While there are still plenty of martial arts films being released all the time thee are few that really bring the old school vibe to the forefront. It seems more are interested in trying to create insane camera angles and speed as opposed to letting the audience just see the skill being displayed. Chilean martial arts action star Marko Zaror, who is most noted here in the US for his turn in Undisputed 3 and Machete Kills is back leading the charge in the Spanish action flick Redeemer, but does he get the chance to bring the pain or should he pray for forgiveness?
Redeemer follows a man who seeks redemption for his sins by meting out violent justice on those who would prey upon the innocent. Known on the streets as the Redeemer, Pardo is a vigilante desperate for redemption, offering criminals the chance to ask forgiveness for their crimes or pay the ultimate price. When his bloody path crosses that of would-be drug lord Bradock, he must fight an entire underworld organization while keeping one step ahead of a vengeful assassin seeking to undo his virtuous work. Everything about this film screams classic action. There is very little CGI or other nonsense and plenty of action to keep you charged up until the very end. Director Ernesto Diaz Espinoza and Marko Zaror have got their partnership down to an art after working on numerous films together, but this one might be their best so far. The story is simple and Zaror’s character is a man of few words who speaks volumes with his fighting ability. Sure the story works and makes for a great simple path for the tortured anti-hero to do his thing, but the action is the focal point all the way. It’s rare these days that you get a martial arts film like this that showcases the fights this often and effectively. As the movie progresses the fights get more aggressive and better leading up to a great one on one fight. Each fight is perfectly choreographed and executed showcasing everything from Zaror’s insane kicking ability to some ground fighting that keeps it fresh.
While Zaror has been around for some time as a lead in Spanish action films like this one as well as Mandrill and Kiltro he just hasn’t gotten the US push he deserves. This character is the perfect franchise character that has so much depth yet doesn’t bog ithe film down trying to force anything but some great action. These guys come together and create martial arts action magic on screen and let’s just hope they both continue to push the envelope together.
Be sure to check out the Redeemer when it hits theaters and VOD on June 12th.