2012, Multivisionnaire Pictures
Fred Carpenter (story and screenplay)
Joanne Tamburro (story and screenplay)
Paul Regina (story)
Stephanie Finochio (Jesse Weinstein)
William Forsythe (Vince)
Armand Assante (Dominick)
Eric Roberts (Chris)
Anthony Trentacosta (Ralph Serna)
Paul Vario (Captain)
Michael Wright (Juan)
Gaetano LoGiudice (Tommy)
Tamara Markowitz (Jesse’s Mother)
Mitchell Walters (Mitchell Weinstein)
Former pro wrestler Stephanie Finochio takes the lead in this action-drama that instead of being a straightforward, has the notion of becoming a story of redemption for her titular character.
Jesse Weinstein is a New York police officer who has had an unlucky past. Her fireman husband had left her and has been given custody of their two sons. She has been known to use excessive force when trying to nab criminals. She spends her nights at local bars and she finds solace in the bottle. When she arrives home, she is constantly in fights with her brother Mitchell. At work, her superiors constantly tell her to attend AA meetings. However, her life is about to change in a drastic way.
Mitchell, who claims to being involved with selling baseball cards, has gotten himself owing a $75,000 debt to local gangster Ralph Serna. When Mitchell is unable to pay the debt, he apparent is killed in an “accident”. Jesse, hearing the news and learning that Mitchell had changed his life insurance policy to Ralph instead of their mother, decides to take justice in her own hands. However, she soon finds herself targeted by not only Ralph, but also Internal Affairs, and possibly Ralph’s boss, local godfather Vince. As Jesse attempts to find out exactly why her brother is killed, she decides to go on a road to redemption. However, when her mother is assaulted by Ralph and his goons, Jesse has had enough and plans to get revenge no matter the cost.
Independent action films are quite a group of films that either are standard action films with the same plot or they tend to add an element that helps drive the film. This film is in the latter as the story of redemption is added to the typical revenge plot. The titular character finds herself going on a road of redemption and it is her brother’s death that is the catalyst to begin such a road. While Jesse, our heroine, has felt as if she loses everything and has turned to the bottle, the death of her brother sets her off as she goes from revenge to redeeming herself both as a police officer and as a person.
Stephania Finochio gives an interesting yet really good performance as Jesse. The stuntwoman and former pro wrestler known as “Trinity” in TNA and WWE in the early 2000s, might make one laugh at first with her constant use of vulgar language. However, it is clear she is one ticking time bomb who has virtually lost all but her job as a cop, and even that is on thin ice. Why? First, the drinking, but it is more because she has the tendency to use excessive force and as a result, she is very close to losing her badge as well. She complains how she can’t stand firemen due to the fact her ex-husband, a lowlife who convinced CPS that her drinking led to child neglect, forced her to lose custody. She clearly has issues, but as she delves into getting revenge for the death of her brother, things start to turn around for her.
Despite their top billing, Hollywood veterans William Forsythe, Armand Assante, and Eric Roberts have more extended cameos but they all fit in the story quite well. Forsythe plays the local Godfather who is unhappy with his underling’s managing the case involving Jesse’s brother. Assante plays an Internal Affairs detective investigating Jesse and a possible involvement with our baddie, Ralph (played at times with an Andrew Dice Clay sneer by Anthony Trentacossta). As for Roberts, he plays a local bartender who turns out to be a fireman but shows Jesse all firemen are not bad as he is more understanding and sympathetic.
The film does take an intricate twist in the climax and it is quite a shock, but even more it is the final scene that will bring a shock value. However, for this police officer, it becomes clear she is ready to turn her life around for the better despite all misgivings.
Jesse is one to check out if you want to see something just a little different than your normal action film. Stephanie Finochio does a good job as the titular role as we seek her quest for revenge turn into an ultimate road of redemption. Definitely worth a rental.
WFG RATING: B