08 August 2012

A Good Bad Guy

Warning: The following may contain spoilers.

"All men must choose between two paths. Good is the path of honour, heroism, and nobility. Evil... well, it's just cooler."

"Well, this is a strange turn of events... " I watched Megamind last night, and it's an amazing movie. The protagonist is the "bad guy." And it's a Dreamworks family film. What a great idea. Really.

There's nothing more "been there; done that" than repeating the same formulaic plot over and over: good guy fights bad guy; good guy wins; good guy gets the girl. That's the genius of this movie. They play with those tired tropes and twist them around and make something new and fresh. At one point, Megamind's friend Minion says, "I may not know much, but I do know this: The bad guy doesn't get the girl!" But what if he does? (And yes, his name is Minion. So awesome.)

Megamind says to Titan, "I'm the villain, you're the good guy! I do something bad, then you come and get me!" But is Titan really the good guy? And is Megaman really the bad guy? Unlike a lot of "kids movies" it isn't quite so black and white.

I've always loved the good bad guy character. You know, the one who's technically working against the good guys, but has redeeming qualities. Can you think of any other examples? Do you do this in your writing?

1 comment:

  1. (You wrote Megaman instead of Megamind once)

    I hadn't heard anything about the movie before I watched it, but then I thought it was great after.

    I couldn't think of any examples so I looked through my list of movies and remembered Burke and Hare (the likeable serial killers), the Grinch, and The Next Three Days (breaking out of prison).