• Strictly Films

Vengeance; Grade: B+


Vengeance tells a story about a writer named Ben (B.J. Novak), who works for the New Yorker. One night as Ben was in bed with a girl he just met, Ben gets a phone call from Ty (Boyd Holbrook) a man whom claims he’s the brother of a girl whom Ben used to hook up with, but Ty believes he was this long term boyfriend of his sister. Unfortunately that woman was found dead, as Ben was asked to go to the funeral. Ty believes his sister was murdered, which brought Ben inspiration to investigate what exactly happened to her, which could lead to something huge in terms of Ben’s career.


The Cinematography of this film was fine. There was some color contrasting issues here and there with the shots, especially when the film is shot in the desert especially. I felt the cast all in all was solid as a whole. B.J. Novak playing the lead Ben played a solid performance. I think my only issue with B.J. being casted as this particular character, is beginning on this character is claimed to be a chick magnet… I don’t really see a man like Ben going round town and being the top tier performer in hookup culture. 


However the character written was well thought out, the character can symbolize a certain political group, but more so symbolize the toxic nature of today’s culture regarding how we react towards tragedy and death especially. Now we can at least respect the fact Ben at least paid respects for the girl, however to go along with this lie that he was this long term partner of her’s, while trying to capitalize an opportunity towards his own selfish needs is pretty despicable. It’s become a major toxic trait in our culture today, as if regardless whatever the circumstance might be… If there’s an opportunity to gain self wealth or gain social status, anyone will do whatever it takes to achieve it, even if it’s not in good intentions.


The Shaw family… Each actor was excellent in their roles. They brought the spark, energy, and most certainly the entertainment this film needed, as they were all hilarious as a whole. Surprising enough: Ashton Kutcher playing the studio producer was honestly great, delivered such great memorable scenes in his short time in the film. Arguably the best character in the entire film, as his dialogue was superb as it’s extremely interesting to chime in on whatever subject and matter he was talking about. 

As you know: I don’t really watch trailers at all anymore, so of course I had no idea what this film is about at all. However: One random day I saw this film being talked about on a random Instagram post on The Daily Wire… So I assume this film was going to take aim at perhaps today’s politics in some regard. In a way Vengeance does felt like a film in which does aim at both sides, but in a way in which brings light and flawed to them. 


One side you can say their main strength is morals/values. You can that side has their livelihood handled better than the other side, they typically have better intentions in terms of hard work, loyalty, and especially family oriented… It’s more of a traditional way of living. Their main flaw is they’re not too open to new ideas, if it comes between any part of their way of life… They tend to be problematic, so you can say they’re a bit more closed minded.


The other side you can say their main strength is being bold. I feel this side tends to be more open to new ideas in terms of impacting the world and such, sometimes they can get out of hand in some regard, however at least at times they’re open to trying new ways of life in which could possibly help better our society or create a lasting impact in some regard. Their main flaw is emptiness. More than often those on this side lack structure of their lifestyles, as they don’t necessary have traditional values to fall back on that can better their growth as a person, as they tend to struggle to find meaning within their existence even. The film does a solid job in equally pointing out both sides, as to their strengths and flaws. I feel the other side should’ve been explored a little bit more, but it’s kind of told in one characters perspective on the other side so I feel it’s fine for what it is and still is effective.


The story as a whole was pretty good. It can symbolize groups and what not, however still creates an effective potential crime story that keeps the viewer engage. Is there is an actual murderer whom killed this woman or is it just led by assumption by a wild conspiracy theory?! It keeps the viewer invested in what they’re watching. Plus in terms of trying to create a tale in which is influence in a podcast platform… The film does a really effective job with that as well. The conversations in this film, especially the dialogue was extremely well written, as it really elevated the mind and even soul when you’re just hearing characters talk. The comedy material was pretty effective as well, there’s many laugh out moments this film has to offer as major props towards B.J. Novak.


I feel one underrated theme in which this film did extremely well was the ability to listen. At first Ben was open to create a story like this, as he assume he’ll be around a bunch of crazy red necks in the middle of nowhere Texas. However: As Ben kept an open mind and perspective… He soon learned to be surprised, as these people weren’t as bad nor as crazy as he thought they would be. Goes to show whether you’re on one side or the other side: We all need to do a better job in listening, rather than going by assumptions or canceling the other one out just because they don’t aligned with one’s views… Truth be told you’ll be more surprised than ever.


Overall, Vengeance was a pretty damn good film. I highly recommend this film, one of the better summer films I’ve seen this summer. -Mitch Smietana

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