★★★ / ★★★★
Independent action film “Avengement” offers more than bone-crunching violence. It tells the story of an inmate furloughed to visit his dying mother then uses the opportunity to escape and exact vengeance against those responsible for putting him behind the most violent prison in England. The trajectory of the plot is straightforward, as many revenge pictures, but it is told in a clear, confident, entertaining, and amusing manner despite half the events being revealed through flashbacks. It is not afraid to allow its colorful characters to speak—note the handful of extended tough guy dialogue. Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino come to mind when one considers the screenplay, albeit not as potent or polished. Scott Adkins portrays the hardened criminal Cain with a balance of charm and danger. His clever quips can just as easily turn into a rabid dog tantrum. At the same time we believe the pain and betrayal behind those eyes so we root for his survival. Directed by Jesse V. Johnson who co-wrote the work with Stu Small.