Friday, 15 May 2009

Violent Justification

After watching PUNISHER: WAR ZONE I've been thinking about the action in it. There's no arguing that it's brutal as hell, deserving of its 18 certificate. Action is the one thing I know I'm good at and I love writing it. What I'd really like to do, is produce something as violent as WAR ZONE:

Note the insane brutality of it all - the chair through the eye, knife through throat, fist through face. A lot of people will cringe at this sort of thing but there are plenty of us who love it (and spend hours explaining why that doesn't mean we'll go out and kill everyone).

The problem with this sort of action is that it needs to be justified. WAR ZONE borders on it - the story isn't exactly involving, but they get away with it because of who it's about. The film really gets into the heart of the Punisher - he's a brutal, no-mercy vigilante and that's what this film shows. So, on deciding that I wanted to produce that level of action, I was faced with the story.

You can't just have endless amounts of action without any story whatsoever. I mean you can (just look at the MORTAL KOMBAT films) but you shouldn't!

Ultimately, I'd love to write a Punisher movie. But that's never going to happen. By the time I'm successful enough to even be considered, the Punisher film saga will be long gone. So I'll just have to write my own version.

Essentially, it's all about character (as with anything). WAR ZONE features a character who has been driven to this level of brutality by revenge and justice. What I want to do with my 'hero' is give him the same justification.

There seems to be one main motivation for dealing out that level of brutality - revenge. And WAR ZONE has that covered. But that got me thinking about alternative motivations. The strongest instinct to any human is self-preservation. The things we'll do to survive are almost limitless. But how do you get someone to deal out the hurt just to survive?

The solution to a survival threat is often to run and take down anyone who comes at you. But really, the most logical step is to eliminate those who pose a threat. So if I have some rather dangerous characters wanting to kill my 'hero' (who happens to be a Special Forces officer), I can justify his journey. But how do I justify the brutality he shows in his mission? Revenge. It's as simple as that - there is no other way to reason that sort of action without the motive of revenge.

It's still pretty cliched yes?

To get round that, I've decided to blur the lines. My character's primary mission will be to kill the bad guys before they can kill him. But these are also the same guys who killed his team - his partners - his friends.

So during his survival mission, revenge will creep in and control his hand. Lines will be crossed. And the bad guys will only know one thing - they chose the wrong guy to fuck with!


Anonymous said...

Interesting to see you have
a good vision of movies of this style.

Will check out your posting soon, again.


Neil said...

Thanks Anon. Always happy to have new readers.

The Kid In The Front Row said...

It's funny how confident you are about action. Because I can't write action at all, I have no skill for it.

Maybe we should co-write a comedy action flick. I do the jokes, you do the punches; we win Oscars ;)

Neil said...

Comedy isn't my strength ironically. I'm reasonably funny in person and conversation and such but for it to work in a film you have to have a situation. I just can't do it at all.

But yeah, a comedy action film would be good because i can never see myself writing one alone.