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Directed by Jesse V. Johnson

Criminal Cain Burgess breaks out of police custody whilst visiting his dying mother to take revenge on those that got him banged up in prison in the first place.

Kick-ass action star Scott Adkins returns to the screens as a cockney criminal in Jesse V. Johnson’s AVENGEMENT. However, he tones down the jumping spinning back kicks in favour for some good ol’ fashioned gangster brawling in this criminal drama which sees his character Cain go from an innocent guy to a hardened killer.

The film itself mainly takes place inside a member’s only pub where Cain looks to ruffle the feathers of the gang drinking in there after it becomes apparent he’s had some hand in the death of one of their own. It’s here where we learn Cain’s backstory and why he’s so interested in getting revenge upon this group of men. The story charts his life prior to prison, when he was looking to set up his own gym, to where everything went downhill. His stint in prison sees him beaten and bloodied as he transforms into the silver-grinned hardman that sits before us on the screen.

AVENGEMENT is heavier on the drama and dialogue than the films we’re used to seeing Scott Adkins in, taking care to fill in the story as to how Cain became the character we see him on screen. This is complimented by quality performances from the likes of Thomas Turgoose (This Is England), Leo Gregory (Stoned and Green Street), Craig Fairbrass (Rise of the Footsoldier 1-3), Nick Moran (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), Terence Maynard (Tony from Coronation Street and Edge of Tomorrow) and Mark Strange (Redcon-1). The backstory and dramatic segments between the gang and Cain in the boozer really ramp up the tension as everything comes to a mighty head. Expect brutal fight scenes involving sawn-off shotguns, head bouncing off counters and a bit of the ol’ knifeplay as well as some gnarly injuries. But it’s not just in the pub where all hell breaks loose. The segment where we see Cain enter the prison system opens up some savage battery that will make you squirm. I particularly had to look away at the American History X inspired moment which results in Cain acquiring his chrome gnashers.

AVENGEMENT is a refreshing change and that’s not to say I don’t love my straight-out martial arts films featuring Scott Adkins, because I really do! However, it’s nice to see him showcase his range in AVENGEMENT, as we discover the human element of his character, for better and for worse, and the journey he takes to where he is now. Also, being surrounded by such a talented cast to play off of has its perks and makes for a well-crafted, indie action-gangster flick as the two sides face off.

If you love blunt, to-the-point gangster movies, then this bone-crunching bobby dazzler might be just up your street.

Rating: ★★★½☆

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About Bat 4417 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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