Aug 262020

I Am Vengeance: Retaliation had the hallmarks to be a fun and light action-thriller and instead is a monotonous and tedious mess not helped by a lead who, at least with this material, doesn’t quite have the charisma compared to his wrestling actor cohorts.



I Am Vengeance: Retaliation

Genre(s): Action, Thriller
Lionsgate | R – 82 min. – $21.99 | August 18, 2020

Date Published: 08/26/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Director: Ross Boyask
Writer(s): Ross Boyask (written by)
Cast: Stu Bennett, Vinnie Jones, Mark Griffin, Katrina Durden, Phoebe Robinson-Galvin

Features: Commentary, Featurette, Deleted/Extended Scenes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 24.21 GB
Total Bitrate: 29.01 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 1.5/5

Plot Synopsis: When ex-special forces soldier John Gold (STU BENNETT) is given the chance to retrieve Sean Teague (VINNIE JONES) — the man who betrayed Gold’s team on their final mission in Eastern Europe — and transport him to a military prison at a black site, Gold, who’d rather kill Teague, is reluctant. But when a government operative (MARK GRIFFIN) promises to expunge the crimes that’ve forced Gold into a life on the run, Gold agrees and prepares for the first of his life against Teague’s band of mercenaries and a mysterious sniper.

Review: Not sure anyone remember there was a first I Am Vengeance film released in 2018, and until this sequel was announced, I had forgotten. No real surprise as it was pretty bad led way by a bland performance from the latest wrestler-turned-actor in Stu Bennett, who is easily the fourth best in that category behind Dwayne Johnson, Jon Cena and Mike “The Miz” Mizanin. Nothing against Bennett as he’s probably a cool dude in real life, but any charisma he had in the ring has not translated to the screen. Making matters worse, he’s not helped being saddled with scripts that likely sat in some dusty drawer and features stilted dialogue.

I Am Vengeance: Retaliation, on paper, had some potential. It’s a basic plot of an elite crew assigned to capture a terrorist but instead became a repetitive chore with the crew catching the villain, as portrayed by Vinnie Jones, within five minutes of coming together, then bad guy gets rescued by cohorts, recaptured and rescued again and recaptured AGAIN before escaping… AGAIN. In between we get some hit or miss fight sequences that felt a bit too choreographed with characters hitting their initial marks just right. Nothing ever felt natural even if perhaps this cast of mostly unknowns had some skill. In addition, we get a character out for revenge, she would’ve been more effective if previously introduced in the first movie, though seems like they wanted to ignore any specifics from that film other than Gold on the run.

Beyond Bennett, who really is a blank personality here, none of the other cast could muster much charisma either, despite some interesting character developments particularly on Vinnie Jones’s henchmen. Jones himself is basically the same sort of character seen in so many of these direct-to-video flicks, and his character really comes off a bit weak and not the bad ass I’m used to.

I Am Vengeance: Retaliation was written and directed by Ross Boyask, the man behind the first film, and while initially it has a fun 1980s action-thriller vibe, the result is a repetitive film that was just a chore to sit through even with its short running time.



This release comes with a slip cover and a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. Features include an Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Ross Boyask and Actor/Executive Producer Stu Bennett, Propelling a Franchise: Making I Am Vengeance: Retaliation (24:47) behind-the-scenes featurette and Deleted/Extended Scenes (6:56).


VIDEO – 4.25/5

Lionsgate releases I Am Vengeance: Retaliation onto Blu-ray shown with a 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and has a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). The picture looks more than adequate, detail is moderately sharp and it is a colorful flick at least. There were no signs of aliasing, artifacts or other flaws.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The disc includes a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track (back cover mistakenly says its Dolby TrueHD) where dialogue comes through with good clarity and there is some okay depth for the numerous hand-to-hand fight scenes, though it is limited with anything more, such as a CGI generated explosion near the end.


OVERALL – 2.25/5

Overall, I Am Vengeance: Retaliation had the hallmarks to be a fun and light action-thriller and instead is a monotonous and tedious mess not helped by a lead who, at least with this material, doesn’t quite have the charisma compared to his wrestling actor cohorts.




Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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