Runtime: 90 Minutes
What To Expect: About 45 minutes worth of unintended humour
It’s ironic that while WWE eats itself from within by pushing a soccer mom-friendly, cookie cutter product, it still has time and resources to pump out movies that are not only violent but also so absurd as to be unintentionally funny, kind of like its hugely successful Attitude Era. After the suprisingly so so (as opposed to not atrocious) Marine 4: Moving Target comes another Cannon-like manly movie, with another WWE mainstay cashing in on his movie contract. But beware, only those willing to have their humour gland unintentionally stimulated need approach this one. It ain’t good.
Straight forward stuff here, for the first half at least. A cop, Dean Cain, has his pregnant wife beaten to death by crime kingpin Paul ‘The Big Show’ Wight (pulling prolonged WWE promos here as opposed to acting) in her own home. They have a rivalry, see, but you don’t touch a man’s family. So obviously, there’s only one thing for it – revenge, vigilantism and a thousand yard stare. But Cain cannot get to The Big Show since he is now serving time for doing the crime. So Cain must get his own ass locked up by going on a ‘hunting trip’ and openly murdering Big Show’s associates. They wind up in the same jail. Are you ready for the F-league rap music to blast out of your speakers, to inform you that shit is about to go down?
This is when the fun starts. And when I say ‘fun’ I do not mean well executed film making. The plotholes and general narrative laziness are suspect, to say the least. Armed with weapons, men saunter in and out of the cells of other men at will, stabbing and maiming those who have drawn their ire. And this isnt just down to prison corruption, because the protagonist himself is doing it more than anyone, with blood streaking the walls and, apparently, not a one on the staff batting an eyelid. Later, the movie tries to create ‘excuses’ for all of this no-DQ mayhem and tie it all together with some writing, but it doesn’t convince those who haven’t already turned it off. For the first half of the movie, this kind of shit gave me some good laughs.
The second half of the movie is where it falls apart. I always say that C-movies like this should know their limitations and not try to blow the socks off of people by getting narratively ambitious. Vendetta fails as a movie when it attempts to get all fancy in the story department. I don’t want a Shawshank Redemption/Prison Break rip off concoction from a group of people hired by WWE to write a script – it is going to fail all week and twice on Sunday! The warden corruption angle is truly boring and dire. Especially with terrible casting – Michael Eklund plays categorically the worst and most ill-convincing prison warden in film history here, trying to rip off Daniel Day Lewis’ performance from There Will Be Blood while only managing to look like some type of sex offender.
Oh, and while there is no shaking camerawork the fight scenes suck, basically because the Soskia Sisters can’t direct. An extra point for humorously lax prison decorum and egregious savagery.