Who doesn’t like a good revenge movie? The first big one I recall was Death Wish with Charles Bronson. He had a great run with the Paul Kersey character, more than getting even with wave after wave of evildoers in various cities. And he was not just getting even, he was devastating anyone who had anything at all to do with causing him the slightest discomfort. Even worse if it affected friends or family. He was a champion for the weak and elderly and we cheered him on as he stabbed, shot, blew up, and killed his enemies in creative ways. Why did we, the public, embrace the vengeance so lustily? Simply because life does NOT imitate art. The bad guy doesn’t get caught. They never pay for their transgressions. They always get away with it. I’m getting pissed just thinking about a system that provides so much doubt and confusion in the legal arena that allows criminals to go free. Now, I am on record as a big proponent of the Code of Hammurabi. This was a system that was established to protect orphans, widows, and the weak. In all, there are 282 rules in the Code. There are a few complaints about the severity of the “justice” this doctrine provides, but hey, you want laws or justice? A surgeon was not able to kill someone due to a mistake and merely call his attorney to file his malpractice defense, tying up the courts, costing money, time, and all that comes with it (not to mention the corpse). Possibly no justice at all because of a box on a form that didn’t get filed on time. Or money injected into the process to further cloud the minds and actions of some lawmakers. No. His hands were cut off. Just as effective as Paul Kersey, but a lot less simple.
Now, with Netflix throwing crazy money at stars to produce projects with them, EVERYONE has a “revenge-themed” cache of movies to draw royalties from ad infinitum. As long as people feel injustice, we will sustain our appetite for getting our five pounds of flesh against criminals. Even America’s Sweetheart, the precocious (and beautiful) Jennifer Garner, has a badass revenge film. Check out Peppermint. THAT’s how you take care of people who cause you pain. I never really cared for Jennifer Garner before I saw Peppermint. Now I am a fan. I am going to check out more of her work and I definitely hope to see a Peppermint 2. Another actor who has started his own “revenge” franchise is the Irish actor Liam Neeson. Now, if you are seriously disturbed and have your own death wish, try kidnapping his daughter. You’d be WISHING for the Code of Hammurabi.