Every so often, a low budget, cheese-filled film comes along that is just plain bad by most accounts, but can be fun for those with an open mind and don’t take entertainment too seriously. Vigilante Diaries is one of those films, as it easily fits into the “it’s so bad, it’s good” genre of action films that’s sure to scratch the action/camp itch for those in need of a fix.
The plot follows the life of a man who is former military and decides to use his talents to fight crime as a superhero called The Vigilante (played by Paul Sloan who also co-wrote the movie) after suffering a betrayal by a criminal kingpin named Barrington (Michael Jai White) while he was fighting in Iraq. As the vigilante cleans up his city, his actions are seen and recorded by a guy named Michael (Jay and Silent Bob’s Jason Mewes) who is all on board with our hero killing and busting heads to make the streets safe. It isn’t long before some enemies pick up on the crime fighting and vow to take him down by any means necessary, leading the vigilante to recruit some friends, such as his old military buddy played by Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, in order to take down these baddies once and for all.
You know you’re in for a cheese-filled fun time when you have Michael Jai White and especially Michael Madsen making an appearance in the movie you’re watching. I’m a big fan of both of them, so while this movie might not be the best showcase of their talents, I still had a nice time watching the predictable action and plot play out, right down to the ticking time bomb that threatens to destroy the city. As long as you go in with an open mind and low expectations, you’re bound to have a good time as I did.
The high definition transfer of the movie looks and sounds as good as can be expected from a low budget title, as everything comes in clean and clear for the most part, which is always a plus. The only special feature here is a short behind the scenes extra that has some of the cast and crew talking about the movie as they’re filming it.
If you’re looking for an action fix and don’t care where it comes from, then Vigilante Diaries should do just nicely. There’s plenty of fun, low budget style thrills and some laughs (some intentional, others not) to be had with a nice cast who plays the cards they’re dealt. If this sounds good to you, you’ll want to don your superhero gear and make a plan to add this cheese-filled gem to your lair.