E1 Entertainment // 2013 // 85 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // September 29th, 2013
Power. Money. Betrayal.
Dolph Lundgren (Universal Soldier) is great and all, but he joins what might be the most impressive roster of straight-to-video hangers-on that's ever been assembled in a forgettable movie. Joining Lundgren are Billy Zane (Titanic), Vinnie Jones (Snatch), and Robert Davi (The Goonies). That's an impressive slate of dudes who used to be on movie posters for theatrical releases.
Alas, they find themselves powering through lukewarm swill like this -- an actioner with very little action, a thriller with very few thrills. A glance at the disc cover promises explosions, gunfire, and even a classic car thrown in for good measure. Lots of alpha male click-bait there, but none of it comes to pass in Blood of Redemption in any meaningful way.
Lundgren plays Axel, a one-time henchman now drawn into a saga of blood-soaked vengeance and relentless sneering, as he systematically wipes out everyone who betrayed him and his former employer. That guy is Quinn Forte (Zane), who emerges from prison, ticked off at the scumbags who usurped him. He enlists Axel and together they open fire. But there are twists, my friend. And turns!
And you probably won't care! Because Blood of Redemption can't stay out of its own way. The violence is minimal, buttressed by sluggish chunks of exposition, clumsily choreographed action and chewed through by various C-listers. There's supposed to some crime noir-ish sensibilities at work here, pointing towards the upcoming twists, but it was lost on me. In the end, the glacial pacing left me restless and eager to do something more engaging, like attempting to draw affection from our house cat, who hates my freakin' guts.
Is there anything salvageable here? No. While Blood of Redemption isn't embarrassingly terrible, it leaves much to be desired as a crime thriller, burdened by clunky storytelling, indifferent acting, and unsatisfactory plot twists. As an action film, it's even more wanting.
The specs: 1.78:1, 1080p, DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, and a making-of featurette.
Guilty. Redemption denied.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: E1 Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Not Rated