understand what a HUGE pull outlaws and vigilante justice have in our culture. And they would be wise to take that into account.
We’re not Germans, who historically have been absolutely ferocious and aggressive warriors but who also famously value social conformity to a fault (see: WWII).
For instance, both films feature male protagonists who are best characterized by their generally stoic demeanors and resentment of rigid, out-of-touch authority figures and institutions. This archetype is well known to moviegoers, and American cinema is replete with these types of characters: Han Solo, “Dirty” Harry Callahan, John McClane, and Martin Riggs are just a few who come to mind.
… And, to that point, many of the stories that most effectively depict Americanism and our traditional understanding of the founding ethos on-screen are dependent on this archetype — the “noble outlaw.” The various characters portrayed by John Wayne in the Westerns of the mid-to-late-20th century provide us with the clearest example of this.
… The man who stands with one foot in and one foot outside of society; the lone dissenter begrudgingly turned righteous vindicator; the, well, maverick whose heroism on the silver screen is spurred by righteous indignation is a distinctly American symbol.
… John Wick is a cowboy, albeit in a bulletproof Armani suit.