Bound to Vengeance starts off with us thrown into the thick of things as kidnapped young woman named Eve (Tina Ivlev, Anger Management, Weeds) breaks out of the cellar where she’s being kept as a sexual slave. After beating her captor Phil (Richard Tyson, There’s Something About Mary, Kindergarten Cop) with a brick she’s left with a dilemma. She finds out that Phil has girls stored in different places all over town. Eve’s left with the dilemma of killing Phil, which would mean the girls would eventually die, or go to the cops; in which case he won’t talk. Eve makes a deal to let him live in order to save the girls. Eve discovers a criminal network much larger than she thought.Phil warns her that this road she’s on is dangerous, and Eve learns there is a price to pay for vigilantism.
Very confidently directed by Jose Manuel Cravioto, Bound to Vengeance clocks in at 89 minutes, which is a good amount of time for what the story calls for. It gets a bit repetitive as the characters progress from place to place, but each location and girl’s situation is very different so it doesn’t seem like the film being overtly repetitive. Eve is a very capable anti-hero and though I felt she’d have been better off going to the police after her escape, her reasoning was very much understood. Actress Tina Ivlev reminded of Jennifer Lawerence’s Katniss from The Hunger Games in a lot of ways, in both her looks and resourcefulness. Richard Tyson brings years of experience as a character actor to a role that could have been one-note and throwaway; instead Phil has many layers to him as we find out he’s not a rapist but, as he says, a “zookeeper” who takes care of the girls for the captors. It’s not something he’s proud of, and he’s still scum, but the layers make for a more compelling character.
Bound to Vengeance does make quite a few mistakes. Normally, I’d cut a film off if it ran it’s title sequence twenty minutes into the film, but I stuck with Bound to Vengeance even after A Spanish cover of the song Love Hurts is played during a scene near the end. This part of the film might have been more powerful if we hadn’t already seen the song used in Rob Zombie’s Halloween and its sequel. In the context the song is used, despite it’s repetition, it could have worked had the scene ended in the death of a major character (I’m being vague to avoid spoilers), instead of having Eve shoot in his general direction in slow motion. The finale has Eve remembering something fairly important that should have crossed her mind much earlier in the film and really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense except to keep the door opened for a sequel (perhaps titled Bound 2 Vengeance). A lot of reviews have trashed the film with a fair amount of criticisms being spot on. Despite it’s contrivances, I enjoyed Bound to Vengeance quit a bit.
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