Why We Need Heroes in Movies

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  • Topic: Jason Bourne, Matt Damon, Film
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  • Published : March 15, 2011
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Thomas Fuselier
Why do we need heroes?
Professor James Winters

While they may be very different from one another almost every movie must have some type of hero. Screen writers and movie directors must constantly develop these different types of heroes to please the many different attitudes and opinions of movie goers. Movie enthusiast all have different reasons for liking the movie heroes they do and it is up to the screen writers, actors, and directors to successfully please the movies target audience. Numerous studies have tried to reveal just exactly what people consider a hero to be. In a study discussed in the course packet the results show that terms such as intelligent, loving, and leader are some of the most commonly used descriptive words for a hero.(Course Packet pg7) In this essay I will discuss these different types of heroes portrayed on the silver screen and why it is necessary to have them. Keep in mind while reading the following that even though heroes come in many forms, they more often than not are presented as courageous, heroic, likeable, and believable. The essay will be broken down into the discussion of underdog heroes, superheroes, and everyman heroes. By explaining the need for these vastly different types of movie heroes it will become easy to understand why people find them appealing.

Almost everyone has at some point or another felt held down by some form of oppression making it easy to understand why many movie enthusiast love underdog heroes. With that said it is important to understand that people like a hero that they can relate to. The majority of people are not perfect in every aspect of life and are more than happy to see the underdog come out victorious. Even though a hero is an underdog there is no one single definition of how an underdog hero is supposed to be, these heroes come in many different forms with very different characteristics that appeal to different audiences. For example, Movies such as Animal House depict a group of rowdy middle to lower class college fraternity boys striving to fight off the more wealthy and civilized fraternity on their campus that has very close ties with the dean of their college. During the movie the underdog fraternity does whatever they can to stay one step ahead of the prestigious fraternity and the dean of their college. By the end of the movie they come out victorious and are able keep their place on campus. People enjoy this movie not only because they like to see the underdog win but they also enjoy fantasizing about being able to get away with the same things in real life. While Animal House portrays this wild group of underdog college frat boys and their crazy antics, movies such as The Bourne Ultimatum depict an underdog in a very different manner. The Bourne Ultimatum is a great hero movie and is actually ranked 105th best hero movie by Digital Dream Door.(“Digital Dream Door’)The Bourne Ultimatum is a movie about a former agent in the CIA’s top secrete hit squad called TredStone. Through all of the movies about Jason Bourne, he is constantly harassed by the all mighty CIA’s secrete hit squad TredStone where he formally worked for. While he is faced with a huge disadvantage, he uses his skills learned by his former employer to always stay one step ahead of them in their attempt to assassinate him. There are numerous reasons why people enjoy this series of movies about Jason Bourne. Viewers like to see underdog characters like Jason Bourne who stand up to a much greater force than themselves. Some viewers also like this movie because they enjoy the thought of being like characters such as Jason Bourne and having the immense knowledge of fighting and other skills. For example, Jason can quite easily take ten highly trained hit men on and walk away without even breaking a sweat. In both cases of Animal House and the Jason Bourne movies, people are presented with an underdog hero that they feel sympathy for. The feeling of...
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