At a big, rowdy Cleveland bar, soon-to-be-married Mia, who’s at her bachelorette party, takes emphatic umbrage when a couple of slimy mooks offer her and her party copious amounts of drugs. This in itself causes the slimy mooks to take umbrage, and as Mia (Melissa Bolona) is outside calling her fiancé (who is at a strip club, with Mia’s approval), they pull up in a van, pull her in, inject her with a potentially lethal drug, and take her to be prepared for human trafficking.
But as they say in countless movie tag lines, these guys messed with the wrong family. Or words to that effect. In “Acts of Violence,” directed by Brett Donowho, Cole Hauser (whose father Wings Hauser livened up many low-budget action potboilers of this ilk a generation ago) plays Deklan, an anguished war veteran who happens to be the future brother-in-law of the kidnap victim. After receiving scant satisfaction from Bruce Willis’s well-meaning cop (the law has tied his hands, you see), Deklan enlists his brothers to find Mia and seize justice.
This dopey action thriller harks back to grindhouse pictures of the ’70s and ’80s, although it’s too tasteful, if that’s the word, to consistently exploit the more lurid implications of its sensationalist scenario. Which I suppose speaks well of the filmmakers as people. But not that well. The picture moves at a brisk pace, though, and Mr. Hauser’s mostly cool and collected avenger is somewhat fun to watch.
By Glenn Kenny