Scott Adkins has become such a reliable name in action movies, I’ll see anything he’s in at least once. Avengement delivers harder edged gritty action than some of the more flamboyant Undisputed, Ninja and Universal Soldier movies, and I enjoy seeing different sides to Adkins.
Cain Burgess (Adkins) gets five hours out of prison to visit his dying mother in the hospital. His face is covered in scars and he’s got metal teeth, roughing up the “Ukrainian Ben Affleck” as Sacha Baron Cohen called him in The Brothers Grimsby. When they miss Cain’s mother by a few minutes, Cain escapes.
At first we don’t even see the escape. He beats up his guards off camera, like we don’t even need to waste time with these peons. We have bigger action to get to, and Avengement doesn’t make us wait long. Cain takes out some bouncers at a pub.
Avengement is a very British movie with most of the action set in a pub with the bartender (Kierston Wareing) and soccer firm hooligans. As Cain tells the story of why he’s there and how he got out, we learn how he got all those scars in prison. There are plenty of fights in the prison flashbacks, and later in the bar, and each one features some graphic violence.
Technically, Adkins isn’t flying around as much as Cain but honestly, he’s still so fast that you don’t really feel Adkins is holding back. So it’s more brutal. He’s fighting guys who’ll scar him for life if they don’t manage to kill him, so it’s a different sort of intensity.
The plot unfolds in the past and fills in the Burgess family, not only Cain’s mother but his brother Lincoln (Craig Fairbrass). I’m enjoying seeing Adkins get to combine his leading man presence with action heroics in these last few films, Accident Man and The Debt Collector. Hopefully Hollywood brass will see how good he is, but it seems we’re in a fertile period for Adkins and director Jesse V. Johnson so there should be many more of these vehicles on the way.