Vendetta (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/11/2013

One out of Five stars
Running time: 106 mins

Dismal British thriller that's liable to disappoint even die-hard Danny Dyer devotees, thanks to an atrocious script, unlikeable characters and by-the-numbers direction that fails to inject anything that might have made this palatable.

Woss it all abaaaht?
Written and directed by Stephen Reynolds, Vendetta stars Danny Dyer as Special Ops interrogation officer Jimmy Vickers, who returns to London to find that his parents (Tony Denham and Dynasty's Emma Samms) have been brutally murdered by five members of an East London crime gang. Not being the type to hand that sort of thing over to the police, Jimmy sets about tracking them down and exacting violent revenge, beginning with the gang's leader (Joshua Osei).

As the bodies start mounting up, local police inspector Holland (Alistair Petrie) picks up Jimmy's trail and intends to bring him to justice, but when Jimmy's commanding officer (Vincent Regan) turns up, he's forced to reassess the situation. Meanwhile, on top of revenging his parents' murder, Jimmy is also attempting to reconnect with his soon-to-be ex-wife Morgan (Roxanne McKee).

The Bad
Whether by accident or design, Danny Dyer has reached a point in his career where 'a Danny Dyer movie' is practically a sub-genre in itself. Accordingly, his fans more or less know what to expect from one of his films, the minimum requirements of which are violence (lots of violence) and what can only be described as swaggery, geezer-like gor-blimey banter, laced with quality swears.

Unfortunately, though the film does indeed have plenty of violence (Vickers dispatches his targets in unnecessarily inventive ways, including bucket-of-acid-to-the-back-of-the-neck and tearing-in-half-by-car), it falls down considerably in the dialogue and swagger departments, with Dyer toning down the twinkly geezer aspects of his usual screen persona in favour of something dark and brooding instead (evidence: he sports a thick dark beard).

The Worse
Sadly, Reynolds' direction is strictly by-the-numbers and lacks the necessary spark that might have brought this to life, with static exposition scenes and even the violent death sequences unfolding in curiously muted fashion. Similarly, the actors do their best (except Michael Ryan as Vickers' cop best friend Griff, who's flat-out terrible), but they're let down by an atrocious script that's full of clunky lines and laughably reactionary politics; it's also, crucially, completely devoid of anything in the way of (intentional) humour.

Worth seeing?
Ultimately, the scariest thing about Vendetta is the words “Jimmy Vickers Will Return” that pop up after the end credits. This is a disappointing thriller that's let down by poor direction, a badly written script and a misjudged central performance from Dyer.

Film Trailer

Vendetta (18)
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Content updated: 17/07/2018 17:58

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