Before I go into the details of this review, I have to state up front: I absolutely love the Soska sisters. I had the privilege of meeting them last year at the Texas Frightmare Weekend in Dallas, Texas, and they were a blast. Prior to that, I was already a big fan of their work, which included AMERICAN MARY and DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK. So when I heard about VENDETTA, I knew I had to give it a look. I must admit, this film is quite a bit different than their previous titles…but it is a lot of fun, and it will definitely entertain you if you watch it in the proper mindset.
If you are not familiar with VENDETTA, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Lionsgate:
Dean Cain and WWE Superstar The Big Show star in “Vendetta,” an action-packed thriller about a detective pushed beyond his limits who will stop at nothing for vengeance. When his wife is killed by a criminal that he put away, Mason (Cain), a hard-nosed detective, deliberately gets arrested in order to get revenge. While inside, Mason discovers a new criminal enterprise that those behind it would kill to protect.
After watching the film, I scoured the Internet for other reviewer’s opinions. I am always interested to hear what others think and compare their opinions to my own. Interestingly, fans of the Soska sisters are pretty well mixed on this one. Many do not like it, stating it’s too far removed from the Soska-brand of filmmaking they’ve come to expect; others enjoyed it, saying it is a nice show of diversity from two talented filmmakers. I have to agree with the second group. The film will probably not win any awards, but it is almost like watching a WWE wrestling match with a bit more story added in.
VENDETTA is shot well and looks good from a production standpoint. The budget for the film appears fairly high, and the team does a good job of utilizing the funds available. There’s also a nice dose of carnage here and there, an aspect that is becoming a staple in Soska films, and it’s one I’m glad to see.
The acting is really good, and I’m surprised some folks were not impressed in some of the reviews I read. I’ve always enjoyed seeing Dean Cain onscreen, and he delivers a solid performance here. He looks downright menacing throughout most of the movie, and I like the way he plays his character. Likewise, The Big Show does a good job as well. Granted, he might need a few more acting lessons, but he owns the role as is and plays it with gusto.
The story is nothing new, but that does not matter here. The action is intense (albeit far-fetched) and the suspense is high. As a result, the film grabs your attention from the get-go and demands it from you throughout its duration.
My sole complaint about VENDETTA is that the fight scenes are not very plausible. Even I had a hard time suspending belief at times, particularly those scenes where The Big Show hammers somebody in the face, only to see the recipient pop back up and keep fighting. Given the big guy’s size and the force he could potentially pack behind a hit, there’s no way a smaller guy would be able to fight again, let alone stand, after taking one of his punches. This is a minor negative, but it is one I feel I have to point out.
But if you can push reality aside for 90 minutes and accept VENDETTA for what it is (a revenge flick with hardcore wrestling-style action), you will enjoy it. I really had a good time with the film, and I recommend giving it a look. It is available now in a variety of formats.