By: John M Jerva
There’s no denying that as a lifelong action film buff, I am also a major fanatic of any throwback type of flick which borrows heavily from the full on high-octane goodies that we got in the 80’s and 90’s. In terms of giving the fans what they want, the indie action scene has been releasing a steady stream of product that shamelessly knows what kind of films they are and names no apologies for it. Especially this year, when Hollywood shut down for a long while, the smaller film studios and filmmakers took it upon themselves to entertain the masses with copious amounts of fisticuffs, explosions and massive firepower.
With that, I give you my latest Action-Flix Streaming Pix which is the well received I am Vengeance: Retaliation, which saw former pro wrestler turned actor Stu Bennett return as mercenary for hire John Gold. Also Back is the man behind it all in Director Ross Boyask, who takes the original film and totally does a 180. The first I am Vengeance was a much darker in time revenge thriller which saw Bennett’s Gold seeming retribution for the death of his comrade and family. It was a much more somber effort punctuated with violent action that clearly set the mood.
In the sequel, Boyask switches things up and delivers a much more bombastic Actioner which hails in a sea of bullets and flying fists and feet which definitely throws it back to yesteryear when these types of over the top movies frequented the cinemas. There is little to no down time here and the firefights and throw downs happen at a moderate pace to please any fan.
While the original film was pretty much all Bennett, here he let’s his ensemble cast get in on the action and while he gets smoke opportunity to shine with the physicality and one liners, the rest of the group also bring it in that regard. The only other returning cast member is Mark Griffith who plays Frost, the mysterious handler to Gold and even he gets to do more this time around. Other notable additions include Vinnie Jones, egos always up for a challenge and he plays Sean Teague, the heavy and ruthless former ally to Gold. The other new additions include Phoebe Robinson-Galvin, Jessica-Jane Stanford, Joe Egan, Josh Myers, Lee Charles, Katrina Durden, David Schaal, Greg Burridge, Bentley Kalu, Sam Benjamin, Jacob Anderton, and Law Plancel. Jean-Paul Ly also makes an appearance and evoke his screen time is limited, he still gets a fight of his own.
For more of my thoughts on the film, check out my official review here and hear what I thought of the movie. In the meantime, check it out on Netflix now along with the first film that is also still available and make it a double feature of hard hitting thrills!