Vengeance: A Love Story (2017)

US / 99 minutes / color / Patriot, Saturn, FilmRise, Hannibal Dir: Johnny Martin Pr: Michael Mendelsohn, Nicolas Cage Scr: John Mankiewicz Story: Rape: A Love Story (2003) by Joyce Carol Oates Cine: David Stragmeister Cast: Nicolas Cage, Anna Hutchison, Talitha Bateman, Deborah Kara Unger, Don Johnson, Joshua Mikel, Rocco Nugent, Joe Ochterbeck, Carter Burch, Charlene Tilton, Dikran Tulaine, Kara Flowers, Jimmy Gonzales, Cory Scott Allen, Mike Pniewski.

A somewhat idiosyncratic piece—as you might expect from its being based on a Joyce Carol Oates novel—that seems to set out to be a pretty standard vigilante-cop movie and yet somehow never quite commits to that template. Instead of focusing on the offing of the bad guys—those killings are treated almost as incidentals—and instead even of focusing on the cop, the movie instead becomes almost a character study of the people closest to a rape victim: her daughter and her mother.

In Niagara Falls, NY, on the night of July 4, young widow Teena Maguire (Hutchison) walks with her 12-year-old daughter Bethel “Bethie” (Bateman) home from a late-night party, short-cutting through a park. Four drunken, drugged-up no-goods Continue reading