In a weird sort of way, it’s kind of nice to see that false advertising is alive and well in the world of home video — and, while I wouldn’t call this re-titled release of the 2010 Turkish blockbuster Five Minarets in New York an example of such, I would call it misleading. Released on DVD and Blu-ray the exact same day as the Navy SEALs flick, Act of Valor, the US video cover for Five Minarets in New York — which now bears the title Act of Vengeance — has been stripped of its three (foreign) stars in favor of promoting its three minor (American) players, Gina Gershon, Robert Patrick, and Danny Glover.
Nowhere on the cover art does it mention that this film’s dialogue is mostly Turkish, with hard-coded English subtitles accompanying. Nor does it have very much to do with the heavily-Photoshopped, action-packed artwork depicted on the cover — part of which has been carried over from one of the original Turkish movie posters (the Turks themselves have never been well known for truthful motion picture advertising, either). Now, once I finally place all this bitching and moaning aside (a moment I’m sure you’ll all be grateful for), one is still left with a mediocre film from Turkey about terrorists — something that, coincidentally, the similarly titled Act of Valor was also about.
Anyhoo, the story here follows the plight of two Turkish anti-terrorist agents (Mahsun Kirmizigül and Mustafa Sandal, both of whom are also popular singers in their native country), who travel to New York to escort Muslim family man Hadji (Haluk Bilginer) whom authorities near and far believe to be “Dejjal” (which is Arabic for “anti-Christ”). As the drama ensues (and this is more of a drama than an action flick, kids), the agents encounter Hadji’s Christian wife (Gershon), his American Muslim friend (Danny Glover), and an Islamophobic conservative FBI man (Robert Patrick) — which darting from one location to another in search of their man.
While the message actor/writer/director Mahsun Kirmizigül is trying to convey is both a relevant and important one, Act of Vengeance (or Five Minarets in New York, whichever strikes your fancy) is not a very well-executed film overall. It’s a so-so film that contains far too many worn-out plot elements to really be worth your while. Millennium Entertainment’s A/V presentation of the hackneyed flick is a fairly decent one, with a number of shots that aren’t in focus ultimately ruining the visual effect. There are no special features included with this release save for a couple of trailers for other Millennium titles.