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Vengeance
VengeanceA young woman walking home with her
  daughter late at night after a party is
  attacked and savagely raped by four
  men, but they are being represented in
  court by a hot-shot attorney who is
  determined to see them walk free in the
  compulsive, well-constructed thriller
  Vengeance...”


LEAVING AN INDEPENDENCE DAY PARTY late one, young widowed mother Martine "Teena" Maguire (Anna Hutchison) makes an ill-fated decision to walk home with her twelve-year-old daughter Bethie (Talitha Bateman), instead of accepting a lift from close friend Ray Casey (Cory Scott Allen).

Taking a short cut through the woods to Rocky Point Park close to the New York town of Niagara Falls, they are confronted by four men who roughly manhandle them both and drag them into an isolated boathouse, where they are thrown to the floor. Bethie manages to crawl in a storeroom to hide, shockingly witnessing the brutal and degrading gang rape of her mother through a gap in the woodwork.

“A terrific
well-constructed thriller
seamlessly tackling
an emotive subject with
sensitivity.
The movie is compulsive
viewing and will make
your blood boil,
with Nic Cages good cop
dispensing justice
a convincing foil to
Don Johnson
s amoral
attorney...”
Comatose and bleeding heavily, Teena has been badly injured and Bethie staggers back to the road where she flags down a car. Niagara Falls Police Detective John Dromoor (Nicolas Cage: The Rock), an Iraq war veteran and hero of Desert Storm, and his partner are on a call and John sends for an ambulance and reports the crime, calming a traumatised Bethie.

John recognises Teena as the young woman he met in a bar some time before the incident and was drawn to her as, like him, she had lost someone she loved. John is a widower and empathises with Teena, whose husband died of cancer, leaving her with six-year-old Bethie and little money.

John takes an interest in the horrific case and not long after the unspeakable incident in which Teena was left for dead, the four men are identified by Bethie and arrested.

Marvin Fick (Joshua Mikel) and his brother Lloyd (Rocco Nugent), Jimmy Dluca (Joe Ochterbeck) and Fritz Haaber (Carter Burch) deny the charges of rape, claiming that Teena had made arrangements to meet them for sex, but John knows they are lying.

They are brought before Judge Schpiro (Mike Pniewski) for a court hearing, represented by slick criminal defence attorney Jay Kirkpatrick (Don Johnson: Django Unchained), who has successfully represented the Vatican and is clearly well known to the judge. He is blatantly unsympathetic towards Teena, causing her further trauma and humiliation

Assistant Prosecutor Dixon (Kara Flowers), who is representing Teena, had been certain the rapists would receive severe sentences but she seems helpless in the face of Kirkpatrick, who puts the focus on Teena's credibility by highlighting her sobriety and promiscuity, blackening her character. To Teena's horror, her assailants are given bail.

Using every means to discredit Teena and blacken her character, the four men and their families threaten and harass Teena and Bethie as soon as they are out on bail. It looks as if they will walk free despite having committed such a heinous crime and that Teena's reputation will be tarnished forever. In the harrowing court hearing where Teena's every move is questioned, an appalling miscarriage of justice seems about to take place, despite Bethie's testimony.

Growing increasingly close to Teena and Bethie, John keeps a watchful eye over them. Far from keeping a low profile, the four men and their families threaten and stalk their victim and her daughter, committing a further act of violence. Teena begins to contemplate taking her own life.

But the bad guys have not reckoned on the tenacity and strong sense of justice of a good cop who may have every reason to give the powers that be a helping hand. Frustrated at the injustice of it all, John's sense of vengeance and the inescapable haunting by his own demons drive him to take the law into his own hands.

Vengeance is a terrific, well-constructed thriller seamlessly tackling an emotive subject with sensitivity. The movie is compulsive viewing that will make your blood boil, with Nic Cage's good cop dispensing justice a convincing foil to Don Johnson's amoral attorney.

Vengeance does not glorify rape or dwell too much on the detail. Apart from that distressing scene, there is another where Bethie's grandmother's cat is killed by one of the men. Again, it thankfully lacked explicit or graphic violence, but I wish it had survived. Nicolas Cage is wonderful as the brooding cop with a past; while Don Johnson is perfect as the despicable attorney.

Anna Hutchison excels as a young woman who has gone through a shocking ordeal and a youthful Talitha Bateman proves herself as a traumatised daughter.

Vengeance also features: Deborah Kara Unger as Agnes; Michael Papajohn as JJ Breen; Emily Sandifer as Ursula; Elizabeth Hunter as Annie; Dikran Tulaine as Walter Fick; and Dwayne Boyd as Detective Lyle.

Music is by Frederik Wiedmann; Director of Photography is David Stragmeister; Screenplay is by John Mankiewicz, based on a Novel by Joyce Carol Oates; Writer is Scott Windhauser; Executive Producers are: Richard Rionda Del Castro, Patricia Eberle, Harold Becker and Nick Nilon; Produced by Michael Mendelsohn and Nicolas Cage; Directed by Johnny Martin.

*
101 Films is pleased to announce the UK release of Vengeance, available on EST from 20th March 2017 and on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD 27th March 2017. Pre-order now from iTunes.

"Vengeance is a terrific, well-constructed thriller seamlessly tackling an emotive subject with sensitivity. The movie is compulsive viewing and will make your blood boil, with Nic Cage's good cop dispensing justice a convincing foil to Don Johnson's amoral attorney"Maggie Woods *****

"Absolutely gut-wrenching. Blisteringly tense" — Yahoo Movies
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