With its cookie-cutter plot and cardboard characters, Redeemer is a throwback to the 80s. A time when action films could get away with being a flimsy excuse to hang a succession of stunt scenes on. But in modern times, the result is underwhelming at best.
Marko Zaror stars as the titular character, a mysterious drifter who carries with him an assortment of items of religious worship and a revolver with one bullet. Each morning, he spins it and puts it to his head before pulling the trigger. Clearly, this is the familiar Hero With A Dark Past.
He arrives, for reasons that are never explained, in a random Chilean village. There, he rescues a local fisherman from a beating at the hands of some local thugs, which quickly puts him at odds with the local drug gang.
Throw in a vicious assassin type named Scorpion (Jose Luis Mosca) hunting him, a beautiful and helpless young Mum (Loreta Aravina) whom he must protect and you have pretty much ticked all the cliché boxes.
The bad guys all wear sunglasses and stand around guarding outside drug buildings holding guns so our hero can kick and punch them a lot. The odd one gets a name, which means his battle with the Redeemer is more a five-minute fight instead of a ten-second one.
The Redeemer wears a hoodie, Assassin’s Creed-style for pretty much the entire running time. He walks straight up to bad guys and never gets hit by any bullet flying around.
Clearly, this is a film all about the fight scenes and they are…decent. It’s not just kick and punch in this age of UFC – there is also plenty of grappling thrown in. But the problem is that the scenes do not progress character or story in any way, the movie just stops for several minutes for some fighting.
Amidst it all is Noah Segan (Looper) playing a visiting American who wants to be a drug baron. He is fun, entertaining and a far stronger actor than any of his fellow cast members. When told of the Redeemer and Scorpion, he asks if all Chileans have such cool names. “I need one,” he whines to a henchman (who, of course, he kills at some point to show how evil he is), “I’m just…Steve.”
This is a rare bright point in a turgid film. Perhaps easily-pleased action fans will find something to enjoy in the repetitive fight scenes, but everyone else should look elsewhere for their thrills.
The only extras are trailers.
Available on DVD from Madman Entertainment.