Corporate Bad Guys

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Control Voice, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. Control Voice

    Control Voice Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    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? :confused:
     
  2. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

    Joined:
    May 12, 2001
    Location:
    Peach Wookiee
    *blinks* Star Trek had a corporate Big Bad? And... Tony Stark/ Iron Man is the head of a major corporation...
     
  3. Control Voice

    Control Voice Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    I was counting Admiral Marcus as the sponsor of Khan.
     
  4. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Down in the tube station at midnight
    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.
     
  5. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    Eden Prime
    ^ 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.
     
  6. Captain Qwert Jr

    Captain Qwert Jr Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Location:
    The Deep South
    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: Jul 7, 2013
  7. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Location:
    Regina, SK, Canada
    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.
     
  8. Base_Delta_Zero

    Base_Delta_Zero Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 4, 2004
    Location:
    Maine
    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!
     
  9. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    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.
     
  10. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Great Britain
    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.
     
  11. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    ^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.
     
  12. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Great Britain
    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.
     
  13. 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.
     
  14. Captain_Amasov

    Captain_Amasov Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    After all these years, OmniCorp is still my favourite villain corporation.
     
  15. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Great Britain
    Has to be Umbrella for me.
     
  16. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    OmniCorp? Isn't that the new name for Omni Consumer Products aka OCP?
     
  17. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Corporations make good villains because Corporations usually are villainous in the real world. The plunder the natural world, exploit workers and corrupt governments all for the sake of profits for a select few.

    Corporations are not altruistic or looking out for the best interests of humanity. They do not seek to bring equality or improve the lives of others...its sole purpose is to enrich a select few. History is full of examples of corrupt businessmen doing evil things. Hell corporate greed and banks very nearly drove the world economy over a cliff a few years ago. These same corporations turned to US the people, via our government for help, and then turned around and systematically started screwing consumers...the very people that bailed them out.
     
  18. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Down in the tube station at midnight
    Arthur, in many versions starts off poor and unaware of his royal lineage. Jesus, Moses and others also start off with humble up bringing only to discover their "divinity" later. Superman plays on this trope as well.

    I think the rich and powerful have been cast as villains for as long as there have been storytellers. Likewise the poor and humble have been cast as heroes. Was there a tedious liberal agenda when Robin Hood began stealing from the rich to give to the poor? Was there "modern critical thinking" going on when David slew Goliath? Myths legends are full of Evil Queens, Greedy Kings and Wicked Sorcerers. Also humble tailors, brave boys named Jack and poor girls named Cinderella.
     
  19. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Location:
    Regina, SK, Canada
    What about Iron Man? Tony's a rich businessman who was literally profiting from death and war, yet he is considered a heroic character.

    Or is it just because of really good writing and acting he can be appreciated by audiences?
     
  20. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Location:
    sidious618
    My thoughts exactly. They're good villains because in real life they're often villains (or a necessary evil), as well.