Hot on the heels of the recent Security, Antonio Banderas is back in leather-jacket, ass-kicking action. It appears the Spanish star is attempting to be another Liam Neeson.
Banderas plays a hot-shot lawyer, responsible for keeping criminals out of jail. He has a wife and daughter who he loves very much, he just isn’t around all that much.
When Banderas fails to show-up for his daughter’s talent show, he can’t get hold of his wife but just thinks she’s mad at him. When the police show up on his doorstep, he knows things have gone wrong.
His wife and daughter married, Banderas finds solace by getting beat up at an illegal cage fight. That is until he’s stabbed in a street fight, finds the book Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.
This becomes his mantra and he begins to train in martial arts and takes a vow of silence until he has revenged his wife and daughter.
As he can’t speak, Banderas provides the voice-over throughout, just so you’re aware what’s going on.
Written by Matt Venne (White Noise: The Light, Fright Night 2) and directed by Isaac Florentine (Ninja, Undisputed 2 & 3) Acts Of Vengeance is what we would have called a straight-to-video movie, back in the day.
Despite the action premise, it’s actually pretty slow going, Banderas nodding and blinking every now and again to try and show some emotion doesn’t cut it.
The action sequences are brief with Banderas now able to not only take down groups of bigger, younger men, men with guns, get dogs on his side by looking at them but he also develops super-human powers of hearing simply because he’s given up talking…
The story is told in sections, each starting with a quote from the Marcus Aurelius book. There is a twist towards the end though you’ll see it coming a mile away.
The final fight scene is the usual hokem, with Banderas now dodging bullets and the bad guy having to explain why he did it, just in case you haven’t got it yet.
Acts Of Vengeance is a hark back to the straight-to-video movies we got in the late 80’s and 90’s. Filled with clichés, montages, guys coming back from beatings etc, etc.
I love those films, I have tons of them in my collection. This though, this wouldn’t be one of them. Too slow, dull fight scenes and acting that won’t do either Banderas or Urban any favours.
Liam Neeson can breathe a sigh of relief. His older-man, menacing action crown is safe yet.