4 Movie & TV Bad Guys That Aren’t Actually Bad Guys
Everybody loves an anti-hero. Whether it’s Batman, The Punisher, Deadpool or any number of ‘vigilantes,’ anti-heroes have always had a pop culture following. They’re not just limited to the superhero genre, either. Television shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and House of Cards all feature men (and women) who are so good at being so bad. These people do terrible things, yet we continue to root for them. There are some characters, however, that don’t get as much love for being bad. These characters aren’t quite anti-heroes, but there is still a certain charm about them. Or, at least, we’re able to understand their points-of-view a little bit.
4) Ivan Drago – Rocky 4
“I must break you.” That was the infamous line that Russian boxer Ivan Drago told Rocky Balboa before their clash in Rocky 4. Take note of the language here. He doesn’t say “I want to break you” or “I take delight in breaking you.” He says “I must break you.” Ivan Drago is a boxer who feels the entire weight of his homeland resting on his shoulders. His country has put him on a pedestal and, in order to keep the pride of his nation, as well as his smokin’ hot wife, he must break people. As a professional fighter, that’s literally his job. Apollo Creed knew exactly what he was getting into when he agreed to fight Drago. Any professional fighter knows the risks that come with the gig. Ivan Drago was a proud man from a proud country and he did exactly as he was told to do. He broke people.
3) Jaws – Jaws
This list is not limited to only human bad guys. And if ever a case could be made for a bad guy not actually doing anything wrong, it would be for Jaws. The killer shark terrified audiences back in 1975. It reminded them that it’s no longer safe to get back in the water. The thing is, though, it’s Jaws’ water! Jaws was just doing his thing, being a shark and what not, when the mayor and the citizens decided to open up a beach. Knowing full well what lurked beneath the surface, they decided to turn Jaws’ natural habitat into a tourist attraction. Jaws, being a shark, didn’t care for people invading his home turf, so he did what any rational person would do — he fought back. Really, Jaws is an underdog story of a young shark fighting (or biting) back against a corrupt and greedy mayor.
2) Shane Walsh – The Walking Dead
If Shane Walsh existed as a character in the latter seasons of The Walking Dead, he would be heralded as a hero. Let’s take a look at Shane’s backstory for a moment. Shane thought that his best friend had died in the midst of the zombie apocalypse. He barricaded the door of his best friend’s hospital room to ensure no zombies, or soldiers, can get to him. He then led his best friend’s wife and son to safety. Then, he protected them as both a debt to his friend and just because he felt like it was his responsibility. Inevitably, in the chaos that was the world then, Shane and his best friend’s wife develop a little chemistry. Except it’s more than that. More than anything, both just want to be comforted and they do so the best way they know how. Meanwhile, Rick miraculously survives and, thanks to Shane barricading the door, none of the zombies got to him. Rick goes on a journey to find his wife and son and, when he finally does, he embraces them both in front of Shane. Shane’s FIRST reaction to seeing that embrace is not one of jealousy or disappointment. The dude SMILES because his friend is alive and is reunited with his family.
As the days go on, Shane’s tactics in dealing with both humans and zombies are a bit raw, which Rick deems immoral. This was about a few seasons before Rick literally chewed the throat of a man. Shane realizes that he is in love with Lorie and he tries to tell her that, only to be gaslighted by the woman he saved. Does Shane sound like a bad guy to you? We didn’t think so.
1) Harvey Dent/Two-Face – The Dark Knight
Harvey Dent was supposed to be Gotham’s White Knight. He was supposed to be everything that Batman couldn’t be. He was a hero with a face who did things by the book, legally, the right way. But because Harvey Dent got involved in Batman’s war on crime and happened to be in love with one of Bruce Wayne’s best friends, he became a pawn of the Joker. Dent’s fiancé was kidnapped and blown up and the fallout from that explosion burnt half of his face off. Naturally, Dent decides to take revenge on those who he felt were responsible for the death of the woman he loved. Except Batman decides that he revenge is bad, even though his whole thing is about revenge. We don’t know if Harvey Dent would have actually gone through with killing Jim Gordon’s son or not. Batman didn’t let chance determine it. Instead, he tackled Dent off of a roof, killing him instantly. This is done because “you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
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