There are a lot of movies out there that make people think WTF without too much effort, but there are some, like Villains, that are enough to make a person wonder what in the world possessed the writer, or writers, to come up with this idea. The movie starts out simply enough with Mickey and Jules pulling what they reveal is their final robbery as they knock over a gas station and go driving off. Their plans are to head to Florida to change their lives and simply disappear from the law, but those plans are put on hold when their car inexplicably runs out of gas, which is ironic in a way considering the business they previously robbed. But when they notice a mailbox standing at the side of the road, one of the only signs of someone living within the area, they jump on the chance that it leads to a home. What it does lead to is a rather nice house that sits in the middle of nowhere in an extremely foreboding manner. From there, things just get stranger.
The title of the movie is a bit confusing, but it fits.
It’s tough to know who the villains really are until George and Gloria enter the picture since George’s oily charm and Gloria’s vapid good mood feel kind of false and more than a little staged. Of course, if one missed the child that’s chained up in the basement and discovered when Jules and Mickey go looking around, then said viewer would no doubt come to the same conclusion eventually. In other words, there is nothing but villains in this house, save for Sweetiepie, who has likely grown used to her captors or is simply not dumb enough to turn against them in an obvious manner. The fact that she bites Mickey when he and Jules attempt to liberate her from the house is enough to make one think that she’s already been punished a time or two for misbehaving.
Feeling sorry for those who break the law isn’t an unknown phenomenon, but it’s still odd in this movie.
There wasn’t much doubt that George and Gloria were going to overcome Mickey and Jules since the younger couple come off as impulsive and a bit uncertain of themselves in some regards. George and Gloria aren’t perfect, but they’re obviously not nearly as inept as their victims. From tying them up to drugging them, George and Gloria do their utmost to be as polite and as calm as possible, with a few moments of anger being used to push the story here and there. Watching Mickey and Jules try to match up with the couple who were to be their victims is kind of amusing, really, since Jules and George are obviously the strongest among the four adults, while Gloria is kind of nuts but also resolute, thanks to George. Mickey is just kind of, well, there. To put it in a way that’s easy to understand, he’s more or less bound to bend to the whims of others since, if not for Jules’ desire to save Sweetiepie, the two of them might have been long gone before George and Gloria returned home. At the very least, they would have left and never come back.
The movie advances in the way one might expect.
Once Mickey and Jules meet George and Gloria it’s kind of expected that they’re not going to drive off into their own sunset and have a happy ending. George doesn’t appear to be the type who is going to allow such a thing to happen, and to be fair, Gloria is the type that was bound to turn into the real killer if things had turned in a different direction. But when the two drugged Mickey and Jules, in an attempt to create an alibi that paints the younger couple as two drug addicts who broke in and died of an overdose, the diabolical nature of the older couple really comes into focus. The way the movie ends is a little surprising, especially since it’s a bit more optimistic than one might think. But then again, a happy ending could be said to be an earned pleasure in this movie.
In the end, the movie feels awkward since everything leading up to it is just nuts.
The fact that Jules and Sweetiepie survive to the end of the movie and have a happy ending is kind of interesting since Jules’ general attitude, and off-balance manner makes it feel as though she doesn’t deserve to live past the second act. But at the same time, it’s not hard at all to realize that once Mickey, George, and Gloria are dead, the chance at happiness is free and clear since they’re the last two standing.
It’s an intriguing movie, which says enough.