Tuesday, July 9, 2013

When did villains become hot?

There have been a number of trends popping up in pop culture in past years, but the one that I find the funniest is having to do with villains. When did being the villain become sexy? Think about it. In the old days, the bad guys were always the ones you rooted against. You were not supposed to be attracted to them in any ay because their goals were always not supportable. Now, it seems that the trend is to root FOR the bad guys. There are three characters that come to mind when I think of villains that were considered sexy. Loki, Bane and Khan. All three of these characters want to cause chaos and bring down the people that wronged them. And yet, these are the people that got cheered for the most during their respective movies. When I went to see the most recent Star Trek movie, I went to a special pre screening a few days before the actual release and, as you can imagine, the theater was packed. But when the movie started, I noticed that the parts that everyone cheered at were not the ones with Kirk or Spock or anybody from the Enterprise for that matter, the biggest cheer came at the beginning when they first showed Khan's face and at a part where Khan wastes a group of Klingons single handedly.Now I realize that part of that is due to Benedict  Cumberbatch's already existing cult popularity, but even so, he seems to be the only thing people had to talk about with the movie, or at least the only thing people remember. And with Loki, I remember hearing girls swoon when he first made his appearance in The Avengers, and if you look at the trailer for the new Thor movie, you'll see the comments section loaded with people talking about how hot Tom Hiddleston is. Following the release of The Dark Knight Rises, a lot of people were talking about it, but one of the bigger topics of discussion was how hot Bane was. This one really intrigues me because you can't even see his full face. So I've taken the liberty at looking at the similarities between these characters to see why women find them so appealing.

Number 1- none of them are what you think of when you think of somebody who is good looking. Benedict Cumberbatch especially, but even so, he is considered one of the hottest men in show business and his adoring fangirls have a name for themselves: Cumberbitches. I swear I did not make that up.

Number 2- All of them have a past that is less than pleasent. Loki has living in his brother's shadow, Khan was an outcast and Bane was born in a prison and has to where a mask to survive. People are drawn to that, women especially because that just creates a character that you just want to hug. Like all their problems would go away if they were shown some level of comfort.

Number 3- They are all badboys. Though I don't see how this is appealing because all three of them are too far gone down the path of destruction. You'd think people would be smart enough to realize you can't fix any of these characters because of the past that they have and the present environment that they have to deal with. Bane especially because he's apart of a cult that causes destruction as a means of bringing world peace.

Number 4- They all have a goal, and that is to wreek havoc. And that doesn't sound that appealing because if you want to talk relationship wise, they would be too preoccupied with what they are doing to even remember that they are in a relationship.

Number 5- The actors playing them, while they aren't traditionally good looking, are still intelligent and charming in their own right, which is what most of their fanbase is attracted to. And I think that is where most of it comes from, the already existing reputation of the actors selected to play them. I've already mentioned Benedict Cumberbatch but Tom Hardy and Tom Hiddleston both have their own fangirls, and that number just seemed to get bigger once their respective movies came out. And I think that's why most audiences ended up liking these characters. While the actors are considered hot, they also turned in really good and convincing performances.

So, of the things that they all have in common, probably the biggest appeal comes from both 2 and 5. People seem to be drawn to people that they can fix. In most cases this would fall under the badboy category, but since all of three of these people are, you know, mass murderers and terrorists, I think it's the fact that most of their issues comes from their troubled past that makes people want to fix them and remind them that if things had been different, they could have been a better person. Of course they all have their own reasons for being considered so hot, but since those three stood out the most, I wanted to see what they all had in common, which is not that much, given that they are all from different movie franchises that all have their own unique style and approach.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree with your points! The actors certainly bring a fanbase with them that will always love the characters they portray without regard to the character's intent and actions.
    But I was also thinking that all of your above mentioned villains seem to have this very hidden, but also somewhat good side to them. I feel that women are absolutely hoping for this deep down goodness/humanity to win out. Perhaps women's attraction to villains is not so much that they could be comforted, but that they could be heros "if only" something would have been different for these villains. I think the possibility of the hero within a villain is another reason villains turn from monsters of chaos to relatable, even lovable characters.
    In the end, I would say adding these flashes of humanity and heroics to villains only serves to make movies much more realistic. The line between bad and good is not clear cut. In the words of Hayao Miyazaki, "The villains are all parts of me. For years I've been wondering what it would be like if all those negative elements were forced onto the main character's side. I can understand a character with that kind of anger."
    Although fangirling does not necessarily mean that women are deeply exploring the nature of both good and bad in the hero and villain soul, perhaps it is a good start to have not as clear-cut bad guys.
    Not that I'm saying all villains secretly have a heart of gold and everyone should love them. But I think the movies, at least recently, have tried to portray that both good and bad are present inside everyone, even the villains.