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I Am Vengeance: Retaliation

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The review should have been filed last week when the film debuted, but after learning it was a sequel — and given my anal-retentive bent — a look at the original was crucial. Pro-wrestler-turned-marquee-aspirant Stu Bennett’s gamble paid off with this followup to director Ross Boyask’s British thriller. (British thriller? How’s that for an oxymoron?) True to form, Bennett enters swinging, landing more punches than bullets. And instead of following the standard “avenge the death of a friend” plotline, this time, Boyask opts to follow an equally conventional “capture the bad guy and transport him to prison” thread. The action never stops, but what makes this sequel superior (though not by much) is Boyask’s emphasis on humor — and the addition of legitimate action star Vinny Jones to lend credence. Boyask doesn’t direct as much as he pauses the action long enough to move things to another part of the set, where the fisticuffs continue. For those in the mood to watch people get pummeled for 90 minutes, you could do a lot worse. (2020) — Scott Marks

Rated R | 1 hour, 30 minutes
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