peck was as a minor antagonist, was it really worth dumping several hundred gallons of melted Stay Puft Marshmallow Man on him at the end?
Just like this.
3. The Replicants, Blade Runner
Why you’re told to hate them: Because it’s a blade runner’s job to “retire” them. Also, because of that whole killing thing they’re so very good at.
As pictured here.
Why they’re not all that bad: Yes, the replicants kill quite a lot of people throughout the movie, but at the end of the day they’re just trying to make a living—and we stress living. Seriously, they have timers on about to go off just like that movie In Time, only with glowing eyeballs instead of forearms.
Now that we explained that, please don’t ever see this movie.
At the end of the day, these replicants have jobs, apartments, and pay their taxes just like everyone else; they just want is to stay alive. Can you really blame them for behaving probably the same way we would if our lifetime warranty was about to expire?
Case in point: The only reason we think they’re the bad guys instead of heroes is because Harrison Ford is the title character, but… [SPOILERS] he’s a replicant too!
Also, Rutger Hauer is Christ.
2. Mrs. Tingle, Teaching Mrs. Tingle
Why you’re told to hate her: Because she incorrectly assumes Katie Holmes cheated on a test, thus ruining Katie’s plans to become valedictorian and move out of town.
And, eventually, cause this.
Why she’s not all that bad: First and foremost, we should point out that Mrs. Tingle is played by the great Helen Mirren, which should be all the reason in the world for her to be given at least some sympathy.
So, granted Mrs. Tingle is the single biggest asshole in school, knocking her unconscious and holding her hostage at her own home is grounds enough for jail time, never mind expulsion. Besides, it is made very clear in the film that even the faculty know Mrs. Tingle is a hardass. While she would have undoubtedly tried to get our heroine expelled, the whole matter would have probably been diffused once it was revealed that Days of Our Lives actor Barry Watson set the whole stupid plan of trying to pull a fast one past Mrs. Tingle into motion.
Case in point: Seriously, it’s all the soap opera actor’s fault. Barry Watson steals Mrs. Tingle’s test, stuffs it in Katie Holmes’ backpack, starts bringing crossbows into the equation at Mrs. Tingle’s home, and quickly escalated a silly teen drama into a felony. In the end, Helen Mirren is arrested for attempting to murder three assailants during a home invasion, during which she was tied up, knocked unconscious, and repeatedly threatened with a crossbow.
Ask yourself, who is the real victim here?
Clearly not this guy.
1. Dean Wormer, National Lampoon’s Animal House
Why you’re told to hate him: He has the voice of a super-villain, he has the single Waspiest fraternity on campus in his back pocket, and he puts everyone’s beloved Delta House under double-secret probation after a few minor indiscretions involving ladies’ underwear and exploding toilets.
No word on Bluto’s voyeurisms, however.
Why he’s not all that bad: Dean Wormer is undoubtedly a villain in this movie. He clearly hates the film’s most memorable characters, and that move where he notified the local draft boards about Delta’s status was just downright cruel. But still, it is pretty difficult to not sympathize with him at his job.
Or, you know, the fact that he’s a cuckold to boot.
Delta House is not just a bunch of bad apples. They’re drunks and cheats. In one part, Wormer says that they even fed the medical school cadavers to an alumni dinner. That’s Hannibal Lecter-level insanity on Delta’s part. If anything, Dean Wormer was being merciful by not calling in the FBI on that mess.
Case in point: Between Wormer’s marriage being ruined and his job on the brink, there was the town mayor extorting money out of him. Honestly, we couldn’t help but feel bad for him in that scene. Also, nobody deserves to have a horse chainsawed in their office. Not even Dean Wormer.
In all fairness, that horse had it coming.
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