Good and bad vigilante films

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by gottenbold, May 16, 2019.

  1. gottenbold

    gottenbold Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    West Yorkshire
    I caught the 2014 version of "The Equalizer" last night.

    Wow! It was quite different to the TV series! Denzel Washington's Robert McCall would kick the butt of Edward Woodward's Robert McCall ten times over!

    This has got me thinking about other vigilante flicks. I rather enjoyed James Wan's "Death Sentence", especially for one prolonged action sequence which ends with the hero dispatching a bad guy from the top of a multi storey car park.

    I also remember enjoying Neil Jordan's "The Brave One".

    In the vigilante genre, what do you rate and hate?
  2. townsend

    townsend Forum Resident

    Montrose, CO
    The vigilante film that stands out in my mind is 1973's Walking Tall, starring Joe Don Baker as Buford Pusser.

    This was based on a real person, and for the life of me, I think his parents ought to be jailed for child abuse in giving their child a name such as Buford Pusser. It's bad enough having a last name like "Pusser," but combining it with Buford . . . :doh:

    At any rate, I mean this was one bloody violent movie back in 1973. I don't care for the remake -- just not a fan of Dwayne Johnson, who is a likeable guy nonetheless. I just don't need a remake of the first movie -- which was Grade B but a solid flick.
  3. mmars982

    mmars982 Forum Resident

    Pittsburgh, PA
    Good: Death Wish and Death Wish 2
    Bad: Death Wish 3, 4 & 5
  4. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Shouldn't the Rambo series be discussed somewhere? ;)
  5. gottenbold

    gottenbold Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    West Yorkshire
    That's a very good question. Whilst he wasn't a vigilante in the first film, he may well have exhibited vig tendencies in subsequent outings.
    Strat-Mangler likes this.
  6. Funny that you mention that, as I just watched these first two in what had been ages since I saw them last.

    I'm putting the first Death Wish in the bad category, because really, we don't know how Paul got from point A to point B. When I was a kid I just accepted it; his wife was killed, his daughter was put away, so it made sense that he would go on a vigilante killing spree...except it doesn't make sense because the only job the film does to explore how Paul makes the switch is by telling us that he was a conscientious objector in the army, that he hunted when he was a kid and felt bad about killing, and then he goes to target practice with a client. In other words, the films shows us everything that would prevent him from becoming a vigilante. At the very best it's muddy. His client sends him a revolver as a gift that's supposed to be the catalyst to kill.

    If that had happened to my wife and daughter I would want to wipe the scum from the face of the earth, too (that doesn't mean I would do it, though). Indeed, I imagine this is a fate that a lot of people have gone through, with the great majority of them not resorting to vigilantism, especially someone who has a background of being against killing, even in a time of war. I simply didn't see enough character development that explains his reasoning.

    The 2nd film I would say is "good" simply because from the first film we already know what he's capable of, so it all makes sense.

    I don't know. Perhaps I'm looking into it too much.
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  7. Dayfold

    Dayfold Forum Resident

    Dead Man's Shoes (Shane Meadows, 2004)

    Watched it again the other night. Just brilliant. One of my favourite British films of modern times. A terrifically menacing Paddy Considine offs a cretinous gang of bullies in revenge for tormenting his vulnerable younger brother.
    Slack Babbath likes this.
  8. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    I think The Limey counts here
    Borgia, Dr. Funk and Graham like this.
  9. Graham

    Graham Forum Resident

    London, UK
    Taxi Driver can’t be topped.
  10. mmars982

    mmars982 Forum Resident

    Pittsburgh, PA
    The movie is apparently not as in depth as the book on which it is based, and it comes to a different conclusion (from what I have heard - I never read the book). And it isn't exactly Charles Bronson's best acting (I find it much harder to believe he is an architect than I do that he is a vigilante). But I still really like it for some reason (Vincent Gardenia is probably a big pat of it).
  11. entropyfan

    entropyfan Forum Resident

    A great anti-vigilante film.


    One-armed Spencer Tracy - about to throw down.
  12. entropyfan

    entropyfan Forum Resident

    Oh yeah and Billy Jack

  13. Ignatius

    Ignatius Forum Resident

  14. Fastnbulbous

    Fastnbulbous Doubleplus Ungood

    Washington DC USA
    The Outlaw Josey Wales
    oldsurferdude and MHS3 like this.
  15. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Payback with Mel Gibson?
    Dr. Funk likes this.
  16. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Forum Resident

    Fort worth tx
    Very stylish Soderbergh gem. :righton:
  17. DaveinMA

    DaveinMA Forum Resident

    Hard to believe based on the rest of what I've seen of his acting career that Bronson was able to pull off such a good performance in Once Upon A Time In The West, which is a great vigilante movie, by the way.
    The Panda likes this.
  18. noname74

    noname74 nocustomtitle

    John Wick.

    You don't kill a mans dog. Especially when he is a retired top notch assassin.
    MHS3 likes this.
  19. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    2019's Liam Neeson thriller "Cold Pursuit" impressed me. Quirky take on the vigilante genre.

    It remakes a Norwegian film - and both come from the same director! Not sure how the two directly compare, but I've heard they're very similar...
  20. Holerbot6000

    Holerbot6000 Forum Resident

    Ms. 45 - disturbingly effective!
    They call her One Eye (Aka Thriller) - goes off the rails in the third act but a great slow burn up to that point and the comeuppance at the end is truly unique. This 36th Chamber of Shaolin crossed with I spit on Your Grave. Sorta.
  21. Borgia

    Borgia Forum Resident

    I've posted this on various movie threads before, but Vigilante Force with Jan Michael Vincent & Kris Kristofferson was one of my favorite movies as a teenager. I still like it.

  22. Steve Carras

    Steve Carras Forum Resident

    Whittier,CA USA
    Planning to see it, to buy it.
    Oatsdad likes this.
  23. The Ox Bow Incident.
  24. EddieMann

    EddieMann I used to be a king...

    Geneva, IL. USA.
    I'm sure this one was terrible...

    kw21925, Graham and mmars982 like this.
  25. Fastnbulbous

    Fastnbulbous Doubleplus Ungood

    Washington DC USA
    My character has no arc!
    mmars982 and EddieMann like this.

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