After myriad delays, including pushing back off its schedule January release this year, we’re probably going to see Morbius tomorrow. The new film is about a hero that isn’t always heroic. The super hero film centered on the villain isn’t as popular as the ones centered on heroes, but it’s not as rare as you might think. In this week’s Binge Watch I’m taking a look at five other films that put the antagonist, or antagonists, front and center.
About: In most of the modern cinematic takes, Catwoman isn’t all bad. That was true in Batman Returns, The Dark Night Rises and The Batman. In Catwoman, Halle Berry plays Patience Phillips, rather than the traditional Selena Kyle, and takes the lead. Catwoman may not be the villain, but the film is still BAD. It’s epically bad. You should only watch this as a goof.
About: M. Night Shymalan started his own superhero story, of sorts, with Unbreakable. Sixteen years later, he returned to the world with Split, an incredibly compelling story most didn’t realize was connected until the end. James McAvoy takes the lead and he’s fairly intimidating as the primary antagonist.
Suicide Squad (2016)
About: I know James Gunn re-booted the franchise last summer, but I’m still partial to David Ayers original take set in the D.C. Extended Universe. I liked Will Smith in the lead, and Margot Robbie should have gotten Academy Award consideration for her work as Harley Quinn. This one showed that bad guys can have a lot of fun.
About: This one does come from Gunn, who produced it, and is a superhero origin story of sorts. It takes the origin story of Superman and flips it on its head, positing a circumstance where said powered alien is evil. What would it mean for the world? That’s the take here and it’s an interesting concept that just doesn’t quite come to fruition in this film. There are interesting moments but overall, this doesn’t work incredibly well.
About: This is probably the most famous film centered on a traditional villain. It earned a host of Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. Joaquin Phoenix is quite good in the lead role but this isn’t a film that worked for me. I thought the narrative presented a dangerous ideology that, when combined with its deification of the villain, was a complete turn off. Others might feel differently, but this was a miss for me.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.