I AM WRATH (2016)
Directed by Chuck Russell
Engineer Stanley and his wife Vivian are attacked in a parking garage which results in Vivian’s death. Distraught, Stanley strives for justice and helps the police to identify the ringleader of the trio who attacked them but to his shock and disgust, they let the culprit walk free. Realising he must take the law into his own hands to get justice for his deceased wife, Stanley calls upon his old friend Dennis for help – a partnership that sees the duo reignite their hidden, deadly past.
Dramatic action thriller I AM WRATH stars John Travolta in the lead role as a bereaved husband who decides to unleash his deadly skills, which he buried a long time ago for the woman he loved, in a bid of vengeance and justice for the woman who has horrifically taken away from him. With a sprinkle of John Wick and a splash of Law Abiding Citizen, the film sees Stanley (Travolta) team up with Dennis (Christopher Meloni) to deliver their own version of justice in a clearly corrupt community that so-called prides itself on reducing crime over the years. Was it simply a mugging gone terribly wrong though or is there more to the murder than meets the eye?
I’ve not seen much of John Travolta’s recent work despite enjoying his earlier stuff, especially with Brian de Palma. The film in which I last saw Travolta was probably The Punisher and here he takes on a similar badass role except this time fighting for the side of good. Travolta’s character Stanley’s current career might be as an engineer but it seems the unassuming gentleman actually has military training and a whole cache of weapons to call upon too. In short, he’s an ultimate badass. Unfortunately, Travolta never quite convinces in this role despite cool scenes such as nightclub shoot-outs and bones being snapped and popped. Meloni does a better job as Stanley’s friend Dennis who genuinely looks as though he can handle himself and often finds himself saving Stanley’s ass at the most vital moment.
As a story, I AM WRATH isn’t too bad for those looking for a bit of action entertainment. The plot concerning the hit on Stanley and Vivian is obvious from the get-go for anyone who’s ever watched any conspiracy or corruption thrillers. The big reveal therefore isn’t that much of a shocker but the journey the film takes to get there is quite watchable thanks to the Travolta and Meloni double-act that almost verges on comedy at times. The villains play their parts well even though they’re pretty much caricatures without much depth. Only one particular villain acts in a way that is unbelievable as he rivals the abilities of Stanley as I genuinely doubt that would even happen considering the nature of the character.
As a thriller, it’s not juicy or twisty enough to sink your teeth into but for a bit of badass action, I AM WRATH delivers enough to keep you watching.