All Women's Talk

7 Electrifying Vigilante Movies and Their Marvelous anti-Heroes ...

By Lyndsie

Vigilante movies are a special breed. I love a good anti-hero – or an anti-heroine. To me, a story is more realistic when the “good guy” isn't necessarily all the way good. The world isn't just black and white, after all; it's all in shades of grey. Vigilantes have checkered pasts, sketchy motives, and maybe even serious imbalances, but all of those things make for intriguing story lines and action-packed films. Don't believe me? Take a look at some of these electrifying vigilante movies and their absolutely marvelous anti-heroes.

Table of contents:

  1. V for vendetta
  2. Kill bill
  3. Taxi driver
  4. The professional
  5. Death wish
  6. The brave one
  7. The boondock saints

1 V for Vendetta

On iTunes:

I don't think you can even talk about vigilante movies without discussing V for Vendetta. In addition to featuring a wonderfully dark, rather eloquent vigilante, it's also a damn good movie. He stands up against the elite, those who have become corrupted by power, and truth be told, with each passing year, the film becomes more relevant, so much so that watching it feels like foreshadowing. V for Vigilante, that's what I say.

2 Kill Bill

On iTunes:

This includes both volumes, pretty much. There are far too few female vigilantes in the movies, but the Bride is one of the best anti-heroes I've ever seen. Though once a cold hearted assassin herself, her single-minded deliberation in taking down Vernita is stunning, but between me and thee, the sequences involving O-Ren Ishii are my favorites. Tell me that choreography wasn't gorgeous, and that Lucy Liu's finally death scene wasn't breathtaking.

3 Taxi Driver

On iTunes:

Travis Bickle is another one of my favorite anti-heroes. He's just kind of amazing. Certainly he's unbalanced, but his motives are somehow so pure, especially in his relationship with Iris. While I think Robert De Niro is one of the most talented actors in the entire world, this is the film that always makes me fall in love with his younger self, just a little bit.

4 The Professional

On iTunes:

Leon is a classic anti-hero, one who becomes seriously sympathetic to the audience. Part of this movie's appeal is down to the dynamic between Jean Reno and Natalie Portman; there's something about seeing the two of them drinking milk, especially, that just hits you. While the idea of an assassin with a secret heart of gold could have gotten really cheesy really quickly, it never gets the Velveeta treatment in this movie.

5 Death Wish

On iTunes:

I was torn between Dirty Harry and Death Wish, but obviously picked the classic Charles Bronson film. While Harry Callahan is definitely a vigilante, that's his mission, his job. Paul Kersey is an everyman. Technically speaking, he could be you or me. While I'm not the hugest fan of all the sequels, the original is just that: a true original.

6 The Brave One

On iTunes:

Jodie Foster brings us another female vigilante, in a character that epitomizes strength and courage. Erica Bain is no victim, and she stalks the streets to bring justice to the men who tore her life apart. I couldn't think of a better actress to play a part like this, and to me it's a realistic take on most vigilante films. It's also an intensely moving and emotional movie. In its own way, it's a wonderful reversal on Death Wish.

7 The Boondock Saints

On iTunes:

This is purely for me. I love this Boston-based flick, and I'm a wicked big fan of the sequel as well. Fans of The Walking Dead, if you haven't seen this, go do it now – at least if you're a fan of Daryl. Seeing baby-faced, badass Norman Reedus with a charming Irish brogue as blue-collar Murphy MacManus is a cinematic thrill. He and brother Connor do their best to clean up Boston's mean streets. There are several particularly marvelous scenes featuring Willem Dafoe as well. In case you're wondering, he does not make an attractive woman.

I very much wanted to include Hannibal, with his affinity for eating rude people, but he's a sociopath rather than a vigilante, of course. What do you think about anti-heroes? Do you prefer them to all-around, squeaky clean good guys?

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