Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Anti-heroes

(Alicia, we ought to do some posts on antiheroes. I love me some bad boys.)


Okay, Theresa, you're on. My first question is, how about some examples of anti-heroes?

What do you say about Michael Corleone in Godfather I and II?

Andy would say he's the hero of I and the anti-hero of II. (And he alone in the world loves III, and he'd probably say he's the hero again of that.)

(All, Andy is my film student son, and Theresa has known him all his little life, since she was a mere toddler herself. )
Alicia

9 comments:

Thomma Lyn said...

Anti-heroes? I love me some bad boys, too. :) One in particular, Trevor Wolff, has emblazoned himself on my brain. I read regularly about what he's up to thanks to his creator featuring him in outtakes on her blog (West of Mars: The Meet and Greet):

http://westofmars.blogspot.com/

Trevor's my kind of antihero. He's got plenty of the naughty boy about him. He's a rock star with a tough crust. He's got major attitude, wants to be the center of attention, and can be quite the contrarian.

But when you get to know him, you find out about his big heart, his loyalty, and his commitment to both loved ones and to principle -- he doesn't want to wind up like his ornery, alcoholic dad, so he never takes a drink. Gotta respect that. He takes friendship seriously -- though he'd have you believe everything's about his band, ShapeShifter, the anchor for that band is and always has been his friendship with Mitchell Voss, ShapeShifter's frontsman. They've been best friends since they were teens. And it was Trevor who came up with the idea for the band, and it's Trevor who still gives it direction.

So whatever Trevor does, there are two layers to his actions: the motives of the inner Trevor who's vulnerable and full of heart, and the motives of the outer Trevor who maintains the appearance of the tough crust. The outer Trevor is often at odds with the inner one, which causes conflict not only within himself but also with others, and sometimes with those he loves.

But through it all, Trevor is sympathetic and endearing -- you root for him, and you root for him hard.

Edittorrent said...

Scarlet O'Hara is an antihero. (Now I'd better duck and run.) So was Becky Sharp, the character that Scarlet O'Hara was based on.

And I happen to think Vito was a great antihero. He and Michael had a lot in common. They both had that strong inner core of values that didn't necessarily make sense when looking from the outside. They both take these great heroic qualities -- strength, brains, loyalty -- and warp them until they are almost unrecognizable as virtues.

Theresa

Edittorrent said...

So is Michael always an anti-hero, or just in II?
Alicia

Ian said...

How about Riddick from Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick?

The Hulk would qualify as an antihero.

How about the driver from The Transporter?

El Mariachi?

V in V for Vendetta (the graphic novel, please, not the lousy movie adaptation).

Batman really is an antihero. Any takers in that argument?

Most of the characters from Watchmen qualify as antiheroes.

Hmmm. Now I have to go write. My current book also features a bunch of antiheroes. LOL

Ian

Edittorrent said...

What is Batman's flaw? He's a rich guy with endless resources, good manners, social connections, loyal servants, and a really cool lab for building gadgets.

If you tell me that his flaw is that his parents were killed and that was hard for him to deal with, I will have to respond that emotions are not a flaw. Grief is not a flaw.

Batman is not an antihero. Batman is a dark and dangerous hero, but he's not an antihero.

Theresa

Writer & Cat said...

Is the dude from the "Escape from..." movie series an antihero? Snake, was that his name? I'm bad with names.

Jody W.

Wes said...

How about Clint Eastwood's character in UNFORGIVEN?

Edittorrent said...

I'd say yes, Eastwood's Unforgiven character was an anti-hero, but I'm not sure about Snake. If he's redeemed in the end (I can't remember), I'd say he's a hero.

But don't ask me why. I just think anti-heroes are NOT redeemed in the end. I think they can triumph (as Michael sort of does in GFII) but without redemption.
Alicia

Ian said...

Batman constantly toes (and often crosses) the line between legal and illegal activity. Let's see...he dispenses vigilante justice (which is illegal). He constantly violates the civil rights of suspects through violence and threat of violence and often forcibly obtains confessions. He couldn't testify in court because any defendant is permitted to face his accuser.

I realize I'm getting awfully fanboyish here, and in fact Batman is a longtime favorite of mine, but I'm trying to look at him from an outsider's viewpoint.

He's sworn not to kill, but time and time again he's allowed others to die either as a direct result of his actions or through inaction on his part. He routinely throws minors into harm's way (after all, what is Robin?). If you've followed any of his comics over the past couple of years, he's also spied on the Justice League and created methods by which he could defeat any and all other superheroes.

If I was going to (forgive me for further fanboyishness) assign Batman an alignment from Dungeons and Dragons, it would be Lawful Evil. He believes in law and order...HIS law and HIS order. Batman's ideal society is very similar to Totalitarian Fascism, where it's safe to walk the streets at night because of the constant surveillance and threats of violence against anyone who breaks (or is suspected of breaking) the law.

Okay, I'm done ranting. LOL

Ian