DVD Review: Sweet Vengeance
Sweet Vengeance is a decidedly B-grade Western revenge film, that bizarrely works on a couple of levels, due to the main actors and their wacky roles. The film begins weird enough with a poem being read out over a montage of the prophet Josiah delivering a fiery sermon. Josiah, played by Jason Isaacs, commands much of the early film, and quickly proves he’s more of a cult leader with a bloodlust than an old time preacher, when he murders two poacher’s he fins on his barren land, quoting “the wages of sin is death” and he knifes one and shots the other.
The brilliance of Jason Isaacs role, is that he creates a character that really seems to believe he is connected with God, but has such an insidious evil nature that you know he must be connected to some other spiritual being.
But poachers are not the focus of this tale. No, the focus is on Miguel and Sarah, a poor frontier couple trying to eek out a living in the dusty desert of New Mexico. The trouble is, that they are neigbours to Josiah, and in a wholly un-Christian way, Josiah covets Miguel’s wife. Killing him, leaves Sarah vulnerable and Josiah moves in. But rather than easy prey, he’s created a vengeful monster in Sarah.
But we’re getting ahead of our selves here. In a wickedly funny role, a long haired Ed Harris, playing a half crazy Sheriff, rides into town and takes over from the existing Sheriff to further his investigation into the disappearance of two well connected brothers – the poachers who recently ran afoul of Josiah.
The crazy plot leads all three to a final showdown, before the film ends on a really bizarre note.
If it wasn’t foe the strong characters, played with perfection by Ed Harris and Jason Isaacs, it’s unlikely that I would have made it through to the end of this sun-scorched tale of murder and vengeance. But Sweet Vengeance is worth watching for these characters alone.
Rating: R16 Graphic violence, sex scenes and offensive language.