Most sympathetic and least sympathetic comic book movie villains?

The Overlord

Well-Known Member
Who are the most sympathetic and least sympathetic comic book movie villains?

My picks:

Most sympathetic: Dr. Octopus

Least sympathetic: TDK Joker
 

SSJmole

Face-Punching As Foreign Policy
You are just saying that because Nuclear Man sucks. :wink::p

That, and I can't sympathise with a man born out of a nuclear explosion and strands of DNA. At least DKJ you could think "He's obviously in insane so has a mental disability. Nuclear man is just sorta there and evil.:lol:
 

Willverine

Well-Known Member
I'd pick Dr. Octopus, Sandman, Harry-Goblin, Two-Face and Devito's Penguin as some of the more obviously sympathetic villains. Penguin might seem like a strange choice, but I remember watching Batman Returns and feeling really sorry for him. He was all jacked up looking, everyone picked on him and his parents abandoned him. I understood how that could mess up your worldview. Keaton did a pretty good job of making me feel like Batman felt bad about having to beat him to death, too. Well played sirs, that was the last good Batman movie before Christian Bale took the cowl.

That being said, you can throw most of the Clooney/Kilmer Batman films' villains into least sympathetic because they were so ridiculous you wanted them to die. Even Arnold trying to be hearfelt as Mr. Freeze didn't tug at any of my heart strings. Every villain from Punisher: War Zone makes that list as well for mostly the same reason. Generic La Cosa Nostra types with overdone "Brooklyn" accents, no thanks! You dying in a fire is the best part of such a movie. Vinnie Jones as Juggernaut was weak and underwhelming, too. I didn't care about him at all.

Under the more serious microscope...

Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin was a dick, and there was no real explanation to it. He was cruel to his son, didn't like to be told 'no' and considered being a terrorist against his own company better than listening to his board of directors and his assistants. Dafoe was perfect, because Norman Osborn is supposed to be a dick. If I'd had any sympathy for Goblin in this movie, it would have sucked.

William Stryker (Brian Cox version) was also void of any sympathetic character traits. Not even having a lobotomized mutant son in a wheelchair could change that, considering he's the one who had him lobotomized and pretty much hated him. Add to that, he wanted to kill every last mutant on the planet. He was a lot like Dick Cheney. You could see Stryker enjoying a nice brunch of dead mutant baby benedict and a nice glass of freshly squeezed mutant blood. X2 was awesome, but it could've been better if Wolverine had blade-punched his face instead of chaining him to the landing gear of his getaway craft.

Kevin Spacey's Lex Luthor, too. Superman Returns was boring but Spacey was like Dafoe as Goblin. He was just plain a dick, and being a dick always works. Just ask Billy Zabka, Jeremy Piven or Bradley Whitford.
 

The Overlord

Well-Known Member
Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin was a dick, and there was no real explanation to it. He was cruel to his son, didn't like to be told 'no' and considered being a terrorist against his own company better than listening to his board of directors and his assistants. Dafoe was perfect, because Norman Osborn is supposed to be a dick. If I'd had any sympathy for Goblin in this movie, it would have sucked.

Agreed, Gobby doesn't work as sympathetic.


William Stryker (Brian Cox version) was also void of any sympathetic character traits. Not even having a lobotomized mutant son in a wheelchair could change that, considering he's the one who had him lobotomized and pretty much hated him. Add to that, he wanted to kill every last mutant on the planet. He was a lot like Dick Cheney. You could see Stryker enjoying a nice brunch of dead mutant baby benedict and a nice glass of freshly squeezed mutant blood. X2 was awesome, but it could've been better if Wolverine had blade-punched his face instead of chaining him to the landing gear of his getaway craft.

I thought he was interesting as well, his status as a complete monster made him an interesting contrast to the more sympathetic Magneto and almost justifies most Magneto's extreme acts. He's even more monstrous in the comics, he was somewhat less evil in the movie.

Kevin Spacey's Lex Luthor, too. Superman Returns was boring but Spacey was like Dafoe as Goblin. He was just plain a dick, and being a dick always works. Just ask Billy Zabka, Jeremy Piven or Bradley Whitford.

I didn't have a problem with Lex being a dick in Superman Returns, he is a dick in the comic. I had a problem with him being a moron in SR, because Lex is supposed to be smart. Lex isn't the Joker, he doesn't kill millions of people for no reason, he should have better plan or purpose then the one in the film.

Iron Monger, Abomination and Bullseye are all pretty unsympathetic as well, Bullseye killing the old woman was both evil and amusing. Liked all them as villains.

Movie Dr. Doom is pretty unsympathetic, but even worse, he is pretty lame. Making Doom is pretty unforgivable, so movie Doom may be the least sympathetic villain ever. :wink:
 
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Gemini

Well-Known Member
Cause I wanna be an unsympathetic antagonist so you can make a thread about me

:lol:
 

Gothamite

Well-Known Member
Great topic for a thread, :)

I think Norman Osborn was somewhat sympathetic. Throughout the movie, you can tell that he only wants what's best for Harry. It's only once the Goblin takes over that he becomes pure evil. Doc Ock had pretty much the exact same arc as Norman, except with a wife rather than a son, so yeah, he was pretty sympathetic too. He also had the benefit of being able to redeem himself at the end.

I would argue against Magneto being sympathetic. The only time he ever shows any concern or regret throughout the three movies is when he does his (very schlocky) "What have I done?!" line in the third one.

As for the least sympathetic, that's a tricky one, because there are a lot of bargain bin, two-dimensional, pure evil comic-book-movie-villains out there. Bullseye, Doctor Doom (in both the not-bad-but-not-good-either 2005 movie and the I-want-to-stab-my-eyes-this-is-so-bad 1994 version), Nuclear-Man, etc.

My favourite of the 'non-sympathetic' villains would probably be Gene Hackman's Luthor who was just utterly vampiric and sadistic, even though he was bumbling and comedic at the same time. He never once seems like he might be insane, he just seems as though his entire morality and ethical system is based on the suffering of others.

SUPERMAN: "Is that how a warped brain like yours gets its kicks? By planning the deaths of innocent people?"

LUTHOR: "No. By causing the deaths of innocent people."


I love a lot of what Spacey did, and he certainly looked a lot more like Luthor, but his performance (like basically everything in that movie) is hampered by a poor, weird plot and dialogue built on impersonating the original movie.

[youtube]iMAvkC0oErQ[/youtube]

Nicholson and Ledger both come a joint second, but because they were obviously completely insane, they're not quite as fascinating.
 
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SSJmole

Face-Punching As Foreign Policy
I would argue against Magneto being sympathetic. The only time he ever shows any concern or regret throughout the three movies is when he does his (very schlocky) "What have I done?!" line in the third one.

I think we have what this thread means mixed up. I chose Magneto as "Most sympathetic" I thought = the bad guy you sympathise with the most. Which is Magneto as we see him a a small child in the camp, we see how the world treats mutants e.g ...


However you say no Most sympathetic as you you thought "Most sympathetic" = the bad guy who showed the most sympathy towards what he done. Which yes excludes Magneto and I agree. So I guess now I'm asking the The Overlord which did he mean?
 

Gothamite

Well-Known Member
I think we have what this thread means mixed up. I chose Magneto as "Most sympathetic" I thought = the bad guy you sympathise with the most. Which is Magneto as we see him a a small child in the camp, we see how the world treats mutants e.g ...


However you say no Most sympathetic as you you thought "Most sympathetic" = the bad guy who showed the most sympathy towards what he done. Which yes excludes Magneto and I agree. So I guess now I'm asking the The Overlord which did he mean?

Oh, right.

I would call this 'The CBMovie Villain with whom you sympathise the most/least' thread then, in that case.
 

The Overlord

Well-Known Member
I think we have what this thread means mixed up. I chose Magneto as "Most sympathetic" I thought = the bad guy you sympathise with the most. Which is Magneto as we see him a a small child in the camp, we see how the world treats mutants e.g ...


However you say no Most sympathetic as you you thought "Most sympathetic" = the bad guy who showed the most sympathy towards what he done. Which yes excludes Magneto and I agree. So I guess now I'm asking the The Overlord which did he mean?

I meant most sympathetic as the villain you sympathetic either do to their backstory or actions, if I just talked about their actions then would ask how noble they were.
 

David Blue

Well-Known Member
Least sympathetic: Satan, in Constantine (2005).

As played by Peter Stormare, he was at least 99% evil with no redemption, possible, but he was still lively on screen, unlike a lot of other one-dimensional villains that were boring.

Most sympathetic: Mystique, from the X-Men movies.

We understand how she became like this ("...people like you are the reason I was afraid to go to school..." "My family tried to kill me, you pathetic meat sack. ") we understand why she won't conform to society and hide ("Because we shouldn't have to."), we see her display amazing resourcefulness and total loyalty to Magneto, regularly, rescuing the boss and never saying word one about him having needed to be rescued, and generally she plays the the pure knight to Magneto's king, or the ideal samurai, or whatever your image of the ideal, deserving henchman is ... and then, because she took the dart for her boss... Ouch! Yes, I was sympathetic.
 
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