I Am Vengeance: Retaliation (2020)

Posted in Reviews by - July 31, 2020
I Am Vengeance: Retaliation (2020)

This DTV sequel moves hard-as-nails British mercenary John Gold (Stu Bennett) from the quiet, domestic setting of the first film and into a leadership role tasked with barking orders at a special ops team assigned to capture notorious war profiteer, Sean Teague (Vinnie Jones). Everyone has got beef with Teague, a rogue operative presumed dead who has previous with Gold and also killed the father of badass super spook, Jen Quaid (Katrina Durden), who is introduced by way of a rocket-launcher to spring Teague out from hiding so she can kill him herself. Once Teague reunites with his own rat-bag group of miscellaneous toughs, the film’s brain completely switches off and we get a non-stop, cat-and-mouse endeavour with wall-to-wall action and precious little else. The film wears its low-budget scars quite clearly through its repetitive use of sets and locations, plus some shonky dialogue and acting. However, for a film so unashamedly action-packed and indulgent, writer-director Ross Boyask does well to recruit an athletic supporting cast with mostly wrestling, martial arts and stunt backgrounds. Coupled with choreography by fight maestro, Tim Man, the martial arts sequences really rip; particularly during those moments involving Jailbreak stars Laurent Plancel and Jean-Paul Ly, plus Lee Charles, Greg Burridge, Phoebe Robinson-Galvin and Katrina Durden, with both Durden and Robinson-Galvin getting ample screen-time in lethal sidekick roles. It is rare to find a film in which the most experienced actor on screen is ex-footballer Vinnie Jones. He mostly goes through the motions in a grunting thug-off with former wrestler Stu Bennett, but there is a fun, tongue-in-cheek bravado to their banter, and Jones still has the knack of landing a perfectly timed curse-word like a pro. In Bennett’s defence, there isn’t too much depth for him to explore here, but he is a likeable screen presence and seemingly self-aware enough to get the tone of the film just right. Its flawed, make no mistake, but not without its charms.

AKA: I Am Vengeance 2; Vengeance 2.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a keyboard in London, UK.

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