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Revenge and the Lack of Dolphins

February 10, 2013


In honour of me having 666 friends on Facebook, I’ve decide to admit a guilty pleasure of mine. I love revenge flicks. I love them a lot. There is nothing like seeing someone get what’s coming to them. Even more so, there is nothing like seeing someone pressed down by “The Man” and then that same person coming back and removing the ketchup from “The Man’s” hamburger so-to-speak.

Monte Cristo

My all-time favourite revenge movie has got to be the 2002 The Count of Monte Cristo staring Jim Caviezel and Guy Pearce. It has everything you would want in a revenge movie (minus dolphins with lasers, but oh well). It is just brilliant and just captures that innate human desire to see justice done.


My second favourite revenge movie is Payback with Mel Gibson. It’s basically revenge for revenge’s sake. It doesn’t have the same moral insights as The Count of Monte Cristo, but it has loads of revenge (though no dolphins with lasers), and that’s all that really matters in revenge flicks.

The Godfather

My third favourite revenge movie would be The Godfather. The concluding scene at the end during the baptism has got to be one of the most powerful pieces cinema ever produced. The juxtaposition created is as brilliant as it is spine-chilling. The only thing that The Godfather lacks is dolphins with lasers (what’s the deal with these revenge movies having no dolphins with lasers?).

I think deep down we all love the idea of revenge. And this is because deep down I think we all love justice. We like to see good rewarded and bad punished. And when those two principles don’t line up with reality we feel like something is wrong and thus, when we see someone take it into their own hands to rectify the imbalance in “the force”, we cheer.

And that’s why I am glad the Gospel isn’t about justice (though it is about justice). Because I can think of a lot reasons why a lot of people would want to take revenge on me. And thus, any message that says “justice is coming your way” doesn’t sound so good to me.

Thankfully, a key part of the Gospel is mercy. And mercy isn’t about justice. Mercy is about unmerited grace. And what we see in the Gospel is that God has provided us the way to show mercy, even to those we would consider enemies. The Gospel teaches us to fight battles of mercy not elaborate plans of revenge.

And not even dolphins with lasers can provide a message that good.


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