DVD Release Date: Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Those who have lamented the last few years of WWE programming in the PG era may enjoy one aspect of the latest effort from WWE Studios – “Vendetta” is about as far from PG as any film in their history. Directed by the Soska Sister (who also helmed WWE’s “See No Evil 2” last year) and starring the dream team of Dean Cain and Paul “The Big Show” Wight, this straight-to-DVD action flick actually turned out to be much better than I anticipated.
Though it did exceed my admittedly modest expectation, this is far from a perfect film. It manages to feel slightly long and repetitive at just 90 minutes, and the performances are merely adequate. But at its best, “Vendetta” provides some pretty gnarly fight scenes and absolutely doesn’t shy away from showing off the brutality.
Cain plays Mason Danvers, a Chicago detective known for getting the bad guys. One fateful night the tables are turned, and bad guy Victor Abbot (Wight) gets to Danvers’ wife Jocelyn (Kyra Zagorsky) is brutally murdered. Danvers arrives on the scene and has an opportunity to murder Abbott, but his better instincts prevail and he lets the bad guy go to jail.
Unable to get over his wife’s death, Danvers resolves to get himself locked into the same prison that Abbot is incarcerated at, where he will enact his revenge. Abbott has used his ridiculous size (for those who aren’t familiar, “The Big Show” is listed at 7’0” and 450 lbs.) to seize control of Stonewall Prison, so he has plenty of minions to send after Danvers.
This basic premise sets up a multitude of fight sequences, as Danvers starts picking off bad guys one by one, and in the most brutal fashion possible. Simultaneously, Danvers learns that Warden Snyder (Michael Eklund) is not to be trusted, and he’s quickly mixed up in more than just trying to avenge his wife.
Everything culminates with a lengthy though quite thrilling prison riot. While I think one major detail of who kills who can go without saying, I must say that the actual ending of the film was reminiscent of “Death Wish,” and it was the absolute correct note to end the film on.