Of all the themes that could come up in cinematic consciousness, Hollywood is endorsing the most illegal, and unbalanced of character profiles–The Vigilante. I’m all for justice and the prevailing of the human spirit over this war-torn tainted world, but there is a reason Hammurabi is dead and his over-literal old-testament brand code of conduct later followed.The last year and a half or so was ‘Dedicated Teacher’ and what I call ‘Final Show’ flicks. These are where people conquer social or personal constructs that oppress them (like racism, poverty, or general blandness) and win over their opponents (boo!) and our hearts (aww). But this past season had something new brewing… something unexpected.
To be fair, I didn’t see these movies, but here is my projected overview (take it or leave it).1st up, The Brave One.Remember little Jodie Foster in the Original Freaky Friday? (minus angst ridden, trend knocking LiLo, and extra chromosome having entertainment blue-blood Jamie Lee Curtis) Well Jodie’s character is scarred by the brutal murder of her boyfriend, the theft of her pooch and the ineptitude of justice system in exacting retribution and that’s probably in the 1st half hour.
But big twist this is no Lifetime Movie. She gets out there and starts taking her dignity back one low-life at a time. God Bless America. If intuition serves me well, Terrance Howard is a lawyer or cop either works who is not supposed to help her but in the end sings bass in her redemption song. Oh, joy another Houdini.2nd, Forgot the name of this one BUT Kevin Bacon is back (this time he’s visible, but with much love still slightly irrelevant). His son gets murdered and in avenging him he starts a gang war with Aisha Tyler by his side in the name of destroyed posterity. God Bless America.
All I’m saying is, to play all my cards, in real life people (especially the melanin-enhanced) can’t do things like that no matter how noble the cause. Flawed as the justice system is it is there at our disposal. I am not championing the justice system, I don’t care for most of it’s policies or policy makers, but I respect it. So this really isn’t a question of balancing the Lady’s heavy scales, it’s more of a social issue for me.
I have a number of guilty pleasures so I’m not judging the world here. But I must beg the question, Why is it that some people (White People) are acceptable vehicles to right societal glitches. Both characters were probably upstanding citizens and were given over to a spiral of rage and grief. Al Pacino, the ULTIMATE, anti-hero actor, played two roles where revenge was a mode of transportation around their world. Michael Corleone is easier to understand. He was thrown into the family business, and was primarily settling debts that were not his (*clears throat here* Sonny and Fredo). Scarface a ruthless Cuban refugee (relevance soon) and a general hothead dealt with people the way he felt he should. With much gore and all inclusive violence. Had he been blessed at birth to be a bit more sun-kissed, it wouldn’t have worked (Example Sean Nelson in Fresh).
I am thoroughly convinced that the world cannot accept that people of color know intrinsically the ignorance of the system and it’s attempt to seal their fate as non-productive members of society. With that it is also understood by oppressed people that the goal of oppression (enter Matrix similes here) is to create a dismal dream state in which they cannot wake. Kevin Bacon’s Nick Hume is no different in principal than Lil Lavon or Julito’s kill or be killed attitude they adopt as bi-products of the ‘hood and hood living.
I’m not condoning murder based on an environmental bias-murder is wrong and detrimental to creation.I am saying, the only time (movie or otherwise) I saw a person of color excused for an act of vengence was in a Time To Kill and it took a cute smart white man to get that story published. Jena 6 ANYONE?