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Hero, or Antihero? Which do you prefer?

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Hero, or Antihero? Which do you prefer?

Old 05-13-04, 02:33 AM
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Hero, or Antihero? Which do you prefer?

I've had this discussion several times with my friends, and wanted to get the DVD talk spin on it, because many of you have voiced intelligent opinions and seem to be pretty well informed or perhaps "well viewed" and reasonable...

So, my question is: Which do you prefer, the hero or the antihero?

John Wayne or Clint Eastwood?

Paragon of Virtue or Person with Tragic Flaws?

The Antihero:

IMO, the best characters are those that have enough depth to include frailties and flaws which end up either being their undoing, or the reason for their death or otherwise defeat.

Perhaps it's just the GenXer in me speaking, but I have always thought more of films in which a main character dies in the end (providing it's meaningful in some way, and not just an emotional manipulation of the audience). This person doesn't have to be THE main character I suppose, but definitely one essential the the plot.

Some examples of such characters:

Neil (Heat) Has the girl, convinces her to escape with him, has the money, the cops have tried to catch him and failed, but...Tragic Flaw: He just can't live without revenge on his enemy, and it gets him killed in the end.

Carlito (Carlito's Way) Shows mercy to an opponent that he knows he should kill, and that opponent returns to murder him after he escapes "the bad guys" and has everything he wants in his grasp.

William Munny (Unforgiven) Driven by nothing more sophisticated than greed (for the bounty) and later for revenge (of his friend's death) guns everybody down in the end. A favorite line: "Deserve's got nothing to do with it".


The Hero:

Basically, take your pick. "Hollywood" (and I usually say that word with derision), provides many white-hat perfect and virtuous heroes, who are full of unassailable ideals.

Perhaps many people prefer the hero because the hero represents a perfection that really no one can acheive, and there is a need at some level to see everyone "get what they deserve" in the end.

Which do you prefer?
Old 05-13-04, 04:05 AM
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I prefer the anti-heroes in most parts of my movie experience.
They are more memorable - Unterstumfuhrer Goeth Schindler¡¯s List, his extreme cruelty and fearful presentation of a villain with SS-Death¡¯s Head uniform. Col. Kilgore Apocalypse Now, a flamboyant warmonger who turns war into circus. Dr. Lector Silence of the Lambs, very sharp and intelligent man. John Doe Se7en his provocative ideology is cringing. Without them films could be less interesting or even have no heroes to be told in counteract.

Strong anti-hero films like A Clockwork Orange, Raging Bull & Taxi Driver they are more specialized into that subject and fantastically explored but I feel they are less open like pure heroism that we like to see (if you know what I¡¯m saying here).

There is less number of anti-hero films so you don¡¯t see them often. I guess I just want to be different and watch destructive characters .
Old 05-13-04, 04:13 AM
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i definitely prefer the anti hero, but i still love to watch the 80's arnold flicks where we see him shooting and then cut to bad guys dying. commando being the perfect example.
Old 05-13-04, 05:59 AM
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Got to go with anti-hero, and I agree that for some reason I find movies where the main character dies more 'meaningful,' and I can't really think of a good reason why. Maybe it's just the thought of sacrificing one's own life (knowingly or not). I think Clockwork Orange and Raging Bull, as Apone pointed out, are great examples, as well as Godfather part 2. Most all noir movies are like this: the hero is actually a murderer, on the run from the cops, or has had some type of indiscretion with the law/societal norms. Le Jur se leve, Double Indemnity, and The Killing are all decent examples of this. I think a movie like Frailty has a unique take in that it doesn't even let you know who the real hero is... I like movies like that. You might say the same about Fight Club.
Old 05-13-04, 06:25 AM
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The anti-hero, and I think most would agree. Everyone prefers Han Solo to Luke Skywalker.

A Clockwork Orange's Alex de Large is the perfect and probably most disturbing example of the anti-hero. The first half of the film is devoted to showing what a vile man he is. He rapes. He beats the innocent. He kills. But by the end, because of his political manipulation and the realization that free will must be preserved at all costs, the audience is actually ROOTING for him to go back to his old evil ways. I may have gone on a tangent but you get the idea
Old 05-13-04, 09:30 AM
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"Jimmy was the kinda guy who always rooted for the bad guys in a movie"
Old 05-13-04, 09:49 AM
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I would think most prefer an anti-hero as the character flaws often allow people to identify with them. Of course, there's nothing wrong with the occasional invincible ex-something hero mowing down wave after wave of faceless goons...
Old 05-13-04, 10:13 AM
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Um, could we try spoiler tags next time? Please don't give away the endings of movies.
Old 05-13-04, 11:38 AM
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I just want to say: I don't think you understood Heat.
Old 05-13-04, 04:57 PM
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yeah, Pacino's Hanna was clearly the anti-hero of that film.
Old 05-14-04, 01:00 AM
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Anti-hero for me. Snake Plissken in 'Escape from L.A. Marcus in 'Irreversible'. Django in 'Django' These are my heroes. They most reflect who I am as a person.

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