03rd Aug2014

‘A Certain Justice’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Cung Le, Dolph Lundgren, Vinnie Jones, Gianni Capaldi, Briana Evigan, James C. Burns, Robert LaSardo, Sean O’Bryan | Written by James Coyne | Directed by Giorgio Serafini, James Coyne


A Certain Justice, aka Puncture Wounds, is the latest film from the foursome of Giorgio Serafini, Dolph Lundgren, Vinnie Jones and Gianni Capaldi, who previously worked together on Hard Rush (aka Ambushed) and Blood of Redemption. This time round the group is joined by UFC Fighter-turned action star Cung Le (from the awesome Dragon Eyes) and one of my favourite female stars working in Hollywood today, Briana Evigan.

The film tells the story of soldier John Nguyen, who returns home from a traumatic tour of duty in Iraq struggling with PTSD. What little peace he had managed to build around him is shattered one fateful day when he rescues a local call girl from a group of violent pimps, killing one and severely injuring the other. What John doesn’t know is that the girl, Tanya (Evigan), and the two pimps all worked for crime boss Hollis (Lundgren) and by interfering in business, John and his family are now targeted for death. However when Hollis and his crony Vin (Capaldi) cross the line and burn his family alive, John utilises all his army skills to exact serious payback…

It’s fair to say that as a fan of Hard Rush I was a little more than over-enthusiastic to see A Certain Justice. After all I thoroughly enjoyed Serafini’s previous slice of action and this time they were adding Cung Le and Briana Evigan to the mix!  This is the second US-lensed starring vehicle for fighter/actor Cung Le and as the first, Dragon Eyes, was such an amazing return to form for the American straight to DVD action movie, I had serious fears that there was no way Le, or any film starring him, could live up to the standard set by that film. I say this only to relay the kind of hype I had internally built up for this flick, the kind of hype that – typically – no film could live up to. Right?


Taking a leaf out of old-school revenge movies such as Vigilante, Death Wish and Savage Streets, A Certain Justice‘s revenge story has that same sleazy edge, mixing sex, drugs and a boat-load of gratuitously violent deaths. From the first appearance of Capaldi’s Vin, giving someone a Kray brothers-style smile; to Cung Le punching people left and right, with daggers in hand (hitting neck, eyes, heads, whatever – crunch, crunch, crunch) – the violence in this flick is refreshing, especially given the fact that mainstream flicks are aiming for PG-13 levels of “action”. What is also refreshing is that the characters in A Certain Justice don’t revel in the violence. Cung Le’s John is filled with remorse, even though that remorse is – for the most part – overruled by his out-of-control need for revenge. Hell, even Capaldi’s Vin proclaims he’s sick of “burning people up” and attempts to get out from under Hollis, even trying to take Tanya away from him too.

This is the third film from Serafini and co., so by now they are totally adept at working with a low-budget and making it look a million dollars but what they’ve done with A Certain Justice is a real achievement – every aspect of film making has improved, from the direction and the cinematography to the acting and the fight choreography, even the soundtrack. This group of indie filmmakers have really stepped up their game this time round, meaning this flick easily on a par with Dragon Eyes – which is remarkable given that Le’s previous film was produced by the likes of Joel Silver, Moshe Diamant and Courtney Solomon, all of whom have decades of experience in the action genre between them.

An action-movie crowd pleaser, A Certain Justice is released on DVD tomorrow, August 4th, courtesy of Signature Entertainment.


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