02nd Mar2020

‘The Mercenary’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Dominiquie Vandenberg, Louis Mandylor, Carmen Argenziano, Manny Alva, Brad Ashten, Robb Zbacnik, Jeremiah B. McQueen, Geordie Robinson, Alina Andrei, Luke LaFontaine, Robert Dill, Marilyn Sanabria, Nihan Gur | Written by David Filmore | Directed by Jesse V.Johnson


Maxx (Dominiquie Vandenberg) is a legionnaire turned mercenary. When a mission in South America goes wrong Maxx is left for dead, but he is nursed back to health and reborn with a new outlook on life. He tries to live tranquilly within the confines of his new beliefs surrounded by his new friends at a church. But his peaceful days are short-lived when mercenaries he used to work with cross his path again and he is forced to revisit and face his own demons. His brutal past, war and violence have come looking for him again. His path to redemption is interrupted and Maxx becomes an avenging warrior using the skills that were his trade…

So we have a merc who’s injured, is cared for by someone they don’t know, who then takes on his former friends when their paths cross again. Sound familiar? It should, it’s a plot that has been used in a myriad of action movies of the years – with varying degrees of success. The idea of the quiet, reflective hero in The Mercenary reminded me very much of the films/teachings of Bruce Lee and the TV show Kung-Fu, where men you knew were absolute bad-ass “killing machines” shy away from using their skills in favour of living a quiet life. Of course said quiet life always gets shattered by the bad guys and then, well, usually all hell breaks loose.

So how does The Mercenary fare with this familiar plot? Well actually pretty well. Especially if you like your action over the top and gory!

And when I say gory, I mean gory… The Mercenary is the kind of brain-smashing, throat-ripping, blood-filled action movie that proliferated action cinema in the 80s – hell, there’s more gore in this film that a lot of direct to DVD horror movies these days! But that gore is not at the expense of storytelling, which The Mercenary does quite succinctly.

Yes, whilst the story isn’t that deep – mercenary seeks revenge on his cohorts after finding god – it does at least provide a decent plot on which to hang a myriad of action set-pieces. Set-pieces which feel like they’ve stepped out of the classic 90s DTV action era… and no, that’s not a bad thing, it’s a VERY good thing! Which means that for fans of that era of action-movie filmmaking, or those – like me – who grew up in that era renting any and every action movie they could on VHS and treated Impact Magazine as their bible, The Mercenary is like a slice of cinematic heaven.

The Mercenary is our now on DVD and Digital in the US from Uncork’d Entertainment; and on digital here in the UK from Evolutionary Films.


Comments are closed.