A study of vigilantism in movies

Eric Lichtenfeld examines vigilantism in two parts, first in Killer Films at Slate, and then on his own blog with Due Vigilance Part II. Interesting.

And then I understood–more than I had before–the appeal of vigilantism. The appeal isn’t fundamentally rooted in crime, or in bad things happening; it’s rooted in how powerless we are rendered in trying to respond.

Yes, and when the hallowed “system” fails us, when we know what justice is, and when the “system” refuses to provide us with that justice. Any other recourse means to submit to the injustice and oppression forced on us, first by crime and then by a vicious and apathetic “system.”

I suppose he didn’t mention my own favorite vigilante movie because the protagonist didn’t use guns. Still, good reading.

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