Meet Stu Bennett as John Gold, the ex-soldier turned mercenary. John goes all-in to find out about reasons for the murder of his friend Corporal Dan Mason. Actually, this is all that you need to know about this movie as when you watch action it’s not about script it’s about fights, gunfights, and girls.
Director Ross Boyask built a reputation as one of England’s top action film directors. I know, most of you never heard of Ross, probably as well as Christopher McQuarrie, but the last one filmed Mission: Impossible – Fallout, but that’s the Hollywood world and most people know only actors and actresses.
What is interesting, before I am Vengeance Ross has shot 40! short films and worked with Scott Adkins on Pure Vengeance movie. His movie Ten Dead Men was nominated for the Best Action Film award and edited Warrioress with Christian Howard and Zara Phythian. His influences are Walter Hill, Luc Besson, and John Woo, and no wonder he is good when it comes to action.
But let’s get back to the movie itself.
Stu Bennett aka Wade Barrett is no stranger to action and I keep an eye on his career since James Nunn’s Eliminators where he tried to hunt down Scott Adkins. Stuart is a former champion bare-knuckle boxer and English professional wrestler… but he also holds a degree in Marine Biology. I definitely see the rising action star here, and by rising I mean not only his height of 6′ 6″ (1.98 m). That’s fun to see like every person in the movie looks too short for Mr. Bennett.
Under old-school tunes (reminds me about 48 Hrs or Comando), John makes his way to the Devotion town (what a strange name) where is trying to find the killers and by some miracle coincidence, he is finding them there.
While chilling John is listening to a voice recorder found in the garage of Corporal Dan Mason where Dougie reading private cases of every killer.
The group of killers and ex-special forces soldiers lead by the highly decorated Sergeant Hatcher played by Gary Daniels. (Here I must say thank you once again to Gary who responded to my email in late 2001 and that’s how Budomate started. Always glad to see him on the screen and really disappointed that he remains underrated as an action star.)
Now when you know who the leader let’s meet the members.
Marshall is played by Bryan Larkin who was a competitive junior Scottish bodybuilder and now is an actor with two BAFTA Awards. In 2013 Bryan gaining over 40 lbs of muscle for the role of Russian Dolokhov in Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz. But he mostly known by his roles alongside Gerard Butler in London Has Fallen and Donnie Yen in the Chasing the Dragon.
Gibb is played by Alan Calton is mostly known for In the Name of Ben Hur and Fight the Good Fight movies.
Stockwell is played by Wayne Gordon who could be seen in Angel Has Fallen, Skyfall, Into the Badlands and Gladiators TV Series. Wayne served in the UK Armed Forces and launched his acting career in 2005 appearing as a cornerman in Russell Crowe’s boxing drama Cinderella Man. When he is not involved in film projects, he and former UK Gladiator Jenny Pacey operate personal fitness company Pace & Go.
Barnes is played by Fleur Keith, known for The Night Manager and The Missing.
Fighting choreography is done by Andrei Nazarenko who previously worked as a stunt performer in 47 Ronin and Kingsman: The Secret Service. Lately, Andrei worked as a fighting choreographer for Viking Destiny, The Titan, and other projects. Nazarenko is a member of British Stunt Register, watch his demo reel here.
The climactic fight is a top notch as you can watch how forces of kickboxing and bare-knuckles gather together to produce thunder and lightning. Gary didn’t lose his kicking abilities and Stu is able to show him some moves of dirty boxing.
The film doesn’t need Stu to be another Scott Adkins from the UK, he has his own moves and fight scenes are well-executed thanks to that – fast and brutal.
Revenge for the death of a friend is a frequent boilerplate hook for low budget action movies, and that formula could hardly get a more perfunctory recycling than in I am Vengeance. John Gold works his way through the killers one by one until his mission is fulfilled. I am Vengeance is a DTV action film, but it’s far better than you might expect. The film is out in August for all to see, and I highly recommend that you do.
“You impressed me Gold”.