I was watching yesterday with my son Hotel Transylvania and he mentioned

I like this movie because there is action and there are no bad guys, everyone is nice

This got me thinking because I do not see many movies which are both action movies, and without a villain.

The closest I can think of are movies such as Cast Away or The Revenant but they do not fit my personal interpretation of an "action movie" which includes, well, action (jumping, running, etc.)

Are there such movies, ideally for an older audience (teens+, tweens, young adults and myself)?

Note: I fear that I may come too close to the "no recommendations" rule, if it is indeed the case please let me know so that I can delete it (if not closed earlier)

  • in Hotel Transylvania, antagonist and protoganist are the same guy, villain/hero state depends on the situation.. and yes, this could get closed on Trivia questions and recommendations/identifications categories in one or more ways
    – Vishwa
    Jul 17 '18 at 7:37
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    How about inception or interstellar? There isn't anyone who can be pointed at and stated villain. It's more situational.
    – John
    Jul 17 '18 at 7:57
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    Unfortunately, this IS essentially asking for an open-ended list of "recommendations"...and so it's off-topic here.
    – Paulie_D
    Jul 17 '18 at 8:40
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    I would certainly consider Tom Hardy's character in The Revenant a villain.
    – mintsponge
    Jul 17 '18 at 9:17
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's a "list" question with no definable answer Jul 17 '18 at 12:27

Volcano and Deep impact (I saw them a long time ago, but I don't remember a Villain).
More recently San andreas.
Or do you count forces of Nature as the Villain here ?

Because if you don't, you can find a lot of action movies like this.

While sometime, there is an antagonist, they tends to be more dumb (the mayor who want to have his festival at all cost) or to be on antagonist on a personal-level (ex-husband).

  • One could say that in Volcano the volcano was the villain :)
    – Luciano
    Jul 17 '18 at 11:39
  • This is probably the closest to a real answer that can be had, assuming forces of nature are not considered "villains" for this purpose. The thing about action movies is there needs to be a reason for the hero to take action. "Villains" are an easy out in that regard.
    – Steve-O
    Jul 17 '18 at 14:42

Jonathan is actually the antagonist in Hotel Transylvania. And while he's not "evil", he is still considered the "bad guy" by Dracula.

Most of the other answers/comments hit the nail on the head; the only time you can have a movie without a "bad guy" is when the bad guy is a force of nature. Interstellar, Deep Impact, Armageddon, Cast Away, Alaska... In all these movies, the protagonist is fighting against nature or a natural disaster.

  • @Tommy Bones Technically what most movies and fiction have is protagonists vs antagonists. Protagonists are characters the audience identifies with and wants to succeed and antagonists are characters who put obstacles in the path of the protagonists. Heroes are characters who do heroic deeds for good causes and villains are characters who do evil deeds for their causes and goals. It is quite possible for filmmakers to accidentally make movies where the protagonists are the villains and the antagonists are other villains or even the heroes. Continued. Jul 17 '18 at 16:53
  • @Tommy Bones Continued. An example of a film where the protagonists and some of the antagonists are villains and the only hero is one of the antagonists is the 1995 TV movie remake of the Computer Wore Tennis Shoes. Suppose that there is a movie or story where a child tries to get some cookies from the cookie jar without permission and the child's mother tries to prevent it. Such a story could be made with either character the protagonist and the other one the antagonist. But it would be very hard to make either character the hero or the villain. Jul 17 '18 at 16:57
  • I think its safe to say that most people associate protagonist with "good guy" and antagonist with "bad guy". It's true that the cookie story can have interchangeable roles, but depending on the story being told there's still a protagonist and an antagonist, or a "good guy" and a "bad guy". Just like the TV series "Breaking Bad", where the "good guy" was a Meth manufacturer. Jul 17 '18 at 17:16

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