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September 1, 2015

Movie Review: Vendetta (2015, Blu-ray)

Review By: James DePaolo

The Soska Sisters have had an interesting career so far, one that contradicts itself on every turn but interesting nonetheless. They debuted 5 years ago with a “Grindhouse” like film called Dead Hooker in a Trunk. Some fans loved it, and others loathed it, but the one thing that was for sure, everyone was talking. The follow up American Mary again split the community. The interesting thing during their director’s commentary Jen and Sylvia made an interesting revelation. “We will never do any remakes, sequels or non-horror films, we would never sell out. We respect our fans”. Their follow-up to American Mary was See No Evil 2 and then a segment in ABC’s of Death 2. And now, they are giving us a prison revenge film.

Vince McMahon has always had this hard on for Hollywood. WWE studios were born out of him wanting to create films using faces that he feels could attract a crowd. He failed trying to do with Hogan, which is not a fault of Vince it is all Hogan who has the personality and believability of a yard gnome. Then came The Rock, and all the money he made on films that he carried made Vince think that maybe he should try it again and create a studio and write and produce films and hire directors for zero to nothing to just fill a role that his people have no time for.

Whether it was Kane in See No Evil, Stone Cold Steve Austin in The Condemned which both got major releases in theaters to quickly be on video before you laughed at the notion that either one could be leading men. John Cena though, when the Marine came out really got people talking, made some money at the box office and Vince really put the foot to the gas and wanted to do more films.
The last time the two worked together that being the Soskas and WWE, it was the badly received and poorly reviewed See No Evil 2. When WWE does not have you on their shows in some angle or your film being mentioned at all on air but only on commercials that most fast forward thru, tells you all you need to know.

Vendetta being the second foray from this team of the Soskas and WWE, this time the results are a little better. Vendetta focuses on a cop named Mason Danvers who is played by Dean Cain. (Yes, that Dean Cain) We open the story with a situation that he closes in on this fugitive named Victor Abbot who is played by The Big Show. (Yes, that Big Show) Victor and his brother are involved in this shoot off with Danvers and his partner. Well, we finally get the arrest of Victor. All is good in the world of Danvers he goes home, we find out him and his wife is trying to have a baby. Then we find out the worst, they had to let the prisoner go they did not have enough stuff on him to hold him. When Danvers calls his wife to tell her the bad news, we find out Victor is inside their house with her.

Victor kills her very violent and bloody. He is arrested yet again and this time he is not getting out of Stonewall Prison. Well, Danvers wants his revenge and when a cop does not believe in the justice system enough he has to seek his own justice. So, he kills Victor’s brother and arranges his partner to be there to arrest him after so he can go to the same jail Victor is in to kill him. You would think all logic that Danvers would find a lifer and cut him a deal to do the job for him to keep his hands from getting dirty.

Well, once inside the jail it becomes a fight for survival. The biggest positive to this film is how violent this film gets. In the past, the Soska’s always promised this stuff and rarely delivered, this time they delivered and without any of their cutesy characters or silly dialogue to go with it. While the acting is atrocious at times and the pacing and directing is piss poor, the violence that this film contains really carries this film. This film felt like a made for television film that just gets balls and goes for it. It is clearly known that Paul aka Big Show has now been in a couple of films and each one of them he has zero chemistry with the character and really sounds wooden to the point of robotic with his reciting of the lines. This dark character he plays in this film really felt like his comfort zone and he seemed to really work well being sadistic. Maybe he should star in See No Evil 3-D? ( I hope we all know I am joking) I feel this film showcases that WWE knows how to put together a story with just their calling cards and that is scripted violence and getting upstart directors on the cheap to go thru their motions with WWE’s input.

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