I’ve had a soft spot for martial arts flicks for quite some time now, but it wasn’t until my first viewing of Gareth Evans’ masterpiece, The Raid: Redemption, that I started craving more exciting, more vicious action. In a similarly savage style, Ernesto Díaz Espinoza presents to fans the brutal film, Redeemer.
Redeemer stars Marko Zaror as the films titular character, who in order to repent for his life’s sins and his past life as a cartel hitman, becomes a vigilante. In the same vein as The Boondock Saints, Zaror’s character helps the seemingly innocent by taking out ‘the bad guys.’ In the process, however, he is putting more and more people in harm’s way, while attracting the attention of a former enemy, simply known throughout the area as “The Scorpion.”
I had no idea how violent Redeemer was going to turn out when I first hit play. It seems that filmmakers are really upping the ante when it comes to martial arts films, ever since the aforementioned Gareth Evans film was released to the masses. Now, there may have been bloody martial arts-infused films before then, but things have really take an explicit turn as of late. This is a very good thing, I might add, for someone who is in love with the darker side of art and cinema. Quite frankly, films like this are basically action movies made with horror fans in mind.
While Redeemer is full of sick action sequences and tons of bloody mayhem, it isn’t without its problems. The acting isn’t as good as I had expected and the CG effects are somewhat hit or miss. For the most part, everything looks really good, but there were a few scenes where I chuckled a bit, simply for the fact that the blood looked too fake or the computer generated scorpions were unnecessary. I did enjoy some performances more than others. I think most of the cast did an okay job, but some deliveries just felt dry. There is no doubting that Marko Zaror is an incredible martial artist and one hell of an action star, but his acting did feel underwhelming at times. On the other hand, I did enjoy a few silly lines from Noah Segan (Deadgirl), which helped bring some levity to a rather heavy flick.
All in all, Redeemer is a great watch. Martial arts fans, action fans, and horror fans alike can all enjoy themselves to some degree while watching this one. The writing is strong, the action is intense and original, and the overall product is something that should definitely be watched at least once. Be sure to pick up a copy on Blu-ray or DVD today from Dark Sky Films.
I give this bad-ass flick 3 CG scorpions out of 5.