Review: L.A. Vengeance

DVD: L.A. Vengeance (AKA: Once Upon a Time in Venice) (2017)

Bruce Willis. John Goodman. Jason Momoa. Famke Janssen. What a cast!

What a letdown.

Steve Ford (Willis) is a down on his luck Los Angeles private investigator whose love for his sister and her 15 year old daughter is only surpassed by the love for his dog; Buddy. Together with his P.I. partner John (Thomas Middleditch) and his best friend Dave (Goodman), they are drawn into an ever spiralling case which involves a rude graffiti artist (“the shading on those testicles is sublime”), a crazy loan shark, Samoan gangsters, muscular crossdressers, naked skateboarding, and a sex addiction clinic. All of which revolve around the theft, and ultimate recovery, of Ford’s dog.

This all sounds fun, but this action comedy falls flat across all areas.

First time theatrical Director and co-writer Mark Cullen gives the movie a ‘made for TV’ look which fails to raise any laughs with the ‘comedy’, and also fails to raise any thrills with the ‘action’. Written with his brother Robb Cullen (a pairing who also wrote the dull as dishwater Cop Out, also starring Bruce Willis…do the brothers have incriminating photos of Bruce which gets him into their movies!?) the script tries all too hard to force the laughs, and it possibly raised a couple of giggles from me across its entire 90 minute running time.

Jason Momoa tries to ride the fine line of being both intimidating AND funny as gang leader ‘Spyder’, but ends up being neither. While Thomas Middleditch as Ford’s business partner John, becomes increasingly more annoying as the story progresses. As does his narration of what is going on and explanations of the characters over freeze-frames. Even an appearance by Kevin Davidian (probably best known to most as the man whose testicles were dangling onto Borat’s face) wearing only gold lamé speedos, didn’t raise more than a dry smile.

If you want to see Bruce Willis naked on a skateboard, or in a dress wearing a wig and lipstick, or with a gun tucked between his bare arse cheeks, then this is for you. Ultimately though, this is a dull 90 minutes which tries too hard in all aspects and fails at them all.

One for Willis completists only.

L.A. Vengeance is released on 22nd January 2018 and you can buy it by clicking HERE. ALL money raised by purchasing from Amazon via our website is given back to our listeners and followers in upcoming competition prizes. The more people buy, the bigger our prizes.

Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Thunderbird Releasing.