“Justice = vengeance according to the cover. That’s about as thought-provoking as this gets.”
This is an interesting contrast to Sunland Heat which took a woeful script and executed it briskly enough to work. Here, the story isn’t bad – Anna Rios, a Hispanic lawyer (with a special forces background!) goes back to her roots, after her brother is gunned-down, and uncovers a maze of murky deals. It’s the execution which is largely inept, “Kantz” providing further evidence that one-name directors suck at GWG films – see also Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (McQ), Catwoman (Pitof), Ecks vs. Sever (Kaos) and Tomb Raider 2 (Jandebont).
Mendia isn’t bad as Rios, but the action scenes are almost entirely unconvincing, badly-shot and badly-staged. The worst offender is the final fight between Anna and a Yakuza hitwoman (Grayce Wey) brought in to deal with her, which failed to live up to anticipation in the slightest. The pair basically stand still and trade punches, before Anna – and I trust I’m not spoiling this – disposes of her opponent in a way best summed-up as laughably implausible. To its credit, the film does do a good job of capturing cocky Hispanic street ‘tude before the punches and/or bullets fly: Michael Francis as heavily-tattooed thug Mo makes the best impression here.
The film’s poverty-row aspects aren’t necessarily a major issue, since it’s aiming for an urban and street-credible approach, but they are painfully obvious in departments like sound-effects, with all the blows sounding exactly the same. I also wonder if most of the cast wouldn’t have been more comfortable speaking street Spanish than the English used here, which seems forced and unnatural. Eva Desperate Housewives Longoria turns up as a cop, but in all likelihood, would no longer thank you for mentioning this disappointing and flat entry in the genre.
Star: Yancy Mendia, Kalex, Edith Gonzalez, Tito Puente Jr