'70s Vigilantes Take '07 in Hands
New slate of vigilante films in era that mirrors '70s anxiety
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2007 6:51 PM CDT
Dirty Harry   (Archive Photos)
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(Newser) – Our era of economic upheaval and political powerlessness mirrors that of the 1970s, and now we’re getting our own silver screen vigilantes to clean up the mess. Everyman killers like Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle took action when the system wouldn’t, says Slate, and this season “vengeance is back with, well, a vengeance.”

New releases The Brave One and Death Sentence both feature former liberals “reformed” into vigilantes, enacting the same war “between civilized and savage” that '70s classics stole from the Western. In a post-Katrina, post-9/11 world though, what we fear is more complex: that disaster will strike, and no cavalry will pick up the pieces.