‘My Name Is Vendetta’ Review: A Fatigued Old Fashioned Revenge Tale

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Revenge is as old as time, and revenge tales have basically been around for as long as time itself. It is one of those concepts that can only be understood by referring to human consciousness as something that feels and breathes. It is one of the things that makes us the most human, but it is also one of those concepts that brings the most pain to anyone who decides to act on it. There are many, some could say, countless revenge tales, and Netflix brings us a new one in My Name Is Vendetta.

My Name Is Vendetta is a film directed by Cosimo Gomez and stars Alessandro Gassmann, Ginevra Francesconi, Remo Girone, and Alessio Praticò. The film tells the story of Santo, a man living with his family in a remote part of northern Italy. Santo spends most of his time-sharing time with his family and working as a lumberjack. However, things turn for the worse when Santo’s past comes back to bite him, and it will take everything from him.

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The first word that comes to mind after having seen My Name Is Vendetta is “generic” a revenge tale has a pretty basic setup; something bad happens to the protagonist, who at that point was living a normal life, and then the protagonist puts all their energy into making the ones responsible for their suffering pay. That setup doesn’t really change from movie to movie or book to book; without it, the story wouldn’t be a revenge tale but something else. However, that simple setup can be filled with many cool things, and that is exactly what My Name Is Vendetta doesn’t do.

Let’s look, for example, at Kill Bill. Quentin Tarantino’s revenge tale has the exact same setup as My Name Is Vendetta, but it fills that setup with an entertaining set of characters, powerful visuals, excellent world-building, and lots of styles. So, while you are watching just another one of countless revenge tales, these elements make it feel unique and compelling. In the end, that movie ended up being not just one more revenge movie but one that tells the story of The Bride, and how he crawled out of her grave to kill Bill.

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A more recent revenge movie that managed to go beyond its set up is, of course, the John Wick series. What begins as a revenge tale in the first movie quickly becomes an intricate game between assassins and the politics that rule this strange underworld. There is a great deal of world-building being done in every single movie, and the characters have become way more complex. Even in that first movie, the creators put in the effort to create elements that could be memorable, and their effort paid off.

My Name Is Vendetta doesn’t absolutely nothing of that. It tries to make things go beyond the setup, but it only does the bare minimum, and at this time that is simply not enough. The movie tries to be a mix between the classic retired assassin trope, and Leon the Professional, with Santo having her daughter, Sofia, accompany him as he executes his plan against those who wronged him. Sadly, the movie doesn’t really do justice to the movie it is referencing, so they only feel like callbacks and nothing more.

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So, with no further efforts in taking the plot to the next level, you would think that at least the characters would be having that treatment, but no. My Name Is Vendetta takes the archetypes and just uses them, without any modification or improvement of any sort. Santo is the retired assassin trope and nothing more. Very few details are given to us about his past, and his behavior doesn’t really make us have questions about it. He was an assassin, and he retired, there is nothing more there.

Sofia, the other main character in the movie, comes across at first as a teenage girl who is completely out of her depth. She is now stuck in a war against her father, and that is it. Towards the end, the movie tries to give us a sense that something has really changed inside Sofia, but that arc resolution comes out of nowhere, and it feels incredibly forced, the entire last sequence feels like that. It is a shame because Francesconi has a very cool look, and she seems like a good actor, but the script gives her absolutely nothing interesting to do.

In terms of visuals, the movie chooses a very generic cinematography and never really goes out of its way to create beautiful or striking imagery. Everything that you see in this movie has been done before and in better ways. The technical ability of the team is very competent, and the movie looks good, but lacks any hint of personality.

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The action also seems very subpar, and that might be one of the movie’s worst issues. The fights and action sequences come off as sloppy and very unimpressive. It is like the production didn’t have the time to come up with ideas to spice up the movie, and they just ended up doing the bare minimum to release the film and forgetting about it. This level of production could have afforded a bit more imagination, and the movie could have been way more memorable. Instead, this might be one of the lamest Netflix offerings in recent memory.

SCORE: 5/10

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