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

5,113 Views | 96 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by Cinco Ranch Aggie
Eliminatus
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I am convinced I am a baddie. My favorite things are stuff like the Sith, House Slytherin, #ThanosDidNothingWrong, Team Cersei, Hail Hydra, etc. For as long as I can remember.

That being said, I love it when the bad guys win. But it doesn't happen on screen very often. Or at all really. It's the ultimate trope. Good always beats evil. I can only think of one movie I have seen where the bad guys absolutely unequivocally triumph and that was Arlington Road. I loved that movie as a kid because it went against the grain. It didn't do well though at the box office though and was quickly forgotten.

So my question is, will this ever happen again? CAN it even happen these days? Just an absolute total domination of evil over good? And I am talking final end product. No "evil is winning just so the good has something to battle back from" kinda script like Empire Strikes Back. (Fantastic movie regardless of course) But a true standalone victory.
AtlAg05
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oragator
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Defends how you define bad guy,

The usual suspects for instance, is he the hero or the villain?
astros4545
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AG
My first thought was Arlington road as well

But maybe wanting to limit the size of government made him a good guy, who is to judge?!?!
spanky
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AG
Karate Kid
Brian Earl Spilner
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GoT Seasons 1-3
bobinator
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I think if it ever were going to happen it would be these days. We're like at peak cynical at this point.

But I think it's hard just on a functional level.
jenn96
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The Godfather.
bobinator
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Is anyone the 'good guy' in The Godfather?

There are plenty of movies where outlaws triumph over the police or whatever. But in those stories they're the 'good guy' so I'm not sure that counts.
SoulSlaveAG2005
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Seven... bad guy won
bobinator
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Terminator 3 kind of?
HoustonAg2106
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No country for old men and silence of the lambs
bobinator
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I think these two are kind of the question I'm asking, the evil guy is the protagonist, so does that really count?
jenn96
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bobinator said:

Is anyone the 'good guy' in The Godfather?

There are plenty of movies where outlaws triumph over the police or whatever. But in those stories they're the 'good guy' so I'm not sure that counts.

I always saw it as Good Michael is destroyed by Bad Michael. By the end of Godfather 2 (I've always considered them as one movie narratively) it's clear that Michael has destroyed everything inside himself that made him the brash young Marine was going to carve his own path, from the opening scenes of the movie. He beat his enemies but ended the movie in full recognition of what he'd become. It's a very clear triumph of evil over good.
jenn96
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If that's too esoteric, how about Fallen with Denzel Washington?
HoustonAg2106
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bobinator said:

I think these two are kind of the question I'm asking, the evil guy is the protagonist, so does that really count?


Jarvier Bardem was the protagonist?
bobinator
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I dunno... that movie is hard. I assumed the real basis of the question is whether the person/team/whatever the audience is "for" in the movie can completely lose.

But I'm not sure we're really "for" anyone in that movie.
taxpreparer
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The Omen
Rosemary's Baby

These two come to mind, but it has bee so long I do not remember the endings clearly.
***It's your money, not theIRS! (At least for a little while longer.)
HoustonAg2106
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bobinator said:

I dunno... that movie is hard. I assumed the real basis of the question is whether the person/team/whatever the audience is "for" in the movie can completely lose.

But I'm not sure we're really "for" anyone in that movie.


Fair enough
expresswrittenconsent
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The "bad" guy wins in enough mainstream American movies to IMO make the OP a bit of a flawed premise.

But that being said,
Rocky
Empire Strikes Back

Usual Suspects, and Silence of the Lambs, No Country, se7en previously mentioned definitely qualify.


amercer
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Heat would have been an all time great movie if De Niro had just kept driving at the end.
Goat Man
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Pacific Heights
Goat Man
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And to answer your question I think Javier wins in No Country
mazag08
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Friday Night Lights
NoahAg
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Primal Fear
GiveEmHellBill
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Eliminatus
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expresswrittenconsent said:

The "bad" guy wins in enough mainstream American movies to IMO make the OP a bit of a flawed premise.

But that being said,
Rocky
Empire Strikes Back

Usual Suspects, and Silence of the Lambs, No Country, se7en previously mentioned definitely qualify.





Bad guys don't win at the end for those first two. Even mentioned ESB specifically in my OP.

Never seen Usual Suspects. And I had completely forgotten about Se7en! Another fantastic movie!
expresswrittenconsent
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The bad guy doesnt win at the end of Rocky, when the title character loses the final fight?
bigjag19
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Rudy
redline248
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Would the AI in Ex Machina be considered the bad guy?

Is there a movie version of 1984?
Stupe
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S
expresswrittenconsent said:

The bad guy doesnt win at the end of Rocky, when the title character loses the final fight?
Rocky's goal was never to win the fight, but to put up a good fight.

His own manager called him a waste of life because he had a good heart, but was muscle for a loan shark.

I would say that his character lost the battle but won the war.
coastsrs
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I was pulling for cersie
john32f
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Invasion of the body snatchers is a straight up loss for the good guys. Seems like a lot of horror movies fit the bill.
yukmonkey
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Infinity War
third coast..
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Well, earth DOES get blown up in hitchhikers guide.
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