Redeemer (2014)

Posted in Reviews by - December 10, 2023
Redeemer (2014)

The fourth film from the Chilean action partnership of director-writer Ernesto Díaz Espinoza and martial artist Marko Zaror, Latin America’s answer to Isaac Florentine and Scott Adkins. This movie, more than any of their others, attempts to wrestle with quite serious, existential themes, like free will, justice and divine retribution, produced in a Catholic country where religion still plays an integral part of daily life. The redeemer of the title is a feared, hooded, spectral figure doling out justice with his fists and feet, a vigilante (played by Zaror) taking out neo-Nazis, drug dealers and other nasty people. He performs Russian roulette before every mission, as if his existence alone is justification for his violent acts, behaving as part of ‘God’s will’ rather than his own. But, when helping out a poor family who find themselves in trouble with drug dealers, he is soon forced to face up to his past when he comes face-to-face with ‘The Scorpion’, a sadistic criminal kingpin who killed his pregnant wife. Those who enjoyed Ernesto’s lighter work might struggle to adjust to the film’s more sombre tone, and Zaror is straight-jacketed in this role, which never fully expands beyond the stoic. Watching his quick-fire kicks and extraordinary acrobatics never gets tiresome, of course, and there’s still plenty of extended Zaror-induced pugilism on display for fans to savour.

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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 laptop in London, UK.

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