Revenge is one of the most natural forms of emotions that we experience as people. We can be really attached to our family, boyfriend or girlfriend, kids, and even our pets that we wouldn’t want anything to happen to them. If something truly horrible were to happen to any of the aforementioned people, then it is easy to say that our reactions would be of extreme anger and sadness. Mix those two emotions together and you have the perfect recipe for an act of vengeance in order to right the wrongs that were committed.
I think revenge films are one of the most important films in the genre because they describe so well what is currently happening in the world wight now along from being a very personal story that can rely on a lot of character development. The way I see it is that revenge films are a way of summarizing what kind of world we live in nowadays. We see rapists, murderers, thiefs, corrupt officials, and many other horrible people get away with a lot of things and continuing to commit horrible actions towards others. I see revenge action films as a form of release for us, the viewer, in order to indirectly find a way to see these people get what is coming to them without actually going on a vigilante spree. It also talks about our rather cruel world and how we should be strong and defend our own kind from evil. I know this is all very deep and psychological, but I feel revenge films strike a personal chord with the audience and that’s why they are so popular with people. Just look at the current success of Django Unchained.
The action genre has relied a lot on the plot revolving revenge because it is an easy to way to create sympathy for the main character and further develop the evil for the villains and make the explosions and violence have more weight to them. Take films like Taken, Death Sentence, the Death Wish franchise, The Punisher, Man on Fire, The Patriot, and Commando so involving whether they are played up for fun entertainment or for a more serious and gritty experience. You stay on the side of the main character as he or she mows down bad guys as he or she attempts to right the wrongs that were done. It’s amazing to see these characters enact their vengeance and us as the audience are right there cheering them on. I mean, my mother, who despises violent movies loves these kinds of films simply because of the message and the motivation.
However, it isn’t all one sided as all these films all have that moment where the main character has that dilemma on whether what they’re doing is right or makes them just as bad the criminals they are killing off. It again makes for great character development and some strong drama when need be.
They are some of the best examples of what the genre can deliver on an entertainment and filmmaking level. Revenge films are some of the best examples for this genre.