02nd Dec2013

‘Vendetta’ Blu-ray Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Danny Dyer, Roxanne McKee, Vincent Regan, Bruce Payne, Emma Samms, Nick Nevern | Written and Directed by Stephen Reynolds


Danny Dyer is an actor who tends to take a lot of flak for his acting.  In Vendetta I won’t say his performance is Oscar worthy but you get exactly what you expect, and that is Danny Dyer.  He seems to lack emotion, or the ability to act it out.   When playing a character who is meant to suppress all types of weakness and emotion, the performance actually fits.

Vendetta is a film that wants to be Death Wish, and that is a high level to fight for, I’d say it doesn’t get there, but in aiming so high it actually manages to have many good intensions.  Dyer plays Jimmy Vickers, a “special ops interrogation officer” who returns home to find his parents have been tortured and murdered by a local gang.  With revenge on his mind he tracks them down one by one, while all the time being hunted down by the cops and the army.

In wanting to be Death Wish there is a slight eighties feel to the film, especially in the music.  With some of the methods Dyer uses there are also elements from films like The Crow, so there is also a feel that it is paying homage to some of the vengeance classics.  The only problem it has really is that no matter how hard it tries to be as good as these movies it tends to not achieve it, while still actually being entertaining.

If anything Vendetta feels like it just misses the mark on what it is aiming for.  It would be easy to mock Dyer for his performance, but the fact is we know what to expect from the actor now and in truth he plays himself well.  Is this meant as an insult? No, because if we look at other actors in films like this we can say that they are playing themselves too.  Not putting him in the same league as them, but Bronson and Stallone are example of actors who pretty much play themselves, so why can’t Dyer? I’m not defending him really, just stating a fact that no matter how much some critics mock him, he still makes movies and many people do like them.  I won’t call myself a fan but I’m open to him actually putting in a good performance, even if it is as himself.

With a lot of “gangster” movies coming out of the UK many have certain issues with acting, but Vendetta gets it right here.  Looking past Dyer playing Dyer there are a few recognisable faces in the cast, like Nick Nevern, Josef Altin and Ricci Harnett.  In using these actors, especially Harnett (memorable for his role in Rise of the Footsoldier) it gives a feel that this is a British movie, though there is a section at the end that feels very out-of-place.  I won’t spoil it, but they should have kept the story to the UK.  Adding that scene on at the end just felt like a cheesy attempt to hint at the possibility of a sequel.

Vendetta does what it needs to do, it’s violent, is all about vengeance and rarely holds back.  There is a feeling that it tends to lose focus in the second half and it does tend to slow down but I understand where they were trying to go with it and I have to admire that they attempted that, even if it may not have worked as well as hoped.  Vendetta wants to be Death Wish and tries its best but Danny Dyer is no Charles Bronson, and in truth what actor is?  When you start watching a Dyer movie you know what you are going to get, and if there was a quality scale based on the man himself Vendetta would be high up on it.

Vendetta will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on December 23rd.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek.com

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