The Redeemer listens to the prayers of people who have been harmed, and he seeks out the people responsible and makes sure to give them an even worse fate. Why this mysterious man does this, only he knows.
"Redeemer" is the latest movie from Chilean director Ernesto Díaz Espinoza, who you might know from "The ABCs of Death" ("C is for Cycle") and "Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman". I have not had the pleasure of seeing his previous work, but I have heard good things about "Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman" at the very least. With "Redeemer" he tackles another crime-heavy and violent story.
The man known as the "Redeemer" lost it all, and when his life was spared he decided to serve God by helping those who have been wronged. He listens to people's prayers and then seek out the people who are responsible for their misery. His tactics involve kicking their asses. Heavily trained, he takes on gang after gang of bad guys with his fists, with rifles or any other object he can get his hands on. What actually happened to the Redeemer is slowly revealed.
This is a rather traditional story of revenge. It has its own twists by having our lead taking action based on prayers, but looking at it one way will show some similarities to "The Boondock Saints" and various vigilante movies. It's drenched in fighting sequences, which might be expected after the popularity of the two "The Raid" movies - the more ass you can kick, in the least time, in the most impressive way, the better! Though I will admit, "The Raid" didn't overly impress me, and "Redeemer" takes that and drenches it in "The Matrix" slow-motion.
The fighting we get is good for the budget, and there are some impressive scenes here. But it often comes off as choreographed. Obviously it is really well choreographed, but not always in a way that seemed realistic. Add to that the number of slow-motion scenes, I am not sure if this movie has fighting good enough to carry it. Still it is way better fighting than in some atrocious action movies we've had come our way.
While the movie doesn't shine in originality, the story does serve a purpose and the lead character has a story to tell. The lead has some overdramatic and melancholic traits to him, but I still think that the back story that is unraveled is interesting enough for those who enjoy violent action movie with some serious ass kicking.
There are a few violent moments in the movie, such as a bad guy being killed by a propeller and another one getting a hook through his face, but it is also good to see a violent action movie in 2015 that doesn't rely on graphic gore. I love graphic gore and so do you all, but many filmmakers switch out heart and story with gore and explicit content. "Redeemer" is violent enough but never trades it. If anything it trades some qualities for more fighting scenes, but what's the harm in that?
I was not overly impressed by "Redeemer" as a whole, and perhaps I was looking too much into it when I think of the fighting scenes as too studied and choreographed. But in the end, "Redeemer" will probably serve its purpose when watched by fans of its genre - action movies that focus on fist fights over gun fights. It's out in theater and VOD this week, so keep your eyes open!