“There is no shortage of action in Serafini’s latest offering, and this is never a problem in the talented director’s films.”
by Nav Qateel
Giorgio Serafini’s A Certain Justice is the third action film I’ve seen recently from the director, with his regular team of Dolph Lundgren, Vinnie Jones and Gianni Capaldi. The previous two, Ambushed and Blood of Redemption, were enjoyable, mediocre films, that set out to entertain and succeeded in doing just that, with decent action if rather forgetful stories. While Certain Justice AKA Puncture Wounds is also another enjoyable action film, it’s actually a better effort than its predecessors, yet still suffered from excess baggage, similar to Ambushed‘s overladen tale.
The script is by James Coyne, who also co-directed here, and was responsible for the script in a film I can only describe as pretty bad, namely, Vikingdom, but he’s done a better job on A Certain Justice, however, was guilty of adding a bit too much plot, no doubt in a bid to ensure he covered all the bases. Three items were ultimately needless, one of which was having the cop, Mitchell (James C. Burns), burdened with a dying wife. The second was Gianni Capaldi’s character, Vin, suffering a crisis of conscience and falling in love with Tanya (Briana Evigan), then never going anywhere with this arc of the story. Lastly was ripping off Rambo, where we have our hero, John’s old commanding officer turn up and tell Mitchell what a great guy John used to be, and how he’d hand himself in after he dispensed his own style of justice. Richard Crenna’s Colonel Trautman, anyone?
John (Cung Le) was at one point a POW, captured and tortured by the Taliban, but is now a decorated hero without a job and no real direction in his life. He also suffers from flashbacks where he remembers his torture. While staying at a rundown motel, John sees Tanya, a hooker, being roughed-up by three men, and goes to the woman’s aid. He easily beats the guys, with one hospitalized and one dead, having suffered a knife being plunged up through the brain. It turns out the men, including Tanya, work for the local gangster, Hollis (Lundgren), who retaliates by having his thugs, led by Vin, kidnap and beat John’s elderly parents, rape his sister, then have them burned to death.
Vin (Capaldi) is disgusted by what’s happening and even tries to help Tanya, who’s now being abused by Hollis’s men as punishment for getting John involved. John now has the cops after him as it was known he was at the first crime scene and after his family were killed, the body count starts to rise and Mitchell reluctantly must put an end to his vigilante tactics. With the help of a disabled army buddy, John is determined to take down Hollis by starting at the bottom and working his way up.
There is no shortage of action in Serafini’s latest offering, and this is never a problem in the talented director’s films. The cinematography was good, utilizing loads of lens-flare, which has become a must-have in any action movie these days, and the editing was mostly decent, but I did notice a few shaky cuts. Apart from a bit too much plot, the only other thing I had issue with was the fight choreography, which could have been made to look better at times with improved editing, however, because a lot of the action relied heavily on Cung Le’s excellent fighting ability, I would have thought a little more effort could have gone into his action scenes.
Even with the small issues with certain parts of this straight-to-DVD flick, it remained a thoroughly enjoyable experience, as the acting was good for a low-budget B-movie, with a standout performance from Dolph Lundgren’s wig. Where did he get that from?! Vinnie jones didn’t have a great deal of screen time, but seeing him do something a bit different was interesting, as we tend to see him on the other side of torture. Veteran actor James C. Burns did expectedly well, and Briana Evigan was extremely good as Tanya, with a surprisingly strong performance. Gianni Capaldi also did a good job as the gangster who developed a conscience.
I’m a fan of B-movie action flicks, and I must admit to developing a taste for Giorgio Serafini’s low-budget movies, where no effort is needed to enjoy, you can simply switch off and tune in. The director has a recognisable style and while it may not be for everyone, for those of you who enjoy a decent bit of B-movie action, then this will keep you entertained.