First off, I’d like to issue an apology if the wrestling fan boy in me shines through in this review. If there’s one thing I love as much as a good bloody action movie, it’s men and women rolling around in tights, performing the greatest sport mankind has ever known (even if it is pre-determined soap opera). The reason I mention wrestling is because Vendetta is the latest movie from WWE Studios, starring the ”World’s Largest Athlete” The Big Show, alongside Superman himself, Dean Cain. It’s the first film in WWE and Lionsgate’s ”Action Six Pack Series” and the 2nd collaboration with horror darlings The Soska Sisters. Given WWE Studios track record for enjoyable genre movies of late, along with having the Twisted Twins at the helm, it’s suffice to say I was excited for Vendetta.
Dean Cain plays Mason, a beefy detective who gets himself incarcerated to avenge the death of his wife, who was murdered in cold blood by the hulking criminal Viktor (Paul Wight). Once in prison, he finds getting to Viktor to be somewhat of challenge, and must fight his way through inmates and corrupt staff to reach his target.
First off, let’s discuss the good points: the fight scenes are impressive. Each one is bloody, hard hitting and downright brutal – and there’s plenty of them. Credit has to be given to Dean Cain for his willingness to get down and dirty in such a physical role. According to Paul Wight, Cain didn’t have a stunt double, which is admirable and scores him points on the ”Movie Bad Ass” chart. Speaking of Paul Wight, he was the star of the show; despite not being able to convince wrestling fans he’s a bad guy these days = due to having a stale gimmick – he does make for a mean villain with imposing screen presence and unstoppable force.
In addition to Dean Cain and Paul Wight, Michael Eklund as Warden Snyder chews scenery with glee. Although he plays your atypical corrupt B movie prison warden, he makes the role his own and it’s lots of fun to see. Nothing about any character is new; if there’s a book out there on how to write stereotypical characters for action movies then I suspect screenwriter Justin Shady used it as his guide when penning the script.
Thus, there lies the main issue with Vendetta: it’s too predictable. Similar movies have been just as basic but so much better. However, for 90 minutes of adrenaline fueled entertainment that’s loaded with testosterone, it makes for a satisfying watch. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s action packed, vicious and violent; the Twins horror sensibilities give the kills an extra punch and it’s relentlessly mean spirited throughout. Definitely worth a one-time watch. 6/10
Jen & Sylvia Soska
Dean Cain, Paul Wight, Michael Eklund