Netflixable? Calabrian hitman and his daughter hunt his hunters — “My Name is Vendetta”

“My Name is Vendetta (Il mio nome è vendetta) ” is a properly blood-spattered Italian hitman thriller with a few loopy touches — and blunders — that mark it as a B-movie.

Generic as it generally is, it’s worth a look for some fine action beats and its Italian mob sense of what pitiless violence looks like.

It’s about a father and daughter who have to go on the lam when the Sicilian mafia family he once hit IDs him in the remote timber country of — Austria, I guess?

Santo (Alessandro Gassman) always told teen Sofia (Ginerva Francesconi) that he left Calabria (the toe of the Italian boot) “for love.” He fell for her German speaking mother, and that was that.

But working in a sawmill and cheering her on at her hockey games is very much a “new” life. Santo wasn’t always “Santo.” And when Sofia snaps and posts a shot of her dad against his oft-expressed “no photos” wishes, she brings the wrath of the Lo Biancos down on them.

Mom and an uncle are beaten to death. But Sofia — a bit of a jock and an impulsive hothead on the ice — makes her escape. Dad has to rescue her, take them off the grid and um, start explaining.

“I wasn’t a good person” (in Italian, or dubbed into English) should about cover it.

The rich, vengeful old man Lo Bianco (Remo Girone) will have his pounds of Santo’s flesh. His more corrupt than murderous son (Alessio Praticò) and all his minions will just have to go along with it.

A pseudo-clever touch of the screenplay is to tie this “Kill or be killed” tale to father Santo’s favorite book, “The Call of the Wild.” He was a beast in a previous life, and he’s got to return to his savage state — and to teach Sofia — if they’re going to survive.

After a LOT of bratty blowback in which the kid who got her mother and uncle killed by not accepting Dad’s “no photos” dictum, mid GETAWAY tantrums and the like, Sofia buys in. A lesson in knife fighting, where to cut to get the advantage, where to stab to kill, what to puncture if you want your foe to live long enough to have the sight of his killer be his last thoughts, because “no revenge is crueler,” is taken to heart.

Hot-wiring a car? That’s something she picks up just by observing.

There are a lot of unexplained/little-explained stashes, bits of ordnance acquisition, novice-driver in a car chase and gearing up and getting the drop on the bad guys details here. The plotting is sloppy, never more so than when we hear a hostage calling out “Please PLEASE” from a distance, only to have his captor walk up and…tear off the duct tape that covers his mouth so that he can take a drink.

Yeah.

And a lot more could have been made of “the wild” that this “Call of the Wild” riff rides on. The only connection with the book, which is quoted from in a few voice-overs, is the savagery of all involved.

Still, as it never aims to be more than a film de genere, “Il mio nome è vendetta” isn’t all bad.

Rating: TV: MA, graphic violence, nudity, profanity

Cast: Alessandro Gassman, Ginerva Francesconi, Alessio Praticò, Francesco Villano and Remo Girone

Credits: Directed by Cosimo Gomez, scripted by Cosimo Gomez, Sandrone Dazieri and Andrea Nobile. A Netflix release.

Running time: 1:32

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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1 Response to Netflixable? Calabrian hitman and his daughter hunt his hunters — “My Name is Vendetta”

  1. It’s Calabrian mafia called Ndrangetta btw

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