No one is born evil, meaning that turning evil typically requires some sort of tragic past, and because of this fact, the hallowed halls of cinema are filled with villains you can sympathize with. It seems to be that the more evil a villain is, the more tragic of a backstory they possess. Whether or not these backstories absolve them of their transgressions can be debated, but no amount of debating can stop audiences from feeling bad as they watch the harrowing lives of these characters come to a tragic end.
Sometimes, villains you feel sorry for are sympathetic not because of their backstory but because, at the end of the day, they're actually sort of right. Other times, though, there's no sob story in existence that could possibly begin to justify their horrific actions.
- Photo: 20th Century Fox
Why He Is The Bad Guy: Magneto abducts and eliminates a US senator and tries to mutate various world leaders at a global summit.
Why You Feel For Him Anyway: Magneto is first introduced to audiences as a young child being separated from his parents at Auschwitz. His first-ever use of his powers is in an attempt to escape from literal Nazis. It's no wonder that, years later, he's willing to resort to violence as a means of fighting a tyrannical government that's attempting to put all mutants on a registry.Still feel bad?
- Photo: Paramount Pictures
Why He Is The Bad Guy: He's a narcissist who recklessly puts others in harm's way, including attempting to commit genocide and destroy a planet in an attempt to make himself look like a hero.
Why You Feel For Him Anyway: Loki is trying to get Thor out of the way so he can invite the Frost Giants to invade, defeat them, and then finally earn his father's love and pride. Along the way, Loki has an incredibly emotional scene where he finds out he's a Frost Giant and then accuses his father of treating him differently his whole life because of it.Still feel bad?
- Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing
Why He Is The Bad Guy: Sandman is an armed robber turned supervillain who tries to do away with Spider-Man; he was also involved in the death of Uncle Ben.
Why You Feel For Him Anyway: Before he was Sandman, he was Flint Marko. In Spider-Man 3, Flint Marko's daughter needs money to pay for her cancer treatment, but he's out of work, so he turns to bank robbing as a means of getting her the help she needs. When he becomes Sandman, he continues to rob banks in an effort to support his daughter. He only tries to eliminate Spider-Man after Spidey tries to kill him after discovering his involvement in Uncle Ben's demise. At the end of the day, though, every crime he commits is for his daughter. Who can blame him for that?Still feel bad?
Why He Is The Bad Guy: Bowler Hat Guy tries to ruin the life of a young boy and ultimately helps his computerized AI bowler hat enslave humanity.
Why You Feel For Him Anyway: Bowler Hat Guy spent his childhood in an orphanage. He was a kind child who was often forced to put up with his roommate keeping him up late into the night. Eventually, though, this lack of sleep caused him to lose a baseball game, which was one of the few things he had going for him in his life, and as a result, his teammates beat him up. This event caused him to grow angry and resentful and led to him never being adopted by anyone.Still feel bad?