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DVD Review: Vigilante

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Aash Aaron is a man of many talents. Writing, directing, acting, and producing are not among them. It’s a plus, I guess, to follow your dreams and not let your shortcomings get in your way. To this end, Aaron wrote, produced, directed, and appeared in Vigilante. Starring in this mess-on-DVD is Robert Diaz, an equally untalented actor.

Diaz appears as Luke, a “millionaire” engaged to a trashy blonde (Margot Robbie) who invites disaster. He’s obviously a romantic kind of guy, because he acts so goofy-in-love around this woman who doesn't know when to keep her mouth shut. In one of the early scenes, Luke (on his knees) proposes and we’re all embarrassed. Luke takes the bimbo to the beach at night, some thugs happen along, and Blondie gets them both in big trouble. She gets raped and murdered, Luke gets a ferocious beating. The beating puts Luke in the hospital where he is visited by his apostolic friend, Matt, bearing comic books. According to Matt, they are not just comic books but “blueprints for revenge.” Luke’s physical therapist eavesdrops on their conversation and tells him that the only way to serve justice is to do it himself. The physical therapist volunteers to teach Luke how to become a tough guy.

Threaded throughout the movie are scenes of Luke in training to be an action hero (you know… the millionaire avenger type, like Batman). There’s street fighting, boxing, and a variety of smack-downs. Most of these scenes seemed designed to show off the gleaming musculature of—wait, that can’t be Robert Diaz. There’s also some type of narrative going on in many of the fight and training scenes. At least, I think it’s a narrative. The “background music” drowns out whatever is being said. Maybe it’s instruction on the manly art of self-defense, or prayers, or a poem. Somebody might be reading the phone book. On second thought, it’s probably the prayers of the audience hoping for a fast ending.

Amateur sound recording renders most of the film incomprehensible. Besides the problem with background music, ambient sound overwhelms the soundtrack. In the beach scenes, roaring surf drowns out conversation. The promotional disk for this Australian import is so rough, the story is nearly impossible to divine. Camera work is either so new wave no one can appreciate it yet, or just lousy. Vigilante is yet another movie I couldn’t force someone I love to watch. Heck, I don’t think I could find someone I could pay to sit through it.

As the story continues, Luke is picked up by a lovely, concerned, female police officer (gee… where’s this headed?), tries to protect a bar patron in distress only to get beaten down again, is confronted by the Australian mob (!), and is chased by corrupt police. One of the troublemakers Luke encounters is the son of a mob leader, and even his father doesn’t like him all that much. (How many mobsters want to turn their kids in to the cops?) If this all sounds trite and predictable, that’s only because it is. Vigilante has nothing new to offer viewers. If you like to watch men beating each other up, then you’ll enjoy this film. Me… I’d rather go to a hockey game. Actually, you’ll see more fighting at the hockey game; most of the action is either poorly choreographed, poorly recorded, or off-screen.

Coming to a video outlet near you on March 23, Vigilante is 90 minutes long. The only extra feature on the DVD is a trailer.

Bottom Line: Would I buy/rent Vigilante? Oh… stop… you’re killing me!

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