REDEEMER [Edinburgh Film Festival]

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Marshall

The Redeemer, “the most feared man in Latin America,” is a vigilante warrior on a perpetual mission, travelling to one anonymous place after another, defending innocent townsfolk from thugs and criminals while he hunts for the villainous Scorpion.

The Redeemer is a quintessentially mysterious character, distant, brooding and with only the briefest of human interaction, he speaks only when necessary and in short, succinct sentences, never saying any more or any less than is required. He is made even more intriguing by his rituals prior to commencing combat, first praying at a makeshift portable altar and playing a round of Russian roulette as though asking God for permission to continue. Even as he squares off with the groups of thugs he genuinely tries to end the fights before they begin, quietly suggesting to “Get on your knees and ask God for forgiveness.” Of course, none of them do, so we are then treated to some fast, brutal and superbly choreographed fight sequences, usually against multiple opponents of varying levels of menace.

As the eponymous warrior, Marko Zaror has a physicality to his presence that comes from more than just his sculpted physique. His blend of various fighting styles lets him move with speed, strength and agility, and he radiates an aura of raw power similar to the likes of Scott Adkins or Gary Daniels. Without the aid of CGI or wirework to augment them, the fights are instead a mix of balletic grace and extreme violence, with bottles smashed in mid air and then stabbed into throats, or faces rammed into spinning propeller blades.

With an uncompromising attitude and willingness to stand up to criminals most people are terrified of, the Redeemer comes off as a street-level superhero like Daredevil, Punisher or Green Arrow, his tattered hooded jacket even acting like a basic cowl. He lives in cheap motels and drives a rusting car quite literally held together with duct tape, as though allowing himself any kind of material comfort would be a distraction from his mission. Speaking of which, as the truth behind what inspired the Redeemer to begin his eternal rampage, you begin to question who exactly it is who requires redemption. Redeemer may be a short and uncomplicated film, but that doesn’t stop it from being distinctive and highly enjoyable.

INFO: REDEEMER / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: ERNESTO DIAZ ESPINOZA / SCREENPLAY: ERNESTO DIAZ ESPINOZA, GULLERMO PRIETO, ANDREA SANZ, DIEGO AYALA / STARRING: MARKO ZAROR, LORETO ARAVENA, JOSE LUIS MOSCA, MAURICIO DIOCARES, NOAH SEGAN / RELEASE DATE: TBC

Expected Rating: 7 out of 10

Actual Rating:
  


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