Poor Vinnie Jones. He didn’t see wrestler-actor Stu Bennett deliver the big hurt to an ensemble of villains in “I Am Vengeance.”
He was just “John Gold,” Special Forces badass in that film. Now he’s “John F—–g Gold.” He’s been promoted, at least in the eyes of the team he assembles this time.
“Wonder how many people he killed today?”
So here Vinnie is, facing off with Man Mountain Bennett, whose needs editing to hide the sheer mass he’s got to move — fast — to be convincing in a movie fight. Alas, the fight choreography is better than the editing in this sequel to the 2018 film about a Brit special forces bloke betrayed and out for, you know, vengeance.
Turns out Vinnie is the guy who did the betraying. “Teague” is his name. And it turns out that the sequel manages some grand fights that don’t even involve the leads. Two words — “Cat fights.”
And it turns out a C-grade action picture, about an agent who’s gone “rogue” and “traitor” who must be caught and whisked to an airport to a secure prison, can almost get by on pithy one-liners delivered in Her Majesty’s accent.
“Assume the position!” the newly-captured Teague is ordered.
“To be continued…”
Of course he gets loose. Again. Bennett gets off a good one.
“Right. I’m gonna go kill those guys. You go find Teague.”
Vinnie has a few zingers of his own.
“You’re like HERPES. I can’t get RID of you!”
Hell, even the guy you might think of as “villain #5” has a few winners to unleash. Why’s he risking his neck for a baddie?
“I’m a MERCENARY. The clue is in the JOB description!”
The action beats are almost non-stop as Teague’s henchman have to be beaten down or killed for Teague to be caught, and not one but TWO interlopers–groups of villains — try to get to him before the government agents can spirit him away.
One is a lithe, motorcycling martial arts assassin (Katrina Durden). She, of course, is bound to have a throw down with her sister-in-arms, one of John F—–g Gold’s” associates, Lynch (Phoebe Robinson-Galvin).
The Durden/Robinson-Galvin brawls are high-kicking, head-butting beauties, and writer director Ross Boyask shoots them in full frame, little editing. Just gasping, punching, choking fury by two ladies-who-lacerate, dressed in leather jumpsuits.
It’s all a noisy, no-budget goof — limited explosions, a car wreck here, a hail of bullets there. Many a clip is emptied into the ether.
There’s a lot of pistol fire, and when Bennett’s Gold is the one doing the shooting, you kind of wish they’d sprung for a more masculine firearm report sound effect. Mr. G. sounds he’s toting Lady G’s pink purse .22.
“Pew pew” the pistols go.
No, it’s not very good. Neither was “I Am Vengeance.” But the redeeming qualities of any C-movie are that it doesn’t waste time, and gives you a few laughs in between the neck-snappings.
“I Am Vengeance: Retaliation” manages that, time and again.
MPAA Rating: R for violence and language throughout
Cast: Stu Bennett, Vinnie Jones, Phoebe Robinson-Galvin, Katrina Durden
Credits: Written and directed by Ross Boyask. A Saban release.
Running time: 1:21