5 Likable Bad Guys in 5 Seconds

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This is my take on the “One Archetype, Five Movies, Five Seconds” video assignment.  At first I wanted to do movie villains, but I decided that was a bit bland.  Then I realized that some of my favorite characters are bad guys that aren’t antagonists.  While they are wrongdoers, they are not evil, so I wouldn’t call them villains.  Instead, I consider them likable bad guys.  There are tons of these types of characters, so it took me awhile to narrow my selection down to 5 people.  I ended up settling on 5 characters who, while having criminal tendencies, stand out from their fellow bad guys by showing compassion and other traits generally found in good guys.  I settled on the following:

General Hummel (Ed Harris) from “The Rock”

-This is a case of a character who does bad things for a good purpose.  He essentially holds the entire city of San Francisco hostage from Alcatraz by threatening to launch rockets armed with a deadly gas.  His goal is to collect a ransom to pay families of soldiers who were killed in action and received no compensation.  What he does is wrong, but the viewer can sympathize with him.  He stands out as being more reasonable than his fellow soldiers/terrorists.

Garland Greene (Steve Buscemi) from “Con Air”

-This one barely made the cut.  He shouldn’t be likable, but he is.  He remains calm throughout the entire movie, and is reasonable to a certain extent.  He is also a serial killer, and says some very unreasonable things.  I think what makes him stand out from the other cons is that all of his violent behavior happened in the past.  While everyone around him gets violent, he remains collected and out of the action.  You hear about what he did in the past from other people, and him to a certain extent, but you never actually see him do anything wrong.  That doesn’t really explain why he’s likable, but it’ll have to do.

Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) from “Reservoir Dogs”

-Mr. White is perhaps the best example of the archetype I’m going for here.  He is by all means a bad guy.  During a heist, he kills two police officers onscreen, and has presumably led a long life of crime.  In spite of this, he is perhaps the most likable character in the movie.  When his partner is shot, he shows a great deal of humanity.  He does his best to administer first aid, and tries to convince the rest of the heist team to allow him to bring the injured man to the hospital regardless of possible legal implications.  His quest to get his partner help causes viewers to instantly sympathize with him.  He is bad, but is not evil.

Ken (Brendan Gleeson) from “In Bruges”

-Ken is a hitman.  As such, he is a bad guy.  That said, he chooses to disobey orders that he can’t make right with his conscience, no matter the cost.  I won’t say more, as that would spoil the movie.  That said, it is in awesome movie, and you should see it if you haven’t already.  If you have, you should see it again anyway.

Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) from “Pirates of the Caribbean”

-I’m not even sure he counts as a bad guy, but he’s a pirate, so I’m going with it.  He’s really likable in spite of his wrongdoings, yadda yadda yadda.  This one’s a no-brainer.

This video was really easy to make.  I did it in Movie Maker.  I just downloaded youtube videos with clips of these characters, then cut the clips down to 1-second each and added them all to a project.  The best part was that the video exported almost immediately, and uploaded to youtube in an euqually short time.  This was a pleasant change from the 20-minute videos I uploaded over the weekend.

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