So we're supposed to think that Wydell has become a serious case of He Who Fights Monsters. He pursues the Firefly family, kills the mother while she's in custody, tortures the remaining trio, and is only stopped from killing them by outside intervention. Now here's the thing: I never sympathized with the Fireflys. Ever. They're unrepentant sadistic killers, whereas Wydell actually has something resembling a reason for what he's doing (the family killed his brother and have murdered who knows how many other people over the years). Yes, it's vigilante justice. Yes, it's wrong, particularly for a cop. That being said, we're meant to feel that he's no better than they are, when they're not exactly the same thing. The Fireflys kill for pleasure and out of boredom. Wydell's doing it to rid the world of a group who prey on innocent citizens, with a little dash of revenge. I'm not remotely saying what he does is RIGHT; it isn't. I'm sure he rationalized to himself that they'd have been executed upon conviction anyway. But there is still a world of difference between them.
According to what I've heard, Rob Zombie meant for the movie to have no good guys. We're not supposed to side with anybody.
I would agree, except for the ending, which is obviously trying to make the audience feel sympathy for the Fireflies which, after the events of the film and its prequel, is just fucking impossible.
I'd rather root for the half-monster that was sent to kill the complete monster then let'em live.
To me, it isn't necessary for a character to be sympathetic for me to feel sympathy for them. Yes, the Fireflies were killers, and yes they pretty much had to die. Doesn't make it less sad that human being had to be put in a position where they had a choice between rotting in prison (no, they probably wouldn't have been executed, serial killers tend to be plea bargained to avoid the Death Penalty, which murderers are executed is surprisingly arbitrary in the US), or being gunned down. It's sad that anyone was put in that position.
Still falls under the category of He Who Fights Monsters, though. Yes, he was just giving them a taste of their own medicine so to speak, and yes, it was hard to sympathize with them after what they had done. Yet, he still seemed to be getting enjoyment out of seeing them suffer, although they did deserve it.
Would perhaps agree but the character (to me at least) was just so...irritating for lack of a better word. I'd disliked him long before he became the 'villain' of the story. I mean he was supposed to be human and they wanted to show him slide off the slippery slope but I can't help but feel he was at the bottom all along. And as much as I like the give them a taste of their medicine thing I still feel he went way too far.
While this is a case of He Who Fights Monsters, and it's clear that he's deeply enjoying torturing the Fireflies, it isn't clear if he's enjoying the process of torturing or that he's enjoying torturing complete monsters. If he is indulging in the sheer sadism of it all, then that's one thing. However, that wouldn't make sense with his character. It's clear he wants to torment the Fireflies to make sure they feel the pain their victims felt during torture. Does that make the guy justified or heroic? Not a chance. Does it make it karmic, satisfying for viewers who were repulsed by the Fireflies, and feel as though, finally, the villains were getting a comeuppance that did not feel like a tragic, heroic send out? I'd say so.