Anyone who writes or enjoys reading stories has at least a general idea of the various character types that make up the basics of virtually any story, novel, play or movie.
Of course, there are the villains, as more technically refereed to as the antagonists. And just as obviously there are the heroes, technically termed the protagonists. Just perhaps the most beloved character type that is in use more now than ever is the figure known as the anti-hero.
Some people may be familiar with this type of character but in the event that you are not one of them, an anti-hero is essentially a protagonist that is anything but perfect.
Gone are the days with squeaky clean heroes who always make the right decisions and never cross any moral lines. Writers and readers have come to embrace protagonists with faults, personal struggles and other serious and not so serious issues that they must face.
So why is the anti-hero so popular? I would venture to guess that it’s because he or she is a character to which people can more accurately relate. Quite frankly, they are more realistic. Even the most shinning examples of humanity struggle with their own issues from time to time. Nobody does everything right or always makes the right call pertaining to a moral or ethical situation.
Some famous examples of anti-heroes include:
Holden Caulfield – “Catcher in the Rye”
Scarlett O’Hara – “Gone with the Wind”
John McClain – “Die Hard” series
Frank Martin – “Transporter” series
Patrick Jane – “The Mentalist”
Emily Thorne – “Revenge”
Lady Macbeth – “Macbeth”
A few days back, I had posted a blog article on the “Batman” series of films. Now, just a short time later, I feel compelled to step away for a moment from the standard topics of this blog to honor those who lost their lives to the senseless violence that took place in Aurora, Colorado in the early morning hours today.
May those personally victimized in this horrific event, as well as all of their loved ones and the Aurora community as a whole, be comforted by the love, kindness and prayers of all of us.
To date, since the 1989 “Batman” film starring Michael Keaton and the legendary Jack Nicholson, there can be said to have been seven follow-ups including the upcoming “The Dark Knight Rises.”
While many may argue that the Dark Knight Trilogy if you will, can be considered a separate series of films than its several predecessors, for this purpose I’m going to classify them in the same grouping.
Clearly the aforementioned 1989 film set the standard. The 1992 sequel “Batman Returns” was a decent follow-up but as is typical, sequels rarely live up to the original.
Then we get into what I personally consider the disposable Batman films, 1995’s “Batman Forever” and 1997’s “Batman and Robin.” Both featured a notable lineup of Hollywood big names but as we all know, that’s no guarantee of a quality film. To the contrary, these movies seemed to feature second-rate acting, less structured plots and somewhat laughable villains. Val Kilmer was OK in the lead role but as has been typical of his film career, George Clooney bombed.
At that point, it looked like the franchise had sunk into a death spiral from which there would be no return. That was until Christopher Nolan decided to resurrect the series with the film “Batman Begins” in 2005. The new lead actor Christian Bale restored the series to its original glory and possibly even more. And Heath Ledger’s amazing portrayal of the Joker in 2007’s “The Dark Knight,” kept the top-notch productions going.
So here we are, just days away from the release of “The Dark Knight Rises,” partially filmed in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. While of course I haven’t seen it yet, I have to presume it will keep with the trend of the Nolan versions and be another masterpiece. But of course, only time will tell.