Movies from the Black Lagoon

VENDETTA - 2015, Rated R

By Tom Doty - For The Floyd County Times

A detective gets himself arrested so he can access(in other words get his hands on) the man who murdered his wife in this dark thriller from WWE Studios.

You have to love a film that doesn’t let anything get in the way of telling its story. Here the story is about crime fighting so we open with a crime and a spectacular fight. Chicago detectives Danvers and Gainer are after the Abbott brothers(Victor and Griffin). Besides sharing blood, and rocking the same hair-don’t ,these siblings also work together selling drugs to the greater Illinois community.

Our heroes track the sinister siblings to a warehouse where we are treated to a bone crunching battle courtesy of Victor’s extreme bulk and fighting style. Truth be told he looks more like a Marvel super villain than a Chicago mobster. The scuffle eventually leads to the brothers in handcuffs but everyone limps away happy the battle is over, except Victor who would love another round but vows revenge instead.

Cut to three months later when Danvers is told by his superior that the brothers have walked thanks to the old disappearing witness trick. Remembering Victor’s vow he rushes home only to find Victor kneeling over the battered remains of Mrs. Danvers. Turns out she isn’t the only victim here as she was three months pregnant. We see the light go out of Danvers’ soul as he cradles her body.

Gainer makes the standard partner promise of offering to do anything to help. He is abruptly called on this vow when Danvers dials him from outside a slum where Griffin Abbott are operating. Danvers then proceeds inside where he promptly dispenses lead justice to Griffin and his thugs. Gainer arrives and Danvers merely throws up his arms in surrender.

Turns out jail is exactly where he wants to be . He manages to trade his track record for one favor-the same prison that currently houses his wife’s murderer. He gets a warm welcome from the Warden but the inmates ogle him like the last fried shrimp at the buffet.

Make no mistake Danvers is there to kill Abbott but he will have to watch his back in front of every other body except his stoned cellmate. What ensues is a rollicking series of brutal prison punch ups with Danvers giving up a copious amount of hemoglobin to get his mitts on Victor who still stands at 6’10 and outweighs him by about 300 pounds. The fights are fast , brutal, and bloody but you eventually get to see these cats square off in the end and it is worth every second you have to wait.

Luckily the time flies here thanks to relentless pacing and a filler free story courtesy of the Soska Sisters. These talented twins have made quite a mark in horror cinema with flicks like ‘American Mary” and “See No Evil 2.” Now they are poised to conquer action cinema.

They prove adept ,once again, at pacing and building a story with strong emotional content. This is a revenge flick so they strip Mason of every emotion except his determination to rub out the memory of his wife’s demise by making Victor Abbott pay double for what he did.

The Sisters get a ferocious performance out Dean Cain as Danvers. Any memories of his playing the morally focused Superman (Lois and Clark)on television are quickly forgotten as Cain embraces this role. The Sisters are also wise to give him a formidable opponent in Paul ‘The Big Show” Wight as Victor.

Turns out the WWE really knows how to make movies that feature wrestlers. Wight makes for a hulking villain that is also up to the task of acting. He is a triple threat and certainly has a career in films waiting for him if he ever tires of the squared circle. I am missing Roddy Piper like a lot of fans but it is good to see other wrestlers following his lead and making the jump to filmed entertainment .

Best Line: ” Those two are a couple of spoons in a drawer full of knives.”

VENDETTA – 2015, Rated R

By Tom Doty

For The Floyd County Times

Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.

Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.


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