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Saturday, October 15, 2016


     I came across a term a little while back, new to me, referring to a revisionist western. It casts aside and questions the ideals of the traditional western, and deconstructs the mythic nature of lawman vs. lawless. The cowboys aren't always right, the indians aren't always wrong. Good doesn't always win.

Some examples of this Genre are:

All favorites I might add. 

     What this got me thinking of though, was have we come far enough to have reached the revisionist Superhero Film? Looking around, I think we have.

     The first example that came to mind for me was the Dark Knight trilogy. Quintessential superhero films, I know. Why I tend to think of them as revisionist, is because of their tone. The emphasis is not so much on good versus evil as the cost of being the Batman. The trilogy is also designed to end, not to continue. Superheroes never really retire, and they never really die.  They do, however, get rebooted.

     Another one that comes up as revisionist for me is My Super Ex-Girlfriend. the titular Heroine, G-Girl, is an insecure mess and misuses her powers to destroy the life of the guy who dates her, and dumps her for the odd behavior he sees in her.

     Hancock has to hit this list for me, as well. An angry, alcoholic superhero with a history of property damage... call him an asshole, one...more...time. It de-mythifies the origin story by having superheroes as a natural part of the world, set to defend it, and manages to make it's own mythology, in the process.

     Speaking of films that create their own mythology...Unbreakable- Some people are stronger, tougher, have enhanced senses, and that is what our myths are based upon. Likewise, some people are more fragile.

     Surprisingly, I can't add Watchmen to this list, because while it definitely takes a revisionist tone, it owes that to it's source material, to which it is very faithful. Deadpool I can't call revisionist for the sme reason, and likewise Suicide Squad.

     And then there is The Return of Captain Invincible- you have a disillusioned, betrayed alcoholic hero, called back into service to save the world. Music by Richard O'Brien and Richard Hartley among others.

    Just some food for thought. You may come up with others, or you may think I am completely off base. I'd love to hear your thoughts


  1. Great post.I am more a fan of films that has the villain have a change of heart towards the end of the film.Movies like *batteries not included,where the gang member develops a soft spot for the old couple and risks his life to save them from the building that he set on fire.Or In Harry and the Hendersons,where the hunter finds compassion for Harry in the end.Another great film was Best of the Best,when the antagonistic Korean Kickboxing team remove their medals and award them to the American team.

  2. I love those too. I love to see people do extraordinary things and the bad guy becoming sympathetic is one of those extraordinary things-

    I love Megamind for that flip.