REVIEW: Instant Death (2017)

instantdeath

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2017, Raging Pictures

Director:
Ara Paiaya
Producer:
Ara Paiaya
Writer:
Adam Davidson
Cinematography:
Ara Paiaya
Editing:
Ara Paiaya

Cast:
Lou Ferrigno (John Bradley)
Jerry Anderson (Razor)
Tania Staite (Jane Hayes)
Sophie Wembridge (Wendy Hayes)
Jade Fearon (Terry)
Levi James (Caldon)
Jason Bailey (Cooper)
Angus Brown (Sunny)
Michael James McMahon (Col. Neal)

A former military man’s chance at peace and family life turns to revenge in Ara Paiaya’s latest action thriller.

It’s been six months since John Bradley has been out of military service. He is trying hard to adapt to civilian life but it is not always easy due to his suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Seeing a doctor while living in New York, it is recommended to him to go to London to see his estranged daughter and granddaughter, whom he has not seen due to his condition. He realizes this is the right thing to do and heads off to reunite with his kin.

However, on the day he arrives, he witnesses a murder orchestrated by Razor, a top drug lord who is offing the competition. When John leaves the next day, Razor finds John’s daughter Jane and granddaughter Wendy and demands to know where John is. When Jane doesn’t comply, Razor kills Wendy and brutalizes Jane to the point of rendering her blind. When John learns what has happened to Jane and Wendy, John must do the one thing he must do and that is make Razor and his men pay and serve a brand of revenge not even this criminal is expecting.

Scottish filmmaker Ara Paiaya has truly gone from making films in his homeland to rising the ranks as an indie action filmmaker. This follow up to 2014’s Skin Traffik, which made good use of action star Gary Daniels busting a human trafficking ring, goes the Death Wish route and does so with the intention of unleashing the former Incredible Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno, once again as a viable action star who proves age doesn’t mean anything in the world of action films, let alone indie action films.

While many may see the former bodybuilder who uses his best assets in his strength, he proved in 1989’s Cage that he has the acting chops, playing a fighter with special needs after an accident in Vietnam. This film allows Ferrigno to play a man stricken with PTSD who just wants to be there for his family, only to have it shattered. In his pre-revenge scenes, Ferrigno’s John at first struggles then shows his caring for his estranged daughter Jane and granddaughter Wendy. The chemistry between Ferrigno, actress Tania Staite, and newcomer Sophie Wembridge as his kin truly is the heart of the film before it goes into full on-action mode.

However, this is an action film and thanks to filmmaker Paiaya, who is also a martial artist who is a jack-of-all-trades and serves as the film’s fight choreographer. Paiaya knows of Ferrigno’s strength and enables him to use a lot of close quarter combat techniques when he’s not blowing bad guys away. And speaking of blowing the bad guys, the level of firepower in the film ranks not up there in the vein of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Commando and not with the body count, but the level of violence it conveys. There is plenty of bloodletting in the film and at times very disturbing scenes of torture, notably in Razor’s pivotal scene of how he brutalizes Jane. Nevertheless, Ferrigno truly joins the likes of Liam Neeson, Arnie, and even Charles Bronson in the age of the aging action hero on a quest of revenge.

Instant Death truly lets Lou Ferrigno prove the naysayers that age hasn’t caught up to him. The former Hulk gets to showcase both his emotions and his penchant for action. Perhaps we may see him do a film similar to this in the future.

WFG RATING: B

DVD

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