Apr 15, 2023
Ranjeet S. Marwa
Daniel White, Ranjeet S. Marwa
Mark Strange, David Lamont, James Bryhan, Shally Tria-Amanda, Nisaro Karim
An ex-con sets out to take revenge on the people who wronged him.
It is the near future, and Raven (Strange) is a criminal and he is planning to do a highly-paid illegal job with his associates. The act gets him arrested and imprisoned, leaving his pregnant partner Amanda (Tria-Amanda) in a vulnerable situation as Raven's gangster friends refuse to help. Amanda decides to continue her life without him and when he is released a few years later, he sets off to settle the score with his former colleagues and he will do so rather viciously.
Vengeance and betrayal are the main themes in this action thriller, with an angry and emotionally damaged man going after the people who wronged him and destroyed his life. Beginning with Raven murdering three of the ones who double-crossed him, a flashback reveals the events that led to the protagonist's current vengeful status. In comparison to the second half, the first half is a bit slow, focusing on introducing the characters and revealing the magnitude of what Raven lost due to his imprisonment. Later on, things get quite exciting as he proceeds to eliminate the bad guys, taking out a lot of them, with cool action scenes taking place in a variety of places, including a club and a bar.
Arguably, the action sequences are the highlight of the feature, with Raven tearing through his foes like a one-man army, shooting them, stabbing them or beating them. These scenes are directed in a way that resembles the John Wick movies, making them look rather cool and the hand-to-hand combat contains great choreography.
The mise-en-scene is interesting, containing several gadgets that look futuristic, including glasses and computer chips that seem to be attached to people's heads. Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of guns and a fair amount of blood.
Raven makes an interesting anti-hero and as an individual who is willing to resort to violence and whose actions cause great pain to Amanda, he is hardly likeable, with Strange's voice-over providing an insight into his damaged mind. Although Coby (Karim) is a loyal friend to him, Amanda appears to be the only person in his life who is truly decent and Tria-Amanda plays the part very well. Lamont is Smoke, the leader of the crooks, a drug user with a Mohawk haircut and Sanford (Bryhan) stands out due to his not-very-handsome appearance. Sometimes the acting is weak, however it does not ruin the experience.
The feature contains interesting lighting techniques and the filmmakers make effective use of slow motion. The soundtrack is enjoyable and includes electronic music and special mention goes to the animation during the opening and closing credits.
This is a futuristic revenge action thriller with criminals, plenty of profanity and a great deal of shooting and physical fighting. The story, characters and tense action provide an amusing experience, however this is not just a brainless action film, as it also has heavy drama and points out the consequences of turning to crime.