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Old July 7 2013, 02:42 AM   #1
Control Voice
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Corporate Bad Guys

Just got back from The Lone Ranger and I can't take any more of these corporate bad guys. Dark Knight Rises, Iron Man, Star Trek and now the Ranger all feature the same kind of big bad. What's happened that the villain always has to have a corporate sponsor? Is this the reflection of the filmmakers idea of who the bad really are in the real world, or is it something else?
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Old July 7 2013, 02:44 AM   #2
Peach Wookiee
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Re: Corporate Bad Guys

*blinks* Star Trek had a corporate Big Bad? And... Tony Stark/ Iron Man is the head of a major corporation...
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Old July 7 2013, 02:51 AM   #3
Control Voice
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Re: Corporate Bad Guys

I was counting Admiral Marcus as the sponsor of Khan.
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Old July 7 2013, 03:53 AM   #4
Geoff Peterson
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Re: Corporate Bad Guys

Control Voice wrote: View Post
I was counting Admiral Marcus as the sponsor of Khan.
He's an Admiral, that shows he's military. As Peach pointed out Stark ( and Wayne) are billionaires and the heads of large corporations. They're the heroes.

Face it, after Nazis, corporations, the rich and their lackeys make the best villains.
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Old July 7 2013, 06:26 AM   #5
Kestrel
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Re: Corporate Bad Guys

^ Yup. Stark and Wayne are the "good" billionaires using their wealth responsibly to help people as opposed to the plundering "bad" billionaires. Marcus was pure military.

"Bad" corporate types have been villains going back... well, to Dickens at least and likely further.
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Old July 7 2013, 07:14 AM   #6
Captain Qwert Jr
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Re: Corporate Bad Guys

As many in Hollywood have explained it for 30 years now, there is no National Association for the Advancement of Corporate People.

It's a villain that gets no unwanted controversy, even if everyone involved (including many in the audience) are in reality engaging in much worse consumerist activities than the onscreen villains.

Last edited by Captain Qwert Jr; July 7 2013 at 04:20 PM.
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Old July 7 2013, 08:33 AM   #7
Anwar
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Re: Corporate Bad Guys

Basically evil Executives are the modern day analogues to the Evil Aristocrats in all the films of the past. It's an archetype that goes back, WAY back.
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Old July 7 2013, 12:51 PM   #8
Base_Delta_Zero
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Re: Corporate Bad Guys

Corporations are simple to vilify. They're a faceless alien entity (despite just being an abstraction of a group of investors and employees who are human, after all). They have no race (although they are usually represented by a white male mouthpiece). Their goal can be easily construed as making a profit at anyone's expense (regardless of what they might in reality be contributing to society).

Look to the Alien Series and Wayland-Yutani, "The Company". It's the template upon which all modern Evil Corporations are based, despite their business model making absolutely no sense.

They spend countless trillions setting up colonies and investing in the future of mankind, are seemingly the driving force behind every major piece of technology in the setting, and yet they are willing to throw it all away for a chance to try and tame an alien species that time and again nearly spells the doom for humanity.

Why do they need this alien? Yeah, it's cool and has some unique abilities and properties that would be useful to the bio-weapons division, but they already dominate all of known space. Who exactly are they going to use these aliens against that the Colonial Marines couldn't crush more easily and cheaply? The Alien is not a WMD, it's an ELE. It's the History Eraser Button. For Christ's sake, don't push it!

LexCorp, TriOptimum, Cyberdyne, InGen, Tyrell Corp, Umbrella, ExoGeni, Microsoft, Massive Dynamic ... the machinations of each threaten the very existence of humanity on a daily basis and yet their stocks never go down, even when they end up nuking some midwestern city to coverup one of their "mistakes".

Does it make any sense? No! Is it still awesome in the context of sci-fi for the heroes to stand against The Man who is willing to kill everyone including Himself to make a buck? Hell yeah! Most of the coolest sci-fi stories couldn't exist without the Shadowy Cabal of Sinister Business Interests driving the plot.

It's like Anwar already said, businessmen are the new aristocrats, who were themselves the new capricious gods who did evil shit because, fuck it, they're EVIL and being evil is fun! Mwwuuhahahaha!
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Old July 7 2013, 07:21 PM   #9
Greg Cox
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Re: Corporate Bad Guys

Anwar wrote: View Post
Basically evil Executives are the modern day analogues to the Evil Aristocrats in all the films of the past. It's an archetype that goes back, WAY back.
Bingo.

And it's not like avaricious robber barons, ruthless railroad executives, heartless landlords, and crooked bankers and businessmen haven't been familiar bad guys since the silent era--and before.
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Old July 7 2013, 07:26 PM   #10
DalekJim
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Re: Corporate Bad Guys

People are less likely to sympathise with the hugely wealthy. The audience will either be sickened by their good fortune or jealous of their success.

Bruce Wayne had to lose both his parents and have zero superpowers for Batman to work. Superman was was too powerful so they gave him a poor background to compensate. If Clark Kent was a millionare and Superman, no fucker in the audience would like him.
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Old July 7 2013, 09:38 PM   #11
MacLeod
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Re: Corporate Bad Guys

^That's not strictly true, you can have a wealthy protaganist, it comes down to their actions. So you can have two people who are equally wealthy, we would tend to route for the one who behaves in a positve way.
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Old July 7 2013, 09:49 PM   #12
DalekJim
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Re: Corporate Bad Guys

I meant audiences would be less likely to sympathise, not that they wouldn't. Plenty of excellent, popular Shakespeare plays focus on the wealthy, and even monarchs.

In the folklore of old, very often the hero had immense wealth and power. Be they a knight, or even King Arthur himself. The successful have slowly become more hated over time, largely due to tedious liberal agenda and an absurd fetishisation of the working class. Being poor in fiction is seen as a virtue by modern critical thinking.
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Old July 7 2013, 09:54 PM   #13
Stone_Cold_Sisko
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Re: Corporate Bad Guys

Corporate villains make easy villains because of motive.

Money above all else. That is true of many corporations (just look at any discussion thread discussing something douchey some company does, there's always people insisting "hey, corporations exist to make money" as an offhand justification). it's engrained in caplitalistic society. All you have to do ratchet up their everyday motive a couple of degrees and voila: instant villain motive that seems plausible.
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Old July 7 2013, 10:00 PM   #14
Captain_Amasov
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Re: Corporate Bad Guys

After all these years, OmniCorp is still my favourite villain corporation.
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Old July 7 2013, 10:03 PM   #15
DalekJim
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Re: Corporate Bad Guys

Captain_Amasov wrote: View Post
After all these years, OmniCorp is still my favourite villain corporation.
Has to be Umbrella for me.
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