Blu-ray Review: RENDEL: DARK VENGEANCE 

RENDEL: DARK VENGEANCE was directed by Jesse Haaja from a screenplay by Miika J. Norvanto, Pekka Lehtosaari and Timo Puustinen and stars Kris Gummerus, Rami Rusinen, Renne Korppila, Matti Onnismaa, Johnny Vivash, Bianca Bradey, Michael Majalahti, Sheila Shah and Michael Hall.

A brutal, dark avenger is born when a worldwide corporation known as VALA launches an untested vaccine into the market by bribing, threatening, and killing every official in opposition. Rendel unleashes his own special kind of hell against VALA, threatening to put an end to the distribution of the vaccine. But, as blood spills and the money burns, VALA recruits a group of mercenaries to do what others seemingly can’t: eliminate Rendel permanently.

Rendel: Dark Vengeance is the timeless story for good versus evil and follows this masked vigilante who is born out of some heartbreaking tragedy. He goes up against this psychotic crime lord who recruits a small army of assassins to help him fight the masked hero. As Rendel takes on the bad guys, his tragic past is slowly revealed to the viewer and it shows that he’s also linked to this sleazy crime lord in more ways than one. Like all heroes, Rendel also has a few allies that help him in his fight against evil so it’s not like he’s in this alone. He takes care of the physical part of the gig and the others do the rest. One by one, Rendel takes out these deadly mercenaries until it all comes down to him and his vicious enemy where he ultimately gets some much deserved vengeance and rids the city of this deranged maniac.

Okay, there’s a lot to like about Rendel because this is one impressive superhero movie even though the hero really doesn’t have any super powers. What he does have is this intense driving force and numbness that allows him to move forward in his fight against evil and even though he does suffer some massive blows, he presses forward until his mission is completed. If you’re a masked character you better have a cool mask and Rendel is sporting one heck of an awesome mask that is also kind of scary. The movie features a lot of action scenes and the fights are all well choreographed to the max. There’s a lot of extreme violence with some blood to go along with it all. Rendel: Dark Vengeance features this Gotham-like setting where the lighting and impressive cinematography really help set the dark atmospheric tone of the movie and helps to tell the story. It’s a well executed action movie with a small element of horror added to the mix.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, an image and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features its own individual artwork. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Rendel: Dark Vengeance is the very first full-length superhero film from Finland and let me tell you it didn’t disappoint. The story was good even though it had a few plot holes but everything else about the movie was really entertaining and a lot of fun. The characters were interesting and I really liked how this masked vigilante was born out of tragedy. I won’t ruin it for you but there’s a heartbreaking scene in the movie and this is where Rendel is ultimately born. Most superheroes are wisecracking egomaniac millionaires but every once and a while we’ll get one that’s more of the strong silent type and that’s how Rendel rolls. He lets his fists do the talking and this leaves more mystery about him which I truly do appreciate. Jesse Haaja did a really good job capturing both the tragedy and intensity that comes with the masked hero and bringing this extremely violent world to life on screen. I’ve been following Rendel ever since the crowdfunding campaign launched a few years ago and the final product ended up being an ambitious action-thriller from Haaja and company and I hope this masked hero gets more exciting adventures down the road. Rendel: Dark Vengeance debuts on Blu-ray on January 30th and is worth checking out.

Distributor: Shout! Factory

Run Time: 108 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: Finnish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 / English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include a fifteen part featurette that documents the making of Rendel, a proof of concept short, the crowdfunding teaser and a music video of the theme song for the movie.

  • The Making of Rendel (26:16)
  • Proof of Concept (03:39)
  • Crowdfunding Teaser (01:43)
  • Wonderman Music Video (03:31)

 

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