Friday, 3 June 2016

My favourite villain monologues

Usually, I hate villain monologues. It's basically an excuse to insert a bunch of backstory, which is lazy writing. However, I've found a total of three villain monologues that I've actually enjoyed. (Sorry that some of them are kind of long, bad guys like to rant for some reason.)

Tomorrowland

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Plot: The good guys are trying to stop the apocalypse. The bad guys are trying too, but they're trying to help by broadcasting a message of the incoming apocalypse into everyone's minds to warn them. Or something. I don't know, it was a bit of a confusing movie. 

Monologue: "The only way to stop [the apocalypse] was to show it. To scare people straight. Because what reasonable human being wouldn't be galvanised by the potential destruction of everything they have ever known or loved? To save civilisation, I would show its collapse. But how do you think this vision was received? They gobbled it up, like a chocolate eclair. They didn't fear their demise, they... sprinted towards it with gleeful abandon. Meanwhile, your Earth was crumbling around you. You've got simultaneous epidemics of obesity and starvation. Explain that one. Bees and butterflies start to disappear. The glaciers melt. Algae blooms all around you. The coal mine canaries are dropping dead, and you won't take the hint! In every moment, there is the possibility of a better future. But you people won't believe it, you won't do what is necessary to make it a reality. So you dwell on this terrible future, and you resign yourselves to it. For one reason, because that future doesn't ask anything of you today. So, yes, we saw the iceberg, we warned the Titanic. But you all steered for it anyway, full steam ahead. Why? Because you want to sink. You gave up. That's not the monitor's fault. That's yours."

Why it's great: I love this. I believe every person has the capacity to be the best and the worse of humanity, and the bad guy here can only see the worst while being the worst at the same time. He thinks he's given humanity a fair warning and they've given up, yet he's done exactly that. He's given up. (Also, because that future doesn't ask anything of you today. Powerful stuff, man. Powerful stuff. Waiting for the apocalypse doesn't require us to do anything.)

Pan (2015)


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Plot: Peter Pan has to defeat Blackbeard and save Neverland. 

Monologue: "Neverland is a dream from which you never wake. Ever had that one? A dreadful nightmare you know is not real, but your sleep is so heavy, so deep, so delicious that you just can't wake up. Drowning in sleep. Slow dream, drowning in the soft, black sea. Do you know that sea, Peter? It's death, boy. Murmuring to you. It's where we end. Most of us. Would you like some chocolate?"

Why it's great: I love the description in this one. Blackbeard is doing his best to describe death, something he fears so much and he wraps it up in a metaphor as familiar and easy as sleep. We all sleep, it happens to all of us. Just like death, but Blackbeard has decided that he doesn't want that as his fate. Plus, he's so wrapped up in his monologue that when he snaps out of it, he changes subjects so rapidly. Would you like some chocolate? 

Skyfall
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Plot: James Bond vs supervillain. 

Monologue: "My grandmother had an island... One summer, we went for a visit and discovered the place had been infested with rats. They'd come on a fishing boat and gorged themselves on coconut. So how do you get rats off an island? Hmm? My grandmother showed me. We buried an oil drum and hinged the lid, then wired coconut to the lid as bait. And the rats would come for the coconut and they would fall into the drum. And after a month, you have trapped all the rats. But what do you do then? Throw the drum into the ocean? Burn it? No. You just leave it. And they begin to get hungry. And one by one... they start start eating each other until there are only two left. The two survivors. And then what? Do you kill them? No. You take them and release them into the trees. But now they don't eat coconut anymore. Now they only eat rat. You have changed their nature. The two survivors, this is what she made us."

Why it's great: Dude, this is so creepy. it's savage and cruel and dark, and it ties Bond to the villain so perfectly. I always love it when the hero has a shade or two of the villain in their DNA. In this story, the bad guy makes no distinction between him and Bond. They're both the most savage rats on the island. Of course, I love what he says about M (AKA the grandmother). 

Do you have a favourite villain monologue? Do you like it better when the bad guy and the protagonist are polar opposites or are similar? 

6 comments:

  1. I'm toying with a humorous fantasy idea wherein there will be a "League of Villains Against Monologuing" because the villains. always. monologue.

    I haven't seen any of these movies, but I really liked the James Bond one. You're right--it's downright disturbing.

    I think having a similar protagonist and villain can make for an interesting storyline, but it doesn't always work. I tend to prefer stories where the villain is really trying for something good--just going about it in such a way as to lose his/her way. It all depends on how it's done.

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    1. Ha, I'd so read that. It's quite annoying that they're always monologuing, like dudes, do you have no one else to talk to?

      The James Bond one freaked me out. And the way they did the camera work and the way he delivered it, too. Just creepy.

      I agree, different stories need different things.

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  2. So I've never seen a James Bond movie, ever? But I love the other two movies. Tomorrowland was so awesome! Now I want to see it again. I loved the villain. He was so focused on the negative, he didn't even realize he was just like all the rest of society. It was kind of sad. He seemed almost crazy. But I really liked Pan. I loved how weird it was and colorful with a strange dark twist. And Blackbeard's monologue went hand-in-hand with that strange atmosphere. His delivery of it was oddly creepy even though he was comparing death to sleep. I kind of wondering if he did that because he was trying to convince himself that death is not that bad. It's not as scary as he thinks it is. It's just like sleeping. But he couldn't lie to himself, so he changes the subject. XD

    Awesome post! I loved it!

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    1. You're not missing out on much, to be honest. There's lots of explosions and epic gunfights and objectification of women, basically. I felt like Tomorrowland had lots of potential but I got lost in the plot. Maybe if I could watch it again it'd be better?

      I LOVED Pan. I think you're the only person I've met who actually liked it, all the reviews were horrible. Yep, Blackbeard did a great job of his monologue. He was just out of it just enough to be creepy. AND YES. Dude, that's so what he was doing. You just made me re-think that whole scene.

      Thank you!!!!

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  3. Huh, I like villains but I haven't seen the first two, and up until recently I rather disliked Daniel Craig as James Bond, so I didn't spend a lot of time investing myself in Skyfall. Because, when the song is better than the movie, you just can't feel too good about that.

    Still, I'm not sure how much value I do put in villain monologues. I'll have to think about that, just because, like in The Incredibles, they often seem like a device. XD

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    1. I'm not really into James Bond, but Daniel Craig is my favourite Bond. It's probably because he was the first Bond I saw, to be honest. I actually loved Skyfall! (Which was also the first Bond movie I saw. I'm sensing a trend here.) But the song was incredibly awesome. My friend loved it so much that she did a cover of it for her Ancient History assignment and changed the lyrics to be about ancient Chinese funeral practices. (I'm just full of fun and random stories. You're welcome :) )

      Yeah, like there's gotta be a better way to get backstory and motivation than a monologue. I think if they're done well, though, I can ignore the device issue and just appreciate the writing, especially in Skyfall. Thanks for commenting, Heather!

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