I Am Vengeance: Retaliation

Movie review by
Tom Cassidy, Common Sense Media
I Am Vengeance: Retaliation Movie Poster Image
British action flick has violence, swearing, strong women.
  • R
  • 2020
  • 90 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Themes of teamwork and loyalty. But violence is prominent with few repercussions. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

John Gold is a special forces agent who is happy to kill at any time, often bragging about his kill count. Female characters are shown as equally matched in fights, with their gender not mentioned -- they're just part of the team. The main villain is a formidable female assassin who gets the better of almost everyone she faces. Gold's team show loyalty and don't hesitate in backing him up.

Violence

Strong violence throughout, including regular fistfights and gun battles. People are shot in the head and stabbed. A character is hit on the head with a brick and knocked out and another is strangled. Occasional gore and blood.

Sex

Dancers perform in their underwear in a strip club. A character has a fight while only wearing underwear.

Language

Frequent language, includes "f--k," "f--king," "f---ed," "s--t," "piss," "twat," "bollocks," "d--king," "a--hole," "pr--k," and "bastards." "Jesus" is also used as an exclamation.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Alcoholic drinks are poured in a strip club. Character tries to light a cigarette. Characters say they're going to get "plastered" (British slang for drunk).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that I Am Vengeance: Retaliation is a low-budget British action thriller with lots of violence, swearing, and the occasional wisecrack. The movie is a sequel to 2018's I Am Vengeance, but can be watched as a standalone movie. The violence is frequent and sometimes bloody. Men and women fight each other, and these are depicted as even match-ups, with women often winning. Characters are stabbed, shot in the head, hit with bricks, and strangled. The main adversary in the movie is a woman called Quaid (Katrina Durden) who often gets the better of the men trying to stop her. The hero is a special agent called John Gold, played by ex-WWE wrestler Stu Bennett. Gold is a strangely charming presence but kills readily and the movie's genre and lean running time don't allow for much reflection on characters' actions.

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What's the story?

In I AM VENGEANCE: RETALIATION, former special-forces agent John Gold (Stu Bennett) tracks down Sean Teague (Vinnie Jones) the man who betrayed him and his team. While attempting to bring Teague to a military prison, the pair find themselves under threat from a mystery assassin.

Is it any good?

The low-budget action thriller is a popular genre that attracts enthusiastic talent who know what their equally enthusiastic audience want. I Am Vengeance: Retaliation writer/director Ross Boyask has a solid background in the genre and here he presents a follow-up to his first John Gold movie, 2018's I Am Vengeance. Former WWE wrestler Bennett is once again a strangely compelling presence as Gold, who has more a lumbering confidence than a swagger as he steadily strolls from fight to fight. The plot is paper thin, but sets off quickly on its path of fun fights and explosive action.

While mainstream action movies often sideline female characters, the low-budget action thriller has never had a problem with strong, kick-ass women, and I Am Vengeance: Retaliation is no different. Actors and stunt performers Katrina Durden and Phoebe Robinson-Galvin go all out with their fights, and Durden's assassin Quaid is on top in every situation throughout the movie. The action scenes are unashamedly full on and Boyask maintains a sense of humor throughout. With I Am Vengeance: Retribution, the enthusiastic team give everything expected of them and more.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in I Am Vengeance: Retaliation. What impact does it have? What consequences are there? How do you think that would change in real life?

  • Is the movie's depiction of women positive or negative? How does it differ from other movies? Why do action heroes in mainstream movies tend to be male, and what's happening to slowly change that? Movies that defy gender stereotypes.

  • Discuss the strong language used in the movie. Does it seem necessary or excessive? What does it contribute to the movie?

  • The two lead actors Stu Bennett and Vinnie Jones were both sports stars before becoming actors. Can you think of any other actors that used to be sports stars? What character strengths do you think you'd need to make such a move?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

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