Revenge Movie Review
Sexy, violent, and visually stunning, Revenge marks a strong feature-length debut for writer/screenwriter Coralie Fargeat. And Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, to be henceforth known as MAIL, owns the show as the fierce protagonist, who goes from sex toy to vengeful killer over the course of two hours.
MAIL plays Jen, an attractive mistress who captures the attention of her boyfriend’s two friends. After she is raped by one of them, the three decide to cover it up by pushing her off a cliff. Because that would be a lame ass and anticlimactic movie as is, she somehow manages to survive (after losing an immense amount of blood) and eventually goes on the offensive, seeking revenge on those who did her wrong.
Revenge is highly entertaining from beginning to end as it fully embraces its violent zaniness, careful not to take itself too seriously while largely delivering a serious, brutal story of vengeance. The deaths are bloody, the violence hardcore, and MAIL is both beautiful to watch and scary to witness.
While I won’t go as far as to declare Revenge as a “feminist thriller” as some reviews (and the marketing) have claimed—movies about women getting raped and then returning to murder their abuser(s) are nothing new, and Fargeat lets the camera linger on MAIL’s ass even more than in a Michael Bay movie (it’s likely satirical, but if so, it doesn’t entirely work)—Fergeat does a terrific job of transforming her protagonist into something completely unrecognizable over the course of the film.
At an hour and 45 minutes, Revenge’s biggest fault is its length. As great as the movie look, Fargeat’s obsession with unique visuals, slow-mo close ups of bugs and some other weird things results in some pacing issues. A couple scenes focused on the men are unnecessarily drawn out, too. Fifteen minutes could have easily been cut and Revenge would have been better for it, as it lags in a few stretches.
Revenge isn’t quite the taut thriller it should have been, but it’s nonetheless a highly satisfying, bloody affair. Recommended.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.