Revenge or forgiveness, two states of mind that usually don't go hand in hand - especially in an action flick. But are they really complete opposites? Can you seek revenge and also be capable of forgiving? How about your moral compass, is that working properly? "Vex" from writer/director Dwayne Parker, asks these very questions while it speeds its way to the climactic finale. Just what does it take to jolt someone's mind into a battle for morality, and just how much can a person forgive or tolerate? This is the underpinning of a plot that may not be completely original, but is usually always enough to grab and keep a viewers attention - and in this case, does just that.
Detective Knight has suffered what is probably the worst nightmare of any man - the loss of his entire family, and not by natural means. Relating to his job, a group of thugs were hired to execute Knight's entire family and let me tell you reader, for a film opening, it's a pretty grim and brutal introduction. Brutal and effective. Fast forward a little and as I'm sure you can guess, Michael Knight is out for blood. He's lost everything - and is willing to do anything for vengeance.
Let me now introduce Tyson - a member of the mercenary group, the Vex - and one of those responsible for the Knight murders. However, Tyson has had enough. He not only wants out, but wants to even the score with his former mates. This time, a line has been crossed and their crimes, and his, are just impossible to ignore. Tyson wants vengeance as well and yes reader, the two men meet up and join forces. The end result is a mixed bag, more on that below.
So, let me get right to it. Exactly as this film is right now, minus one technical flaw which I'll get into below, "Vex" would probably be a three or three and a half star film - in my humble opinion. Exactly as it is right now, it's still a pretty decent movie - no question. Although perhaps never mistaken for anything other than a low budget film, it's all done pretty well. For the most part, the visuals are all handled nicely, some of the fight scenes are really cool, the story is engaging and even the acting - what I can make of it because of the audio, is pretty believable. Especially for a low budget movie, "Vex" hits all the right marks - especially if you happened to be watching with the volume turned down. Huh? What? Let me explain.
It's the audio that slightly lowers my review of this film and let me just say this - audio can be more important than the visuals, especially with independent film. Don't believe me? How many people do you know that watch a movie while playing on their phone, tablet, or laptop? Audio is huge and in this film, I had to keep my finger on the volume button. Constantly, throughout most of the film. So, it went a little something like this. I couldn't hear what was being said so I would have to crank the volume, then my ears would be blown apart by some music, a sound effect, or even just more, louder dialog. Then, I would have to crank the volume again because I couldn't hear what was being said again. Sometimes, even with my volume maxed out, I still couldn't make out what was the actors were saying. Funny thing? I swear a lot of the movie is overdubbed - so I just didn't get it. But one thing is clear, it's hard to fully get into a movie that you have to keep adjusting - or that keeps scaring the hell out of you with volume jumps. In "Vex" it wasn't a minor audio issue, it was a big one. Aside from that, a few very strange transitions through the film are the only issues that come to mind. Again, if "Vex" had better audio, it would have scored higher.
At the end of the day, this was actually a pretty entertaining way to spend an hour. Things are not perfect, but the general look and feel of the film are handled quite well. To be blunt? I've seen many studio films that "Vex" has no problem beating out. A decent look, mostly decent action sequences, and some pretty good acting - when you can hear it. Got an hour? Check this one out when you can - that's my recommendation.