There seems to be two types of villains in movies. Problems in the real world can echo these types:

Big bad villains who are clearly, unambiguously evil.


Once vanquished, all becomes well and everyone lives happily ever after. There is much satisfaction in these simplistic, black-and-white, good versus bad scenarios. The Bane character in The Dark Knight Rises was clearly a example of this.

Bane problems appear obvious and clear-cut: the photocopier is broken – call the technician (Batman) and biff-baff-holy-corona-wire-batman! it’s sorted.

Villains who are less clearly evil.


Such as the queen in Snow White and the Huntsman. She was a more complex, ‘gray’, character; a ‘good’ person corroded by traumatic events, and not quite completely revelling in her evilness. There are many facets to this character than simply ‘bad.’

Queen problems are less easy to diagnose. On the surface, what appears to be a Bane problem may in fact be made up of smaller parts accreted insidiously over time. And if we were to send in Batman, we could exacerbate matters instead of truly understanding and solving the real issues.