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Stars: Danny Dyer, Alistair Petrie, Roxanne McKee, Michael Ryan, Vincent Regan, Joshua Osei, Ricci Harnett, Nick Nevern, Ryan Oliva, Bruce Payne, Emma Samms, Tony Denham

Director: Stephen Reynolds

Another week, another low-budget, high blood flow British thriller: and a film almost automatically destined to receive a basically hostile critical reception, since it stars Danny Dyer.

Writer-director Stephen Reynolds patently has the interests of potential hard-man movie lovers at heart rather than playing up to reviewers the way Jeremy Lovering appeared to do with the pretentiously dreadful shocker In Fear and claiming to make an art movie. Although, in the right reviewing context, David Katznelson’s atmospheric cinematography for Vendetta might be considered praiseworthy.

The plot is straightforward enough and essentially generic. Special Ops interrogation specialist Dyer returns from service in the desert in Afghanistan to learn his parents, played by Tony Denham and Emma Samms, have been hideously murdered. A bloodbath of violence and stomach-turning torture ensues as Dyer (“They don’t deserve justice. They don’t deserve to live!”) seeks violent vengeance against the killers…

Performances are in line with the storyline, with Dyer, bearded and brutal, holding the narrative together perfectly acceptably and, in key scenes, endowing his murderously driven character with somewhat surprising sensitivity.

I don't claim Vendetta to be anything more than a movie effectively tailored to the talents and image of its star. That said, while it is patently no masterpiece, it emerges as an unpretentious offering that delivers rather more than it might be at first viewing appear to promise.

Alan Frank

UK 2013. UK Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment UK . Colour.
106 minutes. not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 3, Swearing 3.

Review date: 23 Nov 2013