VIGILANTE (1983) is a film that occasionally plays out like a panto but has a hard nugget of hatred at its core.
When factory worker Eddie's young son is blown away by a street gang, and his wife left permanently disabled, he is initially prepared to let the American justice system take care of it. When blatant corruption leads to the perpetrators being acquitted, however, and Eddie ends up in jail for expressing his contempt of the court, he realises his mistake. He comes out of jail tougher and rougher - all fired up with Woody Strode wisdom and ready to kill.
We've all been there, haven't we? But we usually have something to lose, or we worry about getting found out, so we let it ride, except in our heads, where we try and even things up with detailed imaginings of what we could have done - but didn't.
But look at Eddie, murdering a man he doesn't know to get pay back for a debt that can't be repaid. Does it bring his son back? Does it repair his wife's broken body and mind? Does Eddie get any satisfaction from it whatsoever apart from perhaps that split second between the fall and the landing when he watches his victim [screaming] and perhaps finally feels in control again?
When the [body thuds on ground] Eddie doesn't punch the air or moonwalk. He doesn't even whistle a happy tune like Jack Carter. He just walks away to an uncertain future.
This changes nothing. This means nothing.
PS Eddie then car bombs the crooked Judge.