We start the Top 7. You finish the Top 10.
Revenge is a dish best served in a big bloody mess on the big screen. You might be thinking, “Not another regular old revenge movie list.” Well, don’t worry, we’re focusing on a very specific sub-genre of the revenge movies, and it’s all thanks to the new flick Faster starring Dwayne “It’s no longer cool to call me ‘The Rock’” Johnson, which opens November 24.
In the trailer for Faster, Driver says, “They killed my brother, now I’m going to kill all of them.” So, we’re going with the main motivation of … “You killed my ____, now I’m going to kill you and anyone who gets in my way!” And your ____ can’t just be your dog or even yourself … we’re talking kids, wife, dad, etc. Also, the revenge needs to be that character’s main focus. It can’t be a bad guy killing your lady in the last act, so then you kill him. Those are the rules. Deal with it.
So with that said you won’t be seeing Unforgiven. Clint Eastwood’s Bill Munny is a hired gun with some demons. And guess what, while Spider-Man and Batman definitely have some revenge on their mind’s … they don’t go around killing. That’s not their focus. Especially not Batman, it’s his creed. So they aren’t allowed to play. And the reason you don’t see films like Death Sentence or The Brave One it’s because they really aren’t that good.
Also, I’ll just say this now so I won’t have to keep repeating myself … PLOT SPOILERS are all over the place here people. So look away if you must.
7. Desperado (1995)
Recap: A former mariachi (Antonio Banderas) is searching for the drug lord who killed his lover. He will kill anyone who gets in his way of revenge.
Reason: OK, quick note. He won’t kill anyone/everyone. After all, when he stumbles upon Carolina (Salma Hayek), she slows him down, but I think we’re all OK with that. Director Robert Rodriguez brings to life a slick tale, with Steve Buscemi, Danny Trejo and Quentin Tarantino along for the ride. Most importantly, there are guns in guitar cases. Lots of guns. At the end El Mariachi is face to face with his brother. His brother wants revenge because El Mariachi killed all of his men. You know what that means? Double revenge. DOUBLE REVENGE! It’s so beautiful. What does it mean? What does it mean!
6. Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981)
Recap: Jason Voorhees is alive. Camp Crystal lake is reopened for camp counselor training, and slowly, one by one they start being killed by Jason. He will kill anyone who gets in his way of revenge.
Reason: Don’t forget, the original Friday the 13th is like an opposite Psycho. It’s Mrs. Voorhees doing all the dirty work, because she thinks counselors led to her son drowning to death. But he ain’t dead, we have 263 sequels to prove it. Why is Jason killing? Because Alice (Adrienne King) killed his mom, that’s why. Plus, he’s been a hermit and all white teenagers look the same, so he’s got to kill them all with a knife, hammer claw, and of course, machete. It’s misplaced aggression, but it’s still revenge.
5. Gladiator (2000)
Recap: A real dick of a prince (Joaquin Phoenix) betrays one of his soldiers, Maximus (Russell Crowe), and kills his wife and son. Maximus will have his revenge in this life or the next.
Reason: This would be higher, but I’ve always felt this movie is a slightly different version of the number four movie on this list. Just like Patriot is a knock-off of number four and five on this list. Maximus is a killing machine who has to go through a lot to get to Commudus. I mean, he’s actually got to get through lions, tigers and bears just for the chance. OK, maybe just tigers. Maximus remains focused and even when things look bleak, and that damn prince is up to know good, Maximus has his revenge (in this life).
4. Braveheart (1995)
Recap: William Wallace (Mel Gibson) is a simple man who just wants to have a slice of the American … I mean Scottish dream of owning some land and being left alone. The ruling England won’t let that happen and just for the hell of it, they kill his wife to teach him a lesson.
Reason: The lesson backfires. It’s almost like Mel Gibson needs to die so we can all appreciate him again. Maybe we should just call it, “giving him the Michael Jackson treatment.” Suddenly we’d be able to love and respect the work he’s responsible for. This film is almost three hours long. At the one hour mark is when the “revenge” comes into full view. They cut Murron’s (Catherine McCormack) throat. The last two hours this film is simply a great action movie. Yes, William Wallace leads an entire army against England for revenge. He’s a hero, but his bloodlust is completely selfish, and thank god for that. Wallace isn’t able to see the full scope of his plan come into affect, but thankfully Robert the Bruce (Angus Macfadyen) picks up where Wallace left off.
3. The Princess Bride (1987)
Recap: Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) is on a quest. When he was just a young boy, he watched as a six-finger man kill his father. This inspired Inigo to train his entire life to become a fencing master for the opporutinty to avenge his father’s death. There’s also something about Westley (Cary Elwes), Buttercup (Robin Wright) and true love.
Reason: Yes, he’s a side character. Yes, it’s a family film. Yes, Andre the Giant is awesome, but focus on this and say it with me people … Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die. Stop saying that! HELLO! My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die! Offer me money. Yes! Power, too, promise me that. All that I have and more. Please… Offer me anything I ask for. Anything you want… I want my father back, you son of a bitch!
2. Memento (2000)
Recap: Someone broke in to Leonard’s (Guy Pearce) house and killed his wife. He also got hurt so now, while he’s trying to look for the killer, he has no short-term memory.
Reason: Talk about adversity. Leonard fills his body up with tattoo’s just to remember what he’s trying to do. Some people try to take advantage of Leonard’s condition. Watching this film in reverse is only half the battle with keeping things straight. Poor Leonard doesn’t know who the killer is, but his only motivation, his only point to suffer through his life is to find the man who killed his wife and get his revenge.
1. Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 (2003 & 2004)
Recap: The Bride (Uma Thurman) is one of the best hired assassins ever. She’s ready to leave that all behind with a new finance and a baby to be. Her boss Bill (David Carradine), doesn’t like the idea of her leaving ruins her wedding (by killing her fiance and almost killing her).
Reason: The Bride has the most to be angry about. First, it’s her wedding day. That’s supposed to be a pretty good time. Something to remember. Not only do Bill and his team reek havoc on the day, the fiance is dead. Plus, The Bride thinks her baby is dead. She makes a list, checks it twice and comes for O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu),
Vernita Green (Vivica A. Fox), Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah), Budd (Michael Madsen) and then finally Bill. On top of that she has to kill 90 others just because they won’t get out of her way.