For their fourth film together, Chilean martial arts ace Marko Zaror and director Ernesto Díaz Espinoza bring the world of redemption in this action packed thriller.
Nicky Pardo is a former hitman for a syndicate run by the Scorpion. Seeking revenge for the death of his wife and son at the hands of his former boss, who left him to die in the desert, Pardo decides to first make the wrong things right. Hearing the pleas of a man in church praying to God for the brutal beating of his son, Pardo goes through a very disturbing ritual and then proceeds to seek the gang responsible for the beating. Telling the gang to beg for forgiveness, they ignore Pardo and proceed to be mercilessly beaten for their troubles.
Leaving for a coastal town, he finds himself saving a fisherman who was being threatened by a gang of thugs. Thanking him, the fisherman lets Pardo in and is welcome by both he and his sister. He soon learns that the men he has beaten up are somehow connected to a drug dealing gang led by American Steve Bradock, who hopes to become the area’s top drug runner and to make matters worse, Pardo’s former boss, the Scorpion, is also in the area. This gives Pardo a chance to finally become both redeemer and avenger, but will he succeed?
Since their initial collaboration with Kiltro in 2006, it is clear that Marko Zaror and Ernesto Díaz Espinoza are the Chilean equivalent of Scott Adkins and Isaac Florentine. When these two get together, they bring the best in action mayhem. After work on Mirageman and Mandrill, Zaror finally got fighting roles up north, where he fought Adkins in Undisputed III: Redemption and Danny Trejo in Machete Kills. Originally conceived as a North American-remake of Mirageman, Espinoza and Zaror went back to the drawing board and came up with a new and fresh concept to the title Redeemer: a story about divine intervention and the consequences it can have if not careful.
Zaror once again shows why he does have acting talent. Here, he plays the mysterious Pardo, who starts each day with a ritual in which he plays a deadly game of Russian roulette with a bullet provided by his former boss turned nemesis The Scorpion, played with tenacity at times by José Luís Mósca. It is when he survives that he feels he’s going God’s work in the vein of The Boondock Saints, only instead of guns, he mostly relies on his impeccable fighting skills.
Zaror provided the action choreography once again and does a great job in terms of not only his skills, but that of the stunt fighters in the film. The man has amazing flipping and kicking skills. It must be said that some of the violence seen here is quite disturbing at times. From one thug getting an impromptu tooth pull to one thug who gets his in the vein of either the horror film See No Evil or even Texas Chainsaw Massacre, some of the techniques use can look brutal. However, two fights truly stand out. One involves a Tom Savini-lookalike who makes a great match in the third act in a brutal five-minute knockout dragout against Zaror and then, the showdown between Pardo and the Scorpion, which proves that looks can indeed be deceiving.
Redeemer is a great collaboration between Marko Zaror and his friend and collaborator, Ernesto Díaz Espinoza. Out of the four films they have made, this is truly one of the best and at times, most disturbing of the films. Yet, it is one you might not want to take your eyes off of.
WFG RATING: B+
XYZ Films presents a Moral Brothers Entertainment. Director: Ernesto Díaz Espinoza. Producers: Diego Moral Heimpell, Marko Zaror, and Noah Segan. Writers: Ernesto Díaz Espinoza, Diego Ayala,
Guillermo Prieto, and Sanz Andrea. Cinematography: Nicolás Ibieta. Editing: Ernesto Díaz Espinoza.
Cast: Marko Zaror, Loreto Aravena, José Luís Mósca, Boris Smirnow, Noah Segan, Nelson Nuñez, Mauricio Diocares, Otilio Castro.