SYNOPSIS: Devastated by the murder of his wife and child, a formerly fast-talking lawyer takes a vow of silence and trains himself for a mission of revenge.
Once a much bigger star than he is now, Antonio Banderas is now plying the direct-to-video circuit playing roles that belonged to Liam Neeson on the big screen. The star is 58 this year though he still looks he can play an aging charismatic Zorro.
In Acts of Vengeance, Banderas is a workaholic defense attorney, Frank Valera who spent more time defending criminals than spending time with his family. In a twist of fate, his wife and precious daughter are mysteriously and brutally killed and Valera vowed to make those responsible for their deaths pay by honing his fighting skills through taking up karate lessons and fighting in illegal matches.
This low-budget action thriller shot in Bulgaria is clearly clichés through and through. It’s so predictable and lifeless that the only bright spot is Valera quoting a book by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius which by the way inspired him to take a vow of silence though it certainly doesn’t limit him from taking the law into his own hands.
The scripting by Matt Venne (White Noise 2) even includes a kind heartened ER nurse that appears conveniently to assist an injured Valera and of course ended up as his love interest in the end. Interestingly, she is played by fellow Spanish Paz Vega from the 2004’s Adam Sandler comedy, Spanglish. Star Trek and Dredd star Karl Urban on the other hand stars as a sympathetic cop who takes an interest in the murder case.
With the exception of a pretty brutal fight involving Valera and a couple of Russian thugs plus a serviceable climatic fight, there isn’t much action pieces to talk about which is glaring for an action flick. The entire movie simply seems lethargic, cheap and unremarkable despite coming from the hands of veteran Isaac Florentine who worked on the Power Rangers television series.
In a busy market filled with all sort of action movies, it’s hard to recommend Acts of Vengeance. We rather you check out another of Banderas’ action flick, Security which we reviewed earlier.
Review by Linus Tee