Review: Avengement (2019)

Two of these guys are having a bad day.

Starring Scott Adkins, Craig Fairbass, Nick Moran, Louis Mandylor

Fight Choreography by: Dan Styles

Directed by: Jesse V Johnson

From Savage Dog to Triple Threat, the pair of Jesse V Johnson and Scott Adkins spells nearly gold every time, much like Scott’s pairings with Issac Florentine. But that’s where the similarities end. The collaborations with Adkins pushes what Adkins goes through as both an actor and martial artist, and this films brutally serves notice: Scott Adkins can be great in many different kinds of characters. Now we can add a new one in antihero Cain Burgess.

Scott Adkins stars as the aforementioned Cain Burgess, a simple man who wants to own a gym. But getting the money to do so is quite a bit complicated as he goes to his brother Lincoln, a known gangster, to borrow the money. But to do that requires that Cain must steal a woman’s purse. It sounds simple, right? But a simple purse snatching turns tragic as the woman is killed, and Cain is caught and sentenced to prison, where he finds himself under siege nearly every day for years, and must grow stronger both within and without in order to survive long enough to confront his brother again. But after years in the muck of human depravity and inhumane treatment, what kind of man has Cain become?

That question, what kind of man has Cain become, lies at the heart of Avengement. We know Cain loves his family, but at the same time he knows what kind of man his brother is, and has never tried to stop him. Scott Adkins does what I think is his best acting work ever here, playing Cain as first a victim, and then a survivor, and finally a force of nature. But Burgess isn’t a one-note character. Adkins brings a sadness and determination, and without a doubt an unbridled rage to the role, and there are a few moments where he seems to channel all three states at the same time. Nick Moran is also great as the piece of slime known as Hyde, Lincoln’s right hand man, a man go goads Cain at every opportunity thinking he has the upper hand. He soon finds out how wrong he truly is. The other actors do a fine job, and it’s always great to see Louis Mandylor–now with an English accent!

This moment will not end well.

The fight scenes here are absolutely great–but also incredibly brutal to watch. One scene with teeth…well let’s say I have a particular thing with teeth so it affected me a lot–your mileage may vary! The fights escalate in its violent nature the further the film goes, but always in service to the story at hand, and while the fights aren’t game-changers, they fit perfectly within that story, and by golly you can feel every punch and kick.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 8.5

With Avengement the powerful combo of Jesse V Johnson and Scott Adkins strike gold teeth again in a ballet of body blows and kicks, secrets and hidden truths with punches of their own, and a new antihero rocks the big screen…Cain Burgess, welcome to action cinema!


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