Been looking forward to doing this. Fitting time to write this up too, following Pettigrew's approval.
NOTE: Just like with Pettigrew's proposal, this is focusing on the film version only, so any arguments related to the novel version is getting invalidated on sight.
Since this is a re-evaluation where I will be addressing stuff that we've been ignoring for a while, I will make this section short. Plus, everybody should know the franchise well enough by now anyway.
So without further ado, Barty Crouch Jr. is a Death Eater who spends Goblet of Fire scheming in disguise. In the novel, he is given redeeming qualities, a sympathetic motive for joining Voldemort, and an even more sympathetic fate. But in the movie? All gone. He is a screaming, drooling, and raving lunatic who is aiding Voldemort entirely for the fun of it. In the past, he participated in the torture of Alice and Frank Longbottom. When he attended the hearing for a fellow Death Eater, said Death Eater identified him as a follower of Voldemort, resulting in his imprisonment in Azkaban. Barty somehow managed to escape, and he kidnapped Mad-Eye Moody, used polyjuice potion to disguise himself as him, and entered Hogwarts, taking the job as the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.
Barty puts Harry's name in the Goblet of Fire, entering him into the Triwizard Tournament where he spends the movie manipulating Harry and rigging things to get Harry to win. The reason for this is so Harry can be entered into the maze where he will be used to resurrect Voldemort. After a distraught Harry returns to Hogwarts, Barty reveals his true identity. He gloats about how he will be welcomed back to Azkaban like a hero while confronted by Dumbledore, Snape, and McGonagall, and he is never seen again after this.
The love for his mother, issues with his father, and sympathetic final fate that can be found in the novel? Movie says nope and instead provides us with a total nutjob and psycho who... instead of desperately and sympathetically pleading for his father not to send him to Azkaban... spits and drools everywhere while screaming and twitching like Pink Guy... He aids Voldemort and masterminds his resurrection for the fun of it and also to be seen as a hero by the other Death Eaters. That is all.
Now, here's the thing: back then, everybody decided that he fails the heinous standard and onscreen villainy requirements, and to my error, I, naturally, went along with it. Thing is? For someone who only shows up in one movie and spends most of the movie masterminding things behind the scenes, he is surprisingly bad enough in within his time frame. While you can argue that he wouldn't have stood a chance against the likes of Voldemort, Umbridge, and, most of all, Bellatrix? Voldemort gets way more screentime and resources, and Umbridge and Bellatrix's crimes are toned down in the movies. Bellatrix's worst crime in the movies is the torture of the Longbottoms... a crime that Crouch is established to have shared with her, and then some. Besides having shamelessly participated in said torture, Crouch also psychologically torments their son Neville about it, deliberately using the Cruciatus curse on a spider and forcing Neville to watch, to the point where Hermione desperately begs him to stop. And besides that? Crouch kills his own father, kidnaps Moody, puts Harry in dire situations, and, above all, consciously and willingly orchestrates the return of Voldemort, knowing full well the disaster it will cause. Cedric's death and pretty much any chaos that Voldemort causes onwards can all be traced back to Barty, who knowingly facilitated it purely For the Evulz.
Similar to Wormtail, I feel like a large part of the reason as to why we've downplayed and neglected Barty's crimes for so long is because his book version doesn't come close to qualifying because of all the redeeming qualities and also because Barty (in both versions) has a seemingly minor role in the grand scheme of things, but with all things considered, I'd say he's just bad enough to rival the likes of Voldemort and Wormtail and potentially even outclass the film versions of Umbridge and Bellatrix in heinousness.
I never thought he could have qualified back then, but with all the new information that resurfaced lately, he gets a surprisingly confident yes from me.