Monday, December 28, 2015

Review: BOUND TO VENGEANCE (2015) [Joe’s Take]

The Premise
The premise is creative! In most movies, the woman escaping from the rapist maniac would be the end of the movie, but in Bound to Vengeance it’s the beginning! And not only does she escape, but she beats him senseless with a brick, shackles him, and constructs an incredibly effective animal control pole out of like a lamp and a phone cord that she uses to control the rapist while attempting to free his other victims.

The Story Arc
The first half of Bound to Vengeance is a series of terrible decisions, most carried out by the protagonist, Eve, interspersed with phone video of her on a date at a beach. The low point, decision-making wise, occurs when Eve rescues her first girl from the clutches of the madman, and the girl flips out, runs out of the house, and fucking impales herself on the cast iron fence encircling the property. This event is foreshadowed by the rapist prophetically muttering something like “They’re not all like you are, setting ‘em free is killing ‘em.” Which is only not complete bullshit if the girl you rescue DOESN’T run straight out of the house and into the fence. But maybe he knows something we don’t. Maybe she was already stuck on a fence when he found her and took her into sex slavery.

The next girl is the opposite. She sports a terrifying cage over her head, and when set free, she attacks our hero! How perverse. Except she just attacks her with like a two by four. I can’t understand the state of mind of the writer there. Like, “I’ve set up that this girl is INSANE. What would be a CRAZY thing for her to do? I know, she’ll find a two by four and then…attack!”
 At this juncture, it looks like the movie is going to be one attempted rescue after another, each with some kind of irony associated with it. Maybe she’ll rescue a junky, and the girl will die of withdrawals. And all along the way, the goon will mock Eve, saying that her efforts are futile, and that everything she’s doing to save people is actually killing them.

And so you wonder, is there some degree of complicity here we don’t know about? Or is this just a nightmare of trying to save people and failing? Or is this movie just what it appears to be, a girl saving other girls from bondage and killing the bad men?

And then, Bound to Vengeance clearly answers the question!  This is a movie about killing bad men.  Eve rescues all the girls, kills all the dudes, and basically owns the rest of the movie. And she completely undoes a human trafficking ring by just showing up places with a flashlight and a gun and then shooting everyone! It’s incredibly effective. There’s some foreshadowing that she’s becoming a monster or a maniac, but the movie really dispenses with ambiguity or mystery after she kills the crazy captive girl and just becomes a movie about a woman wrecking bad dudes.

I wish her lethal capacity had been set up in advance or at least developed. Considering she takes down a whole trafficking ring, it would have been nice if she’d had some kind of training or special talents that made such a prospect seem more likely.

Also, her final revenge is to take the main bad guy…a) to a woodchipper, b) to a pig farm, c) to his home where his family is? Yeah, at the end of the movie, she drops him off at his HOUSE. And he’s like “No, anything but that!” But I think he might have been using reverse psychology. And then, after she’s walking down the street at the end, I think she’s like “Oh WAIT, he actually LIKES it there” and then she goes back to make sure everyone knows he’s a rapist pervert slaver.

The Performances
The performances were pretty good! There’s the protagonist, and she’s generally pretty believable. Also, a lot of the satisfaction you get from her revenge is registered on her face, when she knows she’s hurting the bad guys.

The main bad guy is Richard Tyson, whom you might remember as Cullen Crisp Sr. in Kindergarten Cop! That said, he doesn’t look quite bad enough. He looks bleeding and confused, but he could be a lot creepier. To his credit, his voice acting is on point.  All of his lines sound like perverse phone calls, and he’s almost never on the phone.

The Scares
Not a real scary movie! Eve rifles through a lot of sex trafficking houses, but there isn’t a ton of suspense. She kills everybody. She says she’s going to do it. And then she does it.

My questions for Paul: 

JD:  So, she shoots those two guys at the house, and after she shoots the second one, you see someone beginning to come in the door, who then turns and runs away. Who the hell was that guy?

PH: That guy will obviously be key to “Bound to Vengeance 2:  Good Eve-ning Gentlemen.”  Because her name is Eve, get it?  I'm sorry, that's awful.  I'll see myself out.

JD:  Was the creepy boyfriend like on a date with both sisters at the beginning? What was going on there?

PH:  I guess if filming someone while asking them sketcho questions like, “What do you want to say to our future child?” and “Why don’t you make out with your sister?” is a date, then sure, they were all on a date together!  Riddle me this though [spoiler ahead, I suppose]: if the two sisters were kidnapped at some point during this “date,” then wouldn’t Eve have remembered that the boyfriend who kidnapped them was, like, somehow involved in the ensuing sex slavery?  Or was the first part of the date so much fun that she was willing to overlook the unfortunate last bit?

JD:  When the suicide girl runs and gets stuck on the fence, part of it gets played in reverse. Was that like a bloopers thing? Or was it supposed to be a moment of reflection?

PH:  Gah!  I totally forgot about those out-of-sequence freeze frame stills.  Backwards things do you when, awkward and clumsy feels film the.  Drunk of kind.  Control of out careening. Fence a on yourself impale to want you makes. 
JD:  What do you think she said when she walked into his house? Do you say “Hi” first?

PH:  [Paging through a copy of “Miss Manners for Murderers”] Ah, here it is [said in snooty voice, chamber music in background]:  When misplacing something at another's house, like your handkerchief or your pocketwatch or your vengeance, the proper greeting is: “Pardon me, but I seem to have left my handkerchief or pocketwatch or the bloody object of my unfulfilled revenge somewhere about your parlor.  If it wouldn’t be a bother, could I survey the premises for it?  I had it monogrammed/engraved/beaten-with-a-brick and it would be a terrible misfortune to part with it.”

Feel free to ask and answer your own questions below!

And click here to read Paul's take on Bound to Vengeance.

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