Plot: After an extensive investigation and violent showdown, Detective Mason Danvers (Dean Cain) has finally brought down crime kingpin Victor Abbott (Big Show), a violent thug who had his hands in all kinds of criminal enterprises. The case took a toll on Danvers, as it was a grueling pursuit and kept him away from home often, but now Victor is locked up at last. But when a legal technicality allows him to walk free, Danvers is devastated, especially when he calls his wife for support, only to have Victor pick up her phone. Now his wife and unborn child are dead, leaving Danvers desperate for some vengeance, but he has little recourse. But he is so driven to settle the score with Victor that he engineers a plan to be imprisoned himself, in the same compound as Victor and take him down from the inside. So he kills Victor’s brother and pulls strings to be sent to the same prison, but once he is inside those walls, Danvers discovers his plan might not be as simple as he expected.
Entertainment Value: This one has some interesting elements, an unhinged Dean Cain, pro wrestler the Big Show, and horror mavens Jen and Sylvia Soska, all thrown into an action movie set in a prison. I kind of expected a brutal movie, given the Soska sisters at the helm, but the movie settles in as a drama, then injects some prison violence in mild doses. The narrative is fine, with Cain going into prison to settle up with his rival, but of course, a myriad of twists and turns are thrown in. This kind of movie needs betrayal and corruption, both of which are well represented here. The pace is brisk and little time is spent on exposition, especially once we are inside the prison, which is when the action driven elements kick in. Big Show is fine as our villain, but he doesn’t have the killer instinct presence you might expect, but Dean Cain delivers as a manic, off the rails cop turned violent vigilante. He has crazy eyes throughout and embraces the dank violence of prison life, a fun performance all around. I do wish it was more brutal and over the top, especially with the Soska sisters on deck, but Vendetta is still a solid prison drama with some quirky elements.
This one takes place in prison, but avoids the usual group showers and rape tropes, so no nakedness to report. So if you hoped to see Big Show try to turn out Superman here, no such luck. There’s some violence here to be sure, but little kinetic bloodshed is seen and most of the nastiness happens just off screen. I am sure some will still find it to be brutal, but I wouldn’t have minded a less tease driven approach. A few spots of active violence can be found, so there’s some crimson flowing at times, but for the most part, the gushy stuff just out of our view. As for action, this one has the usual prison brawls and guards with guns, so some solid scuffles to be seen. Big Show is put to great use, manhandling his foes with ease. The dialogue is fine, with some generic tough guy talk at times, but not much that stands out as memorable or quotable. I think Cain could have had some fun lines, as he was off the deep end in other ways, but the writing keeps things rather reeled in. The same holds true for the craziness, as the movie plays it safe and doesn’t do much in terms of wild or outlandish moments.
Overall Insanity: 0/10