• Act Of Vengeance


    Released By: Millenium Entertainment
    Released On: 06/05/2012
    Director: Mahsun Kirmizigul
    Cast: Gina Gershon, Danny Glover, Robert Patrick
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    The Film:

    Maybe it’s just me, but movies about terrorists are getting dull. Remember the 80’s? That’s when films about religious extremists and suicide bombers could be released all day long, and you’d never get tired of them; rather than go for the intellectual “what if?” stance every time, they just packed as much gunfire and shit blowing up into 90 minutes as they could, and then put somebody like Chuck Norris in charge of cleaning everything up; and that was entertainment. I’m all for thought-provoking themes in a movie, but the same old “it could be happening next door” terrorist cell thing has been done to death. Next, please.

    Which brings us to Act of Vengeance (originally released in 2010 as 5 Minarets in New York), written, directed by, and starring Mahsun Kirmizigul. Two Turkish government agents, Firat and Acar, are sent to New York City to meet up with FBI Agent Becker (Robert Patrick) in hopes of arresting a Muslim terrorist ringleader known as “Dejjal” (Antichrist), who is living in a fancy condo with his wife (Gina Gershon). Though the older, peaceful man, who goes by the name Haci, maintains his innocence, the two Turks are sure that they’ve got the right guy and begin the process of extradition back to Istanbul (not Constantinople). Haci’s good Muslim friend Marcus (Danny Glover) uses his extensive ring of connections to free him from custody, and he disappears into the underground….but not too far, because the Turks find him almost immediately. Marcus’ Muslim tough guys hold the agents as Haci’s hostages, but only for two days so that Haci can prove his innocence. As they get to know the kind of man that Haci is, Acar begins to have serious doubts that he’s the mastermind behind the attacks that they’ve been investigating, but a secret from Haci’s past that Firat knows about has him convinced that this is the Dejjal they’ve been looking for.

    Short on just about everything outside of acting talent, Act of Vengeance barely manages to hold the viewer’s attention for the running time. Kirmizigul, Mustafa Sandal, and Haluk Bilginer as Haci are all very proficient in their roles, but the story is somewhat mundane and lacking in any substance that will elicit a reaction from the audience. Gina Gershon is alright when she’s onscreen, but there’s not a whole lot of that going on; and Robert Patrick shows up randomly, seemingly just to remind people that he’s in the movie. If you’re expecting Danny Glover to do anything other than stand out like a sore thumb, you’ll probably be disappointed, but he’s not terrible; it’s just hard to buy him as anything other than Roger Murtaugh. The direction itself isn’t bad, but it’s also middle-of-the-road, and there doesn’t even really seem to be any effort made to take advantage of New York City as a location; using pedestrian-looking street corners and buildings, the city scenes could have been shot in any large city.

    What does work? The few action scenes in the film are decently done, and get the heart rate up for a moment before settling down again, and the story is slightly touching; having a Turkish writer means that not all of the Muslims are portrayed as bad guys with a jihad agenda. Unfortunately, the “we’re not all terrorists” message is far from subliminal, and the viewer may feel that they’re being talked down to when it comes to the politics. All in all, Act of Vengeance isn’t a bad film, it’s just not engaging, exciting, or entertaining.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Act of Vengeance comes to blu-ray courtesy of Millenium Entertainment in a good looking 2.40:1 transfer that appears to be clear of any visual issues. Contrast and black levels are good, with adequate detail during some of the darker scenes. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack is also adequate, though the film is primarily dialogue driven and not too much noticeable use of the surrounds takes place. Regardless, the track is coherent throughout, with no issues.

    Millenium has included some trailers on the disc, but it is barebones aside from those.

    The Final Word:

    It was a big hit in Turkey, but there’s really not too much about Act of Vengeance to recommend. If decent acting is your thing, you may want to check it out, but that’s about it.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!