Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Magius Cabal » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:27 am UTC

All of the Nightmare on Elm Street series.

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:50 am UTC

Ryom wrote:The protagonist (smart alien) dies and the antagonist (annoying guy) lives on as an alien hiding from the government, who wasn't taken down by either the protagonist or antagonist so the government is a meta-antagonist to both. Also annoying guy fails to get restored to a human. The little alien gets offworld but no result is shown. The antagonist wins (even though his motivation had changed), and then the antagonist's antagonist wins.

The smart alien isn't a protagonist: Wikus is. Again, the idea of an antagonist (foil to the main character) is being confused for the unlikeable or evil protagonist.

Fume Troll wrote:Star Wars Episode V. I'd say the protagonists are losing at the end of that.

We're not just talking about the protagonist losing, though, we're talking about the antagonist winning. Vader doesn't reach his goal either (turning Luke).
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Mother Superior » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:53 am UTC

Pez Dispens3r wrote:
Fume Troll wrote:Star Wars Episode V. I'd say the protagonists are losing at the end of that.

We're not just talking about the protagonist losing, though, we're talking about the antagonist winning. Vader doesn't reach his goal either (turning Luke).

Exactly. Whereas in Episode III...
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:08 am UTC

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Fume Troll » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:45 am UTC

Pez Dispens3r wrote:
Fume Troll wrote:Star Wars Episode V. I'd say the protagonists are losing at the end of that.

We're not just talking about the protagonist losing, though, we're talking about the antagonist winning. Vader doesn't reach his goal either (turning Luke).


Yes, fair enough.

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Malice » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:39 am UTC

Thelma and Louise.

Edit: Which reminds me:

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Zohar » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:04 am UTC

The antagonists do not win in Thelma and Louise... And it's very debatable if they themselves lose.
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Malice » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:11 am UTC

Really? I mean, the protagonists go out in a blaze of glory, sure... but they do go out, trapped by a horde of male authorities. Thelma and Louise try to break out of the male hegemony they've been living under, succeed for a little bit, and are then increasingly left with fewer and fewer options until all they have left is the aforementioned blaze of glory. I wouldn't call that a victory.

Oh, I thought of another one--JFK. I've always found the ending to this hilarious: Kevin Costner gives an impassioned speech, basically saying, "If the jury doesn't find them guilty, America is lost." Then the jury fails to find them guilty. And the movie tries to hide the depressing with happy music as he leaves with his family.
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Moo » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:14 am UTC

What's that one where Denzel Washington gets possessed by Azazel who is always humming "Time is on my side"? Cause, that one, I think.
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Zohar » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:00 pm UTC

Malice wrote:Really? I mean, the protagonists go out in a blaze of glory, sure... but they do go out, trapped by a horde of male authorities. Thelma and Louise try to break out of the male hegemony they've been living under, succeed for a little bit, and are then increasingly left with fewer and fewer options until all they have left is the aforementioned blaze of glory. I wouldn't call that a victory.


The antagonists certainly don't want them ending up that way, and in the end they made their choice to break free of their bounds. I won't say that's the best solution, but given their options they chose what they wanted.
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby jareds » Mon May 03, 2010 6:10 am UTC

Colossus: The Forbin Project
Spoiler:
Two computers controlling the US and Soviet nuclear arsenals take over the world.

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Aikanaro » Mon May 03, 2010 6:57 am UTC

Inglourious Basterds? Open to interpretation, though, but if there's a victory anywhere in the movie, it's definitely the villain who decides to make it happen. The second Pirates of the Caribbean movie comes to mind. Also, the alternative ending to Dodgeball :P

Oh, and also, SPOILERED FOR YOUR PROTECTION:

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby missbittens » Mon May 03, 2010 3:19 pm UTC

In The Mouth Of Madness, sort of. It's more of a "Everything goes crazy," movie than one with a specific antagonist, but the dude does fail to stop the Monstapocalypse.
The Descent, British ending. The American one is almost if not just as depressing, but someone does get away - assuming that it's not a hallucination - so I wouldn't say the crawlers won. Nobody won.
The Descent 2, if what I hear is correct.
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Paranormal Activity - Any first-person camera horror movie seems like a good bet for this. I'm only not including Cloverfield because we don't know whether or not the monster survived, so maybe he won or maybe it was a tie.
"Manos" The Hands Of Fate
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Mon May 03, 2010 4:09 pm UTC

missbittens wrote:"Manos" The Hands Of Fate
...is the best example of anything that ever happened, anywhere.

And therefore doesn't count as an example.
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Cecilff2 » Wed May 12, 2010 3:13 pm UTC

Avatar
Spoiler:
Quaritch gets shot in the chest by the evil cat people, and the humans are forced to leave pandora.


Terminator 3
Spoiler:
The antagonist ensures that Skynet is brought online and nukes the world


Hero (Sort of)
Spoiler:
If you consider the emperor to be an antagonist. He has the protagonist executed.

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Malice » Wed May 12, 2010 6:01 pm UTC

Cecilff2 wrote:Avatar
Spoiler:
Quaritch gets shot in the chest by the evil cat people, and the humans are forced to leave pandora.


That's a joke, right?
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby TommyTumnus » Wed May 12, 2010 10:42 pm UTC

Malice wrote:
Cecilff2 wrote:Avatar
Spoiler:
Quaritch gets shot in the chest by the evil cat people, and the humans are forced to leave pandora.


That's a joke, right?


I actually have a friend who considered that guy the protagonist. If we're sticking with clearly intended protagonists/antagonists, though, he's definitely the latter.

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby otromateo » Thu May 13, 2010 2:46 am UTC

I think Requiem for a Dream deserves a mention. That's a movie where all the main characters lose.
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Durinthal » Mon May 17, 2010 2:11 am UTC

Burn After Reading?
Spoiler:
Honestly, after watching it I felt like the entire movie is the antagonist, and I lost. I'm still not sure what happened in it.

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby SecondTalon » Mon May 17, 2010 12:34 pm UTC

otromateo wrote:I think Requiem for a Dream deserves a mention. That's a movie where all the main characters lose.
Yeah, but it only fits the theme if you consider Drugs to be an antagonist. Usually in the Pro/An-tagonist relationship, you have two (or more) sentient individuals capable of making decisions and acting with or without thought in order to move about freely in an attempt to complete a goal - the goal usually being such that completion of one side's goal renders the other side's impossible (which is why they're in the Pro/An-tagonist relationship in the first place). Otherwise you could say that weather is the antagonist in A Perfect Storm, and I just don't think it fits.

In this case, you'd need to assign sentience to chemicals or chemical dependency. Either that, or say that the four people who end up with shattered lives are both the protagonists and antagonists in their individual stories, which fits quite a bit better but requires a bit more explanation.
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby SlyReaper » Sat May 22, 2010 4:45 pm UTC

Having just watched Watchmen, I'd say that certainly qualifies.
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby You, sir, name? » Sat May 22, 2010 8:28 pm UTC

SurgicalSteel wrote:Falling Down
Spoiler:
Pendegrast kills Foster.


Spoiler:
It's suicide by cop though. I'm not sure anyone "won" in Falling Down.
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Fat Zombie » Sat May 22, 2010 11:42 pm UTC

Gopher of Pern wrote:Arlington Road is another one.


This one. Hard. You want a good hard "enemies-win" film? This one. It's just like hitting your sense of fairness with a hammer. The ending plot is fairly ridiculous in the odds that it would happen as planned, but it's still a hell of a Shoot the Shaggy Dog story (described on that page as "the God-King of this trope".
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Josephine » Sun May 23, 2010 2:29 am UTC

Fat Zombie wrote:
Gopher of Pern wrote:Arlington Road is another one.


This one. Hard. You want a good hard "enemies-win" film? This one. It's just like hitting your sense of fairness with a hammer. The ending plot is fairly ridiculous in the odds that it would happen as planned, but it's still a hell of a Shoot the Shaggy Dog story (described on that page as "the God-King of this trope".


Oh. Wow. Look at that. I think I found what I was looking for. Pity it has such implausibility, though.
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Phoenix112358 » Sun May 23, 2010 9:44 am UTC

What about The Dark Knight? The Joker sort of wins, in a sense. He managed to corrupt Harvey Dent, and forced Batman to take the fall. So in a thematic sense I think he won?

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Sun May 23, 2010 10:59 am UTC

Phoenix112358 wrote:What about The Dark Knight? The Joker sort of wins, in a sense. He managed to corrupt Harvey Dent, and forced Batman to take the fall. So in a thematic sense I think he won?

Although he did not want Batman to take the fall, he wanted to corrupt the city. So he did not win, even if he achieved some victories.
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby redgrowth » Sun May 23, 2010 6:13 pm UTC

I'll second Chinatown. It's a very depressing very well done movie.

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Dark Avorian » Mon May 24, 2010 12:36 am UTC

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby diotimajsh » Mon May 24, 2010 1:51 am UTC

Rocket Science, although this may not be the antagonist winning so much as the protagonist simply failing spectacularly. (There isn't really a clearcut antagonist, unless it's Ginny.) Anyhow, the way the movie's set up, it looks exactly like it's going to be any one of those countless "underdog overcomes adversity to win competition" specials. But then, no, the preparation and buildup was for naught. Our hero just gets disqualified, and he doesn't get the girl. Turns out this is The Catcher in the Rye, not another The Mighty Ducks.

On a similar indie note, Eagle vs Shark is a little like that, again without a clear antagonist, though. Jarrod is intent on fighting a childhood bully throughout much of the movie; but at the final confrontation he discovers that the bully has since become paraplegic--confined to a wheelchair--and that the bully apologizes for his earlier cruelty. Jarrod attempts to fight him nonetheless, but he still gets easily beaten, in spite of his physical advantage. (Of course, not like it would have been a very noble victory even if he had won.)

Then again, maybe Lily's the real protagonist, and she wins insofar as she and Jarrod get back together at the end. My recollection of the movie is very hazy.
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby SirMustapha » Mon May 24, 2010 6:25 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:I can't believe no one has brought this up yet,
Spoiler:
I think Oldboy fits, even though Woo-jin kills himself, it is very clear that he got his revenge.


Spoiler:
I think there's a twist there, though, because the movie delivers the point that the revenge was essentially useless, so the villain spent all that time and all that effort for nothing; in the end, his sorrow had the best of him. I think he got the worst luck of all.

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Ryom » Sat May 29, 2010 8:42 pm UTC

There is a whole page on tvtropes dedicated to this topic.

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Josephine » Sat May 29, 2010 9:46 pm UTC

Ryom wrote:There is a whole page on tvtropes dedicated to this topic.

And it's sadly lacking in total defeats.
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby DreadArchon » Sun May 30, 2010 11:17 pm UTC

Does Dr. Strangelove count?

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby modularblues » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:26 am UTC

It's debatable, but...
(1) Wit
(2) The Hours
(3) Memento

And for all these films, the "antagonist" is either a disease or some condition that is internal and psychological.

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Dustin » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:06 pm UTC

The Seventh Seal
Spoiler:
Death: the real winner
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Mishrak » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:17 pm UTC

Every serious zombie movie pretty much.

Most of the more recent ones have alternate endings where everyone is annihilated. Those that don't still put the protagonists on an island with a world filled of zombies, which means the zombie still win.

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby DreadArchon » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:44 pm UTC

Personally, I dislike the answers where a concept or condition was the antagonist. It's not my thread, of course; still, they feel weak.

Anyway--If you're too religious to regard Satan as a helpful sidekick, I think The Ninth Gate probably counts. (I think most people here would regard Satan as a helpful sidekick in that one, but it's not as bad a stretch as some.)

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Josephine » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:33 am UTC

DreadArchon wrote:Personally, I dislike the answers where a concept or condition was the antagonist. It's not my thread, of course; still, they feel weak.

I very much agree. I want something where you get to know, like, and sympathize with the protagonist. Where you hate the antagonist. And they still win. A movie that makes you mad.
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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Adacore » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:21 am UTC

People don't, as a rule, like being angry, so they don't go to see films that make them angry. Thus films where the antagonist wins against a sympathetic protagonist are generally far less commercially viable, so don't get made (or, more likely, get made with the ending changed by the studio to something less bleak).

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Re: Any movies out there where the antagonists win?

Postby Jar'O'Jam » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:42 pm UTC

Well, this may not be it, but "Network" ( the phrase "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" comes from it ) can be a such example, although I'm not sure whom we're supposed to sympathize with.
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