Oh, they are the best! They depict emotions in a raw, powerful form. And by revenge, I’m not talking about an underpaid, overworked guy sticking it up to boss’s ass. Nope. I am talking about when a loved one is murdered and the one who left behind takes justice into his own hands. The latest promising avenger movie is Law Abiding Citizen, starring Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx.
LAW ABIDING CITIZEN (2009)
Butler’s character is the avenger. But the wonderful think about the film is he won’t be just taking care of the murderers that took his family’s life. He will also come after the prosecutor who cut a deal with them, the judge who let him and basically the whole system. Don’t worry, I didn’t give away any spoilers. It is all in the thriller. You can check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMoP35u8oN0.
I for one can’t wait till it comes to a theater near me. Until it does, I decided to pay a visit to some of the revenge movies I love.
It is a revenge movie. Yes, it is epic,and glorious and tells us how the real life Scottish folk hero led his people to freedom by fighting the English. But the urge to take revenge starts all that. Wallace was just an ordinary boy when his father was killed. But he was taken and raised by his uncle, who taught him to be an intelligent, world-savvy person. He came back to his town and he had no desire to fight. But then the English kill his wife- a woman he loved deeply and loved more than anything and everyone else. So, this drove him to edge. It is possibly one of the most noble acts of revenge, since he did not give up after finishing off his wife’s murderers and continued to fight for his and his countrymen’s freedom. All of the scenes are priceless. The movie has 5 Academy Awards, including Best Film and Best Director; both won by the film’s lead actor/director/producer Mel Gibson. If you haven’t seen it yet, and you are not against the concept of historical epic movies, you really shouldn’t miss this.
The Crow (1994)
Such a dark,gothic,powerful cult classic. A rock musician’s ( Eric Draven played by Brandon Lee) fiancée is raped and murdered. Moreover, he is murdered. The great thing about this movie is that the avenger is also dead, and yet he comes back to avenge his and his fiancée’s murders. It is also fascinating to watch as the bad guys go nuts trying to kill him because he just can’t be killed. After all, he is already dead. It would have been lovely to follow Brandon Lee’s projects after this one, but unfortunately he died during the making of this film, which adds to its dark atmosphere. Director Alex Proyas created a cult status for himself. Although Dark City was brilliant, he disappointed quite a few times with his other work. But hey, it is hard to measure up to a film like this.
Death Sentence (2007)
Although it is not as highly rated and regarded as the two movies above, it is a solid example of the genre. Kevin Bacon plays a dad whose son is murdered and the guilty will not receive a slightly deserving punishment. He loses it. He kills the guy who did it. But where the other revenge flicks would normally end, this one actually starts. Now the gang the bad boy belonged to goes after the dad and the remaining of his family, which might end up in dad having to take revenge once again, more brutally and absolutely. I think revenge flicks should not be judged the originality of the script. Not that I find this one refreshing in some parts, I do. But this kind of drama takes its power from the actors and how the director handles the shots. And this movie was beautifully done. Bacon is apt at playing any character, good and bad. But I am guessing the fact that he is a father in real life and really big on his family, and his own fears helped him bring out such a powerful performance. Watch it. It is exciting, disturbing and emotional. I am not exactly a fan of Saw movies. Haven’t even seen the first one. But now that I found out that the director of the first movie,James Wan, directed Death Sentence, I have this newly found respect for the guy. May he make more movies like this…
Desperado (1995) :
Oh yeah. The movie that will make me love its director Robert Rodriguez regardless of how I feel about his other projects. This is a glorious,well-funded sequel to the more modest El Mariachi,which as good as it might have been, lacked one very important element: Antonio Banderas. In the first movie his girlfriend was murdered so now he seeks to avenge her death. Oh, and he has guitar case stuffed with the good guns and he will get rid of you if you try to get in his way.
The revenge movie’s lead is so undeniably significant. He needs to be likable. Yeah, sure it is
easy to identify with a guy whose loved one has been murdered- who loved that person so strongly that they risked their own lives in the name of taking justice in their own hands. He needs to look like a lover and a killer. Brandon Lee was charismatic in spite of his make-up-which added wonders to the cult image. Mel Gibson was tough,strong and masculine, and yet vulnerable, despite the traditional kilt. Antonio Banderas makes a wonderful action hero. He is hot,dark,well-built and passionate. What he lacks in height is more than made up to by his charisma and extreme good looks. Oh, he also sings, plays the guitar, uses his guitar as a weapon and meanwhile he does seduce and is seduced by the gorgeous Salma Hayek. Desperado is pure action, 0 drama and kick-ass entertainment. It doesn’t get deep.It just gets even. Kevin Bacon comes from the theater. He started in H0llywood as nice guy roles but he made a name for himself playing the bad guys. So he has no problem at all portraying a guy who is driven to the edge. In fact, he looks like he is made for it.
These movies are all different from each other but they have the core in common: You root for the good guy, you love the blood shed from the bad guys and the action sequences are brilliant. With the exception of Death Sentence, I have seen the rest many times.Which reminds me, I definitely should add the Kevin Bacon film to my collection. It sure as hell deserves a second viewing. I think for an actor, the action role doesn’t get better than a good revenge movie.