Directed by: #CharleneJeter
Written by: Charlene Jeter
Raw and packing a decent punch, filmmaker Charlene Jeter's action-packed spy thriller Love Espionage: Spy Revenge is as clumsy as the title suggest, yet contains some impressive sequences and bold ambition.
Jeter plays Penny, a CIA agent who hopes for a nice bit of career advancement when taking on a new assignment that is supposed to be low-key. However, her husband Raymond (Munish Manjunath) who is a retired agent, gets called back into the field when Jenny gets kidnapped by someone he put away a long time ago - the formidable Boris (Matt Hudson). Now it's a race against time as Raymond attempts to find and rescue his wife before Boris exacts his revenge plot.
Clunkily plotted and completely contrived the narrative of Love Espionage: Spy Revenge stitches together a plethora of scenes and sequences that barely form a coherent story. The action takes precedence over depth, and the result is a feature film badly borrowing from Bond, Bourne, and anything with Steven Seagal in.
The performances range from unnecessarily intense and melodramatic, to fairly decent. At the former end of the spectrum are the three leads, who feel like they are acting for their lives, creating a way too serious atmosphere for the barmy plot to unravel in. At the latter end was Jovany Torres, who plays Boris's henchman and was the most believable and compelling on screen. All of the actors seemed too reliant on the clunky dialogue and Hudson's delivery of the cartoonish lines of his super villain were eye-wincingly dramatic.
Love Espionage: Spy Revenge was at least ambitious in its agenda, tackling themes of crime, abduction, trafficking and indeed revenge with its outlandish plot. The chemistry between Jeter and Manjunath was solid and ensured the film was at least rooted in something profound. Their love is unquestionable and some of the best scenes in the indie movie are where they enjoy each other's company, such as Raymond planning on learning to mow the lawn.
As a film originally planned as four mini shorts, the fractures are too obvious to ignore. This is not a fluid piece of #filmmaking and audiences are unlikely to forgive the technical shortcomings such as the terrible sound quality or the bad acting. However, Jeter shows herself to be a fearless filmmaker and her daring attitude toward storytelling has at least resulted in a feature length movie packed with fantastic action and gripping violence.
Watch the indie film trailer below.