Culture, Film

Movie Catch-up: Angel of Death (2009)


Angel of Death movie posterNo, not the Woman in Black sequel; shades of Nikita, Columbiana and most definitely Haywire, Kiwi Zoe Bell (Death Proof) plays her kick-ass chick as a traumatised hit-woman taking on the local crime family in an American city. Despite cameos from established names Doug Jones (Hellboy), Lucy Lawless (Spartacus, Zena) and Jake Abel as the razor-wielding bad boy, the well-trodden ground includes over-choreographed fight scenes from which nobody should get up after the third punch, much less the angluar and svelte Bell. Zoë Bell is a New Zealand stuntwoman whose most notable stunt work includes doubling for Lucy Lawless on Xena: Warrior Princess and for Uma Thurman in Kill Bill and unfortunately the proper actors Jones, Abel, and Vail Bloom easily outshine her and the material by renowned comic-book auteur Ed Brubaker (The Death of Captain America). The dialogue scenes in this late-night TV-fare are poorly written and not helped by the lack-lustre direction of Paul Etheredge. So it all hinges on the quality of the action, which, though competantly and inventively put together, descends to comic-book knock-about. There’s nothing here we haven’t seen from Gina Carano, Zoe Saldana, Angelina, or even Cynthia Rothrock (80’s martial arts fans!). Driven by PTSD and hallucinations of girl killed by accident in a hit gone wrong, Bell is soon up and about after a knife in the head and knocking seven bells out of the bad guys, each time suffering no lasting damage from fights that would down a gorilla. Angel of Death is drenched in violence but can’t make up it’s mind if it’s a gritty revenge thriller (sub-Death Wish) or a super-heroine comic-book romp somewhere in the cracks between Haywire, Columbiana and the ridiculous Kill Bill. Having cleaned-up the town, there’s every suggestion of a sequel for Eve, comic-book posing on a rooftop looking out over the mean streets. Let’s hope not. RC Angel of Death (2009) Director: Paul Etheredge Writer: Ed Brubaker Running time: 1 hr. 18 min. Rating: R/18 Genre: Action & Adventure Cast: Zoe Bell, Doug Jones, Vail Bloom, Brian Poth, Ted Raimi Related: Cold Light of Day (2012)

About Robin Catling

Writer; performer; project manager; sports coach; all-round eccentric.

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