As we all know revenge is a dish best served cold. Well for Liam Neesen I guess his revenge is best served in European cities. Either way, after seeing the New Taken 2 I wanted to give my opinion about revenge. I, for one, am a huge fan of the revenge driven action movie genre. We are all familiar with the stories that drive these action thrillers. A reluctant hero is thrust into a distressing situation where he/she must seek revenge for the hurting, kidnapping, killing, or selling of ones’ family members into sexual servitude. So in celebration of Taken 2’s release and the theme of revenge, I thought I would run down a list of the 15 best revenge movies…OF ALL TIME!!
15. Death Wish
Classic tale of a man seeking revenge for his murdered wife. Charles Bronson is the first and last name in the revenge movie genre.
No list is complete without mention of the governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. In this classic story an ex-green berret’s daughter is taken from him, and he must get her back before these bad guys take his daughters life. “Remember when i said i would kill you last? I lied”
13. Law Abiding Citizen
When Gerald Butler’s family is murdered and the men who are responsible are set free he not only seeks revenge on the people who were set free, but on the system that set them free.
12. Death Sentence
Kevin Bacon’s son is murdered in cold blood as part of a gang initiation at a gas station. When the authorities are unable to do anything about the murder, he takes matters into his own hands. He tracks down and kills the punk who murdered his son, but his revenge is short lived. When the gang realizes what he has done they issue a “death sentence” to his family, and he must rush to kill the entire gang before they end his family’s life.
11. Hard to Kill
Steven Seagal is the quintessential bad ass in any movie he is in. A man, karate, and a pony tail, who stands a chance? In this revenge thriller, Mason Storm is a cop who sees to much and his family pays the price. Left for dead in a coma he wakes 7 years later to find that his family has been murdered and the people responsible for their deaths are police and government officials. Revenge is finally dished out years after the culprits thought they were safe. “Anticipation of death is worse than death itself.”
Mel Gibson is a thief who is betrayed by his employers, his friends, his cheating wife, and left for dead. When he comes back seeking the money he is owed it sends the underworld into a frantic tizzy trying to make sure that they finish the job they started. But he wants more than just the money, he wants PAYBACK.
Kevin Costner falls in love with his bosses wife. Obviously he is not happy with them. He beats the both of them within inches of their lives. His brutalization of her is not through, he horribly disfigures her and sells her into prostitution. He orders his men to kill Costner, but death does not find him. Once he heals from his wounds he seeks out to find his lost love. When he finally does, she dies in his arms and vows to take revenge on the man who did this to them.
8. The Last of the Mohicans
When isn’t a Michael Mann movie great? There are many layers of revenge in this movie. Daniel Day Lewis plays Nathaniel, a white man who was raised by the last remaining two of the Mohican tribe The story takes place in New York with the backdrop of the French and Indian war raging in the background. His friends are murdered by a ravenous Indian foe and then he, his brother, and father are betrayed by the British who they partner with to protect their homes. Subsequently the woman he falls in love with is also taken captive and he must fight through several foes (the French, the British, and the Huron tribe) to save the woman he loves and ensure the freedom of his home.
7. The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexander Dumas’ classic tale of revenge. A man’s entire life is stolen from him by his best friend when his dad betrays the crown. he blames Edmond for his dad’s crimes, and as a result, his wife, his son, and his freedom are all taken from him. To make matters worse he is sent to a prison where he is savagely beaten on a daily basis. He spends years in solitude mulling over his misfortune, until he is befriended by another prisoner who teaches him to read, write, fight, plan, and the location of a hidden treasure. Upon his escape from the fortified prison colony he seeks out the hidden treasure and partners up with a pirate he saves. But rather than take his freedom and his newly found treasure, he returns home to seek revenge upon the people who betrayed him.
One of the best movies ever made. This movie can be part of many “best of” lists and has a multitude of themes woven into this fascinating tale of revenge, redemption, friendship, and honor. Maximus, played by Russel Crowe, a general in the Roman army is betrayed by his Emperor’s corrupt son, his family murdered, his farm burned, and he is subject to a botched murder. Upon his escape from his would be murders he ventures back home to discover the grisly fate of his family. Nearly dead he is captured and sold into slavery as a gladiator. He then must make his way through the bloody arenas to make his way back to Rome where he seeks revenge on the Emperor’s son who has risen to power after murdering his father.
5. The Professional
A young 12-year old Matilda’s entire family is brutally murdered by corrupt cops in a hit disguised as a drug raid. She is sympathetically rescued by a “cleaner” by the name of Leon who witnesses the massacre. Jean Reno plays the “cleaner” who is in actuality a loner hitman who is very good and very efficient at his job. He is reluctantly lured into Matilda’s quest to seek revenge against the cops who murdered her family. As he cares for the young girl he becomes enamored with her innocence and the redemption that she represents. During the time he spends with her he develops a responsibility for her safety, her well-being, and on ending her blood feud with the rogue police officers who killed her family.
4. Man on Fire
When Doesn’t Denzel Washington play an imposing character? In this action thriller Denzel plays a former Marine Recon and CIA spook named Creasy who is hired to protect a young businessman’s daughter in the dangerous neighborhoods of Mexico City where kidnapping for ransom is running rapid. When she is kidnapped and Creasy shot and left for dead the parents agree to pay the 10 million dollar ransom. They are double crossed and the money are stolen and the girl not returned. Creasy then takes it upon himself to get her back and swears to kill everyone who had anything to do with her kidnapping. “Creasy’s art is death. He’s about to paint his masterpiece
Liam Neesen’s daughter is taken when she visits Paris with her friend on an unsupervised trip. She is kidnapped and awaits a life of drug addiction and forced prostitution if no one can save her in the first 72 hours after she is taken. Luckily for her that her dad is an retired CIA securities operative who is hell bent on getting his daughter back safely. He tears Paris up on his decent into the Albanian underworld of sex-slave trading and police corruption. He tracks, kills, tortures his way to his daughters whereabouts that leads him into run ins with former associates, chases in front of the airport and even has to shoot his friends wife in order to locate his daughter.
2. The Crow
Unfortunately, this marks the last movie in the short-lived career of burgeoning action star Brandon Lee, son of former martial arts legend Bruce Lee. On Devil’s Night, the night before Halloween, Eric Draven (Lee) and his fiance Shelley are murdered in their apartment by a gang of thugs. Shelley is raped and tortured in front of Eric before he himself is beaten, stabbed, and then thrown from the window of their 5 story apartment building. The following year on this special night a Crow, the carrier of souls, carries Draven’s soul back from the dead to allow him to seek revenge on the people who stole his love and his life from him. This dark dramatic action thriller grabs you from the first scene and doesn’t let go. It is dark, depraved, and stylistic. There is no happy ending in this story of revenge.
1. Kill Bill 1 & 2
No other movie encapsulates both style and substance so well as to let the audience know the depths to the depravity of the betrayers and then the pain staking comeback that the heroine must overcome to get her revenge. Quentin Tarantino has made the story of the murdered Bride on her wedding day along with the rest of her wedding party part of pop culture and movie legend. The acting, directing, story, and action scenes are some of the most entertaining you will see on film. The trials and tribulations that some have to overcome to get the revenge they seek is never more evident than in this movie. And when she gets her vengeance, which she of course does, it is done with swift action, ruthless tactics, and unrelenting brutality. Kill Bill 1 and 2 are the best example of a person deserving revenge, overcoming obstacles to get their revenge, and then taking that revenge without consideration to their own safety. She is not so much a good guy or a bad guy as she is just a bad mamma jamma!!
When it comes to revenge, Genghis Khan said it best:
“I am the punishment of God…If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.”