I use wisdom. Knowledge. The legwork of other people to further my cause. I understand power - and off the top of my head, these were words were spoken during my favorite scene of this film. Truth imitating art - imitating truth. With that said, writer, director Chris Carter has put forth an interesting mix of drama, action, and a wee bit of "X-Files" fare with his medium length film involving a woman looking for revenge. The protagonist of "The Black Revenger" is Denise. A former agent with one true love in this world. A son. During a shooting, her ten year old kid is shot and killed - through no fault of his own. The nightmare of any parent. Any.
It's here this film gets it's title, and it's this plot arc that's the main push for Carter's movie. However... there's more. The sub-plot involves a drug/chemical that makes those injected... let's just say... much stronger. Think of this background story as the power serum arc, where "The Black Revenger" gets it's more... over the top vibe. I write that with the most respect I can, because when it's all said and done? It works. It also wraps into the main plot quite nicely - giving what would have been a standard action flick, a slight edge over the competition.
The standard story of Denise, her son and Pharaoh Dontello by themselves are not anything new. This plot, or similar, has become quite cliche in film circles. All stemming from the never ending barrage of action flicks from the 1980's and 1990's. Even today, this is hardly a new theme. There's also a good reason this plot is so overused - we all love it. It's become a cliche we all enjoy pointing out and talking about... it's also very easy to relate with. Sometimes, the familiar creates a connection with the viewer. In the case of this film, it does just that. The familiar makes "The Black Revenger" feel fresh. Even if it's just a trick of the mind - it doesn't matter. The job is done.
... and yet there's more. Adding in the mad scientist routine puts a very cool spin on an old cliche. It really does bring to mind thoughts of the "X-Files" show or even, to some extent, the "X-Men" series. Carter and his crew never make it seem cheap or gimmicky however, just a fresh little twist to add to the story. Something to make it pop a little. As I'm sure you've guessed... it worked.
The production aspects of "The Black Revenger" are what truly stops this from being an exceptional film. But this is an indie site, and we expect and even look forward to the creativity, of putting together a film with no - or next to no budget. Chris Carter's film is clearly lacking a few million, but also demonstrates a new(er) filmmaker gaining valuable experience. Eerily enough, had a small budget been obtained, this film would have still been a great movie - despite the lack of experience. When you consider "The Black Revenger" is above average in my books, it makes you wonder how much better it could have been - with a little money behind it.
But yes. There are audio issues and yes, there is wind noises, lack of consistent volume and an uneven mix all around. There's also a clear divide between the filmed visuals and what I assume is stock footage - and sometimes even an unusual edit here and there. Parts of this movie felt almost like a music video. But then there's the good stuff...
A decent script, as I hinted at above. And I'll be damned if anyone says, the acting from the main cast members is anything but excellent. Some of the lesser roles may have felt a little... inexperienced... but those onscreen the most owned their scenes. Sometimes, during the more dramatic moments, the acting actually justified the more shaky of camera shots. A key role in any indie, or studio film, is the acting... and "The Black Revenger" has that aspect nailed.
When it's all said and done, a filmmaker and the crew of a low to no budget movie, simply have to put it all on the line and get shit done. Put your heart on your sleeve and make it - then get it into the world. We can't all start with a studio budget and years of experience... it takes time to get there. Time, patience, and determination. "The Black Revenger" may not hold up against the newest blockbuster hitting theaters near you... but that's alright. It doesn't have or claim to. The fact this low budget wonder even managed to hold my attention, for almost an hour, is a true wonder. The fact I'd watch it again is something else completely. For casual viewers, not interested in anything more than the flash in the pan type movie, this may not be for them. For the rest of us? Chris Carter and his team have provided a solid and entertaining hour. What more could you ask?