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April 15, 2012

Movie Review: Mandrill (2009, Blu-ray)

Fans of eclectic film distributor Magnet Releasing may just continue to get spoiled with their output with such consistency in quality acquisitions. With superb releases like I Saw the Devil, Hobo with a Shotgun and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil some of their lesser known releases like the film I'm reviewing today, Ernesto Diaz Espinoza's Mandrill, without proper attention could fall by the wayside. If you're up for a frenetically paced action flick that doesn't want to let you up for air, this may be it.

Mandrill is a pretty simple story of revenge, only this revenge film has some of the most magnificent, jaw-dropping exhibitions of gravity-defying martial arts fight scenes ever put on screen. You can thank Marco Zaror for the majority of dynamic ass-kicking.

Zaror plays the vengeance seeking Anthony Espinoza (aka Mandrill), a skilled bounty hunter that has a terrible weakness for the opposite sex. He’s suave and handsome but it’s not always been that way as our Casanova learned the rules of the trade from his homely looking uncle Chone. Women still come in a close second though to finding the one-eyed bastard who killed his parents.

Much like how Jet Li wowed audiences more than a decade ago, Zaror has a similar flare. You just don’t see many action stars with the ability to do what he does – not even Van Damme in his prime. Several times during the film Zaror produces these cranium cracking, flipping kicks to the top of the noggin of the bad guys. I don’t think it’s CGI, but if it is it’s fuckin’ seamless. The acting is fine, the story has a little twist at the end to make it interesting but in the end this is the Marco Zaror Show.

The Blu-ray looks and sounds very good overall. We do get an extra feature that goes a little into detail about the action sequences. Magnet has another winner in Mandrill here. It’s far from perfect but it will certainly give fans of Martial Arts an enjoyable 90 minutes. Recommended

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