Bloody recovery is one of the most boring derivative genres

In “Vendetta,” a former US Marine responds to the thugs who murdered his daughter, inciting a routine cycle of violence with occasional flashes of wits that feel like they’ve been split up from a different and better movie. Most of those moments have little to do with the main narrative, which follows William Duncan (Clive Standen, “The Vikings”) as he traces the rioters who executed his teenage daughter (Maddie Nichols) during an initiation ritual.

His revenge enrages Donnie Vetter (Bruce Willis), a street-level crime boss who orders his son Rory (Theo Rossi) to get rid of William and his wife (Jackie Moore). Despite warnings from an ineffective detective (Kurt Yue), who tells William Violent that it can only generate more violence, the situation is spiraling out of control, as is often the case in revenge thrillers of this genre. The number of bodies begins to rise. So does boredom.

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Writer and director Jared Cohn, the real Orson Welles of the Landfill B films, made one good decision in all of the “Vendetta” films: He allowed actor Thomas Jane, who plays a gun runner who helps William with his murderous revenge, to drop the film’s sad tone and do as he pleases. .

Smoking a distractingly large pipe and always swallowing a beer bottle no matter the time of day, Jen is the only member of the cast who understands what kind of movie he’s making. He never takes anything seriously, even when he’s in the middle of a car chase getting shot at, and most of his lines are completely at odds with the rest of the movie (“Can I keep it?” William asks after snatching a hunk of bullet from his shoulder), it’s a bet He believed that he improvised most of his dialogue.

As the main thug, Rousey makes a sadistic insanity order without creating a trace of danger. It’s lightweight trying to play a scary heavyweight. Mike Tyson appears in an extended cameo as a professional car thief for no apparent reason other than to give the film’s producers an excuse to add his face to the poster. Tyson has five minutes of screen time, but he knows the kind of picture he’s making, and seems happy to have the opportunity to earn a quick and easy paycheck.

The same cannot be said for Willis, whose distracted and empty performance as the main heavyweight is hard to watch after news of his aphasia diagnosis. Willis spends most of his scenes sitting behind a desk, and the effort to remember his meager, perhaps once lazy dialogue is heartbreaking now.

Despite his typical scheme, “Vendetta” didn’t have to be too tepid. The core story is nearly identical to “The Death Penalty,” the underrated 2007 revenge drama starring Kevin Bacon and directed by James Wan that took the “death wish” formula to such an extent that it felt dangerous and new again. One of the liberties that come with delving into cliched genre material is the freedom to undermine expectations and try something different, two things that the makers of this movie didn’t bother to do.

“Vendetta,” which is oddly shy to not even provide one memorable piece of a free B-movie, will evaporate from your memory once you return the disc to the Redbox booth you rented it from.

Now available in select theaters, on demand and at Redbox kiosks.

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