Death, Silence and Vengeance.
Worshipped by his fans Isaac Florentine (Undisputed 2: Last Man Standing) brings us his latest martial arts based thriller. With the usual tale of revenge for the death of his wife and daughter, Acts of Vengeance has a slight twist on the story than others about as it is based on the writings of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.
A damp day, an classic Mustang and a man wearing shades. That is how part IV of this film starts. He walks into a diner and takes a seat. The waitress and approaches brandishing her jug of coffee, she places a cup in front of the man and asks if he wants a coffee, he nods. She asks if he requires anything from the menu, just a shake of the head is the response. (Whatever). He is listening, but we don’t know what for.
“To expect a bad man not to do wrong is madness”
Things outside grab his attention briefly as well as the sound around the diner until he hears a dry hacking cough coming from the kitchen, he is up and heads straight into the hot kitchen with frier’s on the go as well as the burners. He bars the door and immediately sets about the guy with the cough. It looks like curtains for the fry chef as the voice over asks the audience a question about his sanity. Stop!
“How quickly all things disappear!”
Part I, one year before the previous scene. Frank Valera (Antonio Banderas, The Legend of Zorro, Shrek) is a fast talking defence lawyer stating that women speak 20,000 words a day compared to the 17,000 that men speak. Frank is the exception as he uses the 80,000 words he speaks a day as weapons to get his clients acquitted. But he believes that only three words are required “I love you”.
Franks wife Sue (Cristina Serafini, No End) and daughter Olivia (Lillian Blankenship, Security) love him dearly also and it is frustrating when his work keeps him from the performance of Olivia doing their favourite song. Frank gets to see the performance due to Sue taking a video of his daughter singing and texting it to him along with her telling him how annoyed she is of him. He had been caught up in a traffic jam in the pouring rain.
He waits at home for hours, he keeps sending voice messages but gets no response. It is midnight when he realises that something is wrong when a squad car pulls up in front of his palatial home.
The bodies of Sue and Olivia’s bodies have been found at a rail-yard on the East side. This hits Frank hard and he takes to the bottle and a path of self destruction as he finds a back room cage fight where time and again he gets the blood and snot knocked out of him.
He keeps visiting the Police station but keeps being told there are no leads or witnesses, the only evidence are small gold fibres found on Sues clothes. After a particular brutal beating in the ring he is rescued by off duty police officer Strode (Karl Urban, Star Trek, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers) who informs him that the status of the crime has been changed to “Cold”.
On his way home he is approached by a young girl offering him her services, he tells her to go home until her pimp comes at him with a knife which Frank manages to knock out of his hand. Frank holds his own against the Russian until he is stabbed in the leg by the young girl. He falls through the window of a book store as the other make their escape. He grabs a book to staunch the bleeding (Meditations).
“Punish only he who has committed the crime.”
Part II. Now the training begins and the investigation begins. Frank must find the killer by himself. He will be up against many things including the Russian Mafia. Acts of vengeance has a strange angle on this genre of film and Banderas does a great job.
“There is nothing that hinders you from doing what must be done!”