There’s a good article in the NY Times about Vengence films. It describes how the genre as existing, writing,
The formula’s popularity stems from the permission it gives viewers to experience the rush violence provides without feeling guilty about it. The plot gives the hero the same permission when a wife or daughter or brother or girlfriend (in Jodie Foster’s case a boyfriend) is abducted, injured or killed….
Once the atrocity has occurred, the hero acquires an unquestioned justification for whatever he or she then does; and as the hero’s proxy, the audience enjoys the same justification for vicariously participating in murder, mayhem and mutilation. In fact, the audience is really the main character in many of these films.
Personally, I really like these films. I remember watching “Payback” with Mel Gibson and loving the gritty, matter-of-fact way he dispensed with the people who screwed him out of 80 grand. The author of the article lists these 10 as his favorite:
- “Death Wish,” “Get Carter,” “A History of Violence,” “The Limey,” “Mad Max,” “Out for Justice,” “Point Blank,” “Straw Dogs,” “Taken,” “Valdez is Coming.”
I haven’t seen some of those. My tops are:
- The Limey
- History of Violence
- Kill Bill
- Man on Fire
- Out for Justice
- Die Hard
What about you?