by Patrick Bromley
Regular readers of Heavy Action already know that Scott Adkins is my favorite action star currently working, on a very short list of actors whose every movie I will see simply because he is in it. I haven't loved every one of his movies, but I almost always love him in them. In the DTV realm, there is no one I would rather watch beat ass. This works in the favor of his latest effort, Avengement, because he beats a lot of ass. Like, a lot.
Re-teaming with frequent collaborator Jesse V. Johnson (Savage Dog, Accident Man, this year's Triple Threat), Adkins plays the excellently-named Cain Burgess, recently out of prison after being away for several years on a manslaughter charge. Being locked away changed Cain, turning him from a mostly mild-mannered, law-abiding citizen into a machine of violence, existing only to inflict as much damage as he possibly can on anyone who wrongs him or gets in his way. On the outside, Cain goes looking for a measure of revenge -- or, in the parlance of this movie's title, "avengement" -- against his brother Lincoln (Craig Fairbrass) and the men he holds responsible for taking his life away.
This all translates to the action scenes, too. Whereas Adkins made a name for himself as a martial arts star, Avengement isn't interested in that kind of grace and fluidity. Director Jesse V. Johnson and fight coordinator Dan Styles instead take a two-fisted approach, all punches and head butts and people being hit with blunt objects in the interest of inflicting as much damage with as much force as possible. This is a hard-hitting movie, the kind where the violence is stylized less so that it looks cool and more so that you feel every blow. I got bruises just watching it.
Avengement is in limited release and on VOD beginning today.
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