The Darkest Knight Arises.
Rendel: Dark Vengeance is from Finland, which doesn’t have the biggest film industry (about 15-20 films per year), so this first feature film from writer/director (Jesse Haaja) is a bold step trying to break into the anti-hero market, which is heavily dominated by the likes of DC and Marvel. For a first attempt this is a cracking idea of how a man must fight to get justice for his wife and daughter and bring justice to the Multi National pharmaceutical company. The film is filmed in the Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino) style which makes following the time line a bit disjointed.
Rämö (Kris Gummerus, Where Once We Walked) is a family man with wife Anette (Minttu Tamski) and young daughter Enni (Roosamaria Mäkinena). He has a steady job as the financial director with the Trust Kapital Bank, which is great in the current economic downturn. Meanwhile CEO of the VALA pharmaceutical company Pekka Erola (Matti Onnismaa, Guilt) has landed Finland’s largest economic export, it’s vaccine NH25 to be used in developing countries.
But this vaccine has had a lot of bad press in Europe and wasn’t given a licence outside Africa and investigative reporter Niina Heikkinen (Minna Nevanoja, Hustlers) wants to get the reasons why they have to export it. Pekka has a darker side and it is his son Jarno ‘Rotikka’ Erola (Rami Rusinen, Lovemilla) and his sidekick Lahtaaja (Renne Korppila) that do his bidding.
Räm’s life goes down hill when he refuses a loan to one of VALA’s main men Kurikka (Tero Salenius, The Marshal of Finland) who makes a phone call that gets him fired and he finds all doors closed to him which causes friction with his wife. He turns to drinking whisky during the day and this is when he is spotted by the very man he had refused the loan to. Kurikka offers him a job with his team at VALA to sort out the old records and shred them. This is where he finds out out about one of the main ingredients of the vaccine, Tarnite and all the dodgy dealings of the VALA corporation.
“It integrates into your cells or something. I don’t know, something like that. But what I do know, is that when that stuff dries up, it is harder than stone.”
What Rämö doesn’t realise is that he is being watched by Pekka Erola and this leads to a visit by Rotikka on his family and they are slain in front of him, leading to the creation of Rendel who is out to avenge his family and the innocents of third world children.
Rendel brings nothing fresh to this genre, but then again, how could it with the amount of money that is available to mainstream film makers, however it is good to see the raw emotions of a man on a mission and I for one look forward to a sequel. The one question is, who is the blond woman following him around?
“I need a body, not a portrait. Get Redek!”