Film, Action and adventure
  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
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Short-order cook Frank (Rainn Wilson) is a schlubby nobody who turns to vengeance when his recovering-addict wife Sarah (Liv Tyler) is kidnapped by sleazo drug dealer Jacques (Kevin Bacon). Inspired by addled religious visions, this wimp turns into ‘The Crimson Bolt’, a masked, DIY superhero with a tyre wrench, whose only special power is the ferocity of his anger. It gets messy – very messy – in what plays like a darker, grungier spin on ‘Kick-Ass’ from Troma regular James Gunn. He’s definitely on to something in tracing the superhero ethos (divine retribution, sexual repression) back to its Judeo-Christian roots, but he can’t decide whether the resultant carnage is ironic or serious. So, this full-on, decidedly perplexing, wildly uneven movie offers genuine empathy with the put-upon protagonist’s longing for justice, yet plays the bloody ramifications for cartoonish fun. Stealing the show, in the meantime, is Ellen Page (pictured), the sales clerk in a comic-book store whose lusty fervour at getting in on the crime-fighting act proves delirious, amusing and disturbing all at once.

By: Trevor Johnston


Release details

Rated: 18
Release date: Friday July 8 2011
Duration: 96 mins

Cast and crew

Director: James Gunn
Cast: Rainn Wilson
Kevin Bacon
Liv Tyler
2 people listening

Your 2 is harsh. My 4 is generous, perhaps. I do not feel the same regarding serious vs ironic or bloody ramifications vs cartoonish fun. Such aspects worked well for me. On Freeview television, my experience was deserving of 5 stars, in comparison to the typical offerings.