Known as the “Action Six-Pack”, a renewed partnership between Lionsgate and WWE Films, the directorial team of the Soska Sisters (twins Jen and Sylvia) offer up the first film in the bloody and brutally violent – yet intentionally hilarious – Vendetta. If this is what fans should expect, I say bring on the rest!
Who would have thought it: Dean Cain plays detective Mason Danvers, a tough act, ready to shoot or pummel anyone when pushed to his limits. Paul “The Big Show” Wight plays Victor Abbott, a tough nihilistic criminal with an imposing body and relentless knack for violence. He’s also the man that completely ruins Danvers’ life once he’s finally arrested. Even behind bars, Victor makes good on his promise and brutally beats Danvers’ pregnant wife to death (!)
Nevertheless, a grieving and very angry Danvers concocts a plan to kill Victor’s brother during a raid to purposefully end up incarcerated in the same prison as Victor. Once there, well, you can probably guess what happens next. The rest of the film goes pretty much like this – bloody and bloodier.
It’s just like Prison Break, only instead of breaking in to break out, Dean Cain is going to break some skulls. Cain is relentless as Danvers, a good cop pushed beyond the limits and out for revenge. Once imprisoned, he beats down on everyone will equal parts attrition and indifference – becoming an unstoppable monster unleashed into the prison system out for justice!
One such moment has Danvers fashioning a pair of makeshift brass knuckles by inserting screws into a bendable piece of metal he wraps around his fist. Ouch! Anyone with an affinity for cheesy B-movies and prison films will find plenty of comically brainless brawls and action they can look forward to, and not much else.
Of course, there’s more than meets the eye inside this crazy cinematic prison. Somehow Victor has gained control and practically runs the show – the Big Show, if you will. Warden Snyder is the corrupt official you’d expect that allows all types of bad things to happen to the inmates. Played by Michael Eklund, his cadence is like a cross between Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood) and Agent Smith (The Matrix); it’s pretty awful.
Vendetta needs to be taken for what it is – a cheesy B-movie – and little else. Lower your pride and you’ll probably enjoy something not meant to be cinematic gold. Some movies require no brains, and this is one of them. It’s fun, even if the dialogue is painfully hilarious at times. I have the impression this was intentional, to be honest. It’s definitely not for everyone’s tastes, but action aficionados will be pleased with this delightfully mediocre film, offering an abundance of blood gushing action.