Would American society allow for bad guys to win in a big-budget movie?

5,013 Views | 96 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by Cinco Ranch Aggie
Aggie94
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NCNJ1217
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A Usual Suspects thought in relation to this thread (I know the movie's been out 20 years, but spoiler tags for Eliminatus):

In my view, Keyser Soze/Verbal is only the antagonist on the first viewing. After you see it all play out at the very end, each subsequent time you watch the movie he's the protagonist. You are rooting for him the whole way through.
Uncle Boo Boo
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Not sure if this qualifies, but my mother walked out of Les Mis visibly outraged that Jean Valjean escaped justice.
Zombie Jon Snow
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Uncle Boo Boo said:

Not sure if this qualifies, but my mother walked out of Les Mis visibly outraged that Jean Valjean escaped justice.

Wait.... Jean Valjean??? He served 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread and had a difficult life always escaping authorities and living under false names. And he died at the end.

Do you mean Inspector Javert???? I mean he relentlessly pursue Valjean but ended up killing himself in despair for his wrongs.
Uncle Boo Boo
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Yes, the old jailbird Jean Valjean who violated his parole.
schmendeler
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Uncle Boo Boo said:

Not sure if this qualifies, but my mother walked out of Les Mis visibly outraged that Jean Valjean escaped justice.
Does she post on the politics board?
MEEN Ag 05
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This topic was discussed in Swordfish...



....in which the "bad guy" wins.
hunter2012
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I'm still pissed off at Watchemen Rorschach has the most heroic character of the whole bunch and they effing killed him for refusing to maintain the lie..
Muy
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You might enjoy the old flick Very Bad Things. Not sure i'd say "the bad guy won", since pretty much everyone does bad *#+%, but thank me later.
third coast..
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such a great movie
HtownAg92
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Very Bad Things reminded me of Needful Things, which certainly ended with the bad guy on top. No blockbuster but a pretty big cast.
The Debt
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hunter2012 said:

I'm still pissed off at Watchemen Rorschach has the most heroic character of the whole bunch and they effing killed him for refusing to maintain the lie..

But he ends in the end. The lie will not hold because of his journal being printed.
OldShadeOfBlue
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yukmonkey said:

Infinity War
OP disqualified this one. Infinity War ends with the bad guy winning the battle but losing the war thanks to Endgame.
OldShadeOfBlue
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schmendeler said:

Skyfall
Not really
Episode IV
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Prometheus?
hunter2012
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The Debt said:

hunter2012 said:

I'm still pissed off at Watchemen Rorschach has the most heroic character of the whole bunch and they effing killed him for refusing to maintain the lie..

But he ends in the end. The lie will not hold because of his journal being printed.

Which is why I'm looking forward to the show... I sure they do right by him.
Urban Ag
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I think this thread needed some ground rules. To address the question posed by the Op, we should disqualify horror, historic/true events, and crime dramas with no clear cut "good guy" vs. "bad guy". Also, films that are part of a series where the good guys eventually come out on top.

I think what the Op is asking is, could Hollywood pull of a commercially viable film in which evil triumphed over good (excluding the genres listed above).

Examples:
  • Return of the Jedi ends with Palpatine killing Luke. Vader doesn't intervene. The rebel are defeated on Endor and the fleet crushed. Maybe a couple of heroes successfully escape at best. Trilogy ends this way.
  • Marty and Doc are unsuccessful and end up stuck 1885.


Even then, those two "what if" examples are done with the ending of a popular trilogy which would almost certainly be commercially successful just based on the previous films being successful.

My opinion is no. I do not think a big budget, stand alone, non-historic, non-horror, movie with clear cut good guys vs. bad guys would be attempted.
schmendeler
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He killed M which was his stated goal.
hunter2012
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biobioprof
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Brazil.
Average Joe
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Star Wars, Karate Kid, Terminator
AgStuckinLBK
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Primal Fear

Ed Norton getting away with cold blooded murder.
Social Media Influencer
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The Debt said:

hunter2012 said:

I'm still pissed off at Watchemen Rorschach has the most heroic character of the whole bunch and they effing killed him for refusing to maintain the lie..

But he ends in the end. The lie will not hold because of his journal being printed.
For those of you interested in comic book history, I just watched "In Search of Steve Ditko" on YouTube. Found out that Moore based Rorschach partially on a Ditko character (and a little bit on Ditko himself).
TMoney2007
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My Dad Earl said:

Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I think the Joker is the overall winner in the Dark Knight.

Being part of a trilogy, you kind of have to consider the 3 movies together, but a strong argument for good winning can be made in the Dark Knight.

Joker creates chaos, but based on the ferries with the bombs, the people of Gotham were fundamentally good, even when the Joker created a perfect scenario for them to be selfish.

Wayne makes a morally ambiguous decision in creating the sonar network, but then redeems himself when he hands over the power to Fox and allows the network to be destroyed once it served its purpose.

Batman ends the movie on the run for Dent's death, but it was by choice and allowed Dent's fall from grace to serve a greater purpose.

The Joker gets some punches in, but the bad guy got captured and proven wrong about human nature, the big overarching plan of making Dent fall from grace in the public eye failed.

If you add The Dark Knight Rises, Batman saves the city again, and Bruce Wayne gets his happy ending.
Moderator
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just cleaned up a few posts:
stay on topic - there's a politics forum if you want to talk politics
dcAg
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Den of Thieves (although none of the characters were likable)
There Will Be Blood
Cinco Ranch Aggie
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Probably not blockbusters as we think of them in 2019, but check out a couple of old Cold War movies: Fail Safe (Henry Fonda, Walter Matthau, Fritz Weaver; 1964), and The Bedford Incident (Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier: 1965). Both of these movies are tense military/political thrillers and both end with nuclear blasts that kill everyone in their casts.
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