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

Robin Catling gained degrees in both arts and technology which led to a diverse portfolio of employment. A freelance systems analyst, project manager and business change manager for the likes of American Express, British Airways and IBM, he moved on to web design, journalism and technical authoring. He has also worked in film and television, both behind and in front of the camera, including productions by Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorcese, Ron Howard and Ridley Scott. A qualified three-weapon coach, he runs West Devon Swords teaching sports fencing to all age groups, and in recent years qualified with the British Federation of Historical Swordplay to teach medieval and renaissance combat in the Historical Western Martial Arts.


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