Jonathan A., here…
John Travolta stars in Director Chuck Russell’s “I Am Wrath,” which follows the story of a former black ops agent that is out for vengeance on a biblical scale, after his wife is murdered by a group of thugs. Not exactly a newbie to the scene, Russell has directed a handful of moderately successful movies such as “The Mask,” “Eraser” and even the third installment of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. This movie meets the standards set by his previous films; Not exactly a good movie, but not bad, either.
Unfortunately, Travolta’s performance just didn’t work for me. Although his performance was fluid and smooth, I just have trouble buying him as a tough guy. However, the movie was saved by the always enjoyable Christopher Meloni (Law and Order SVU,) who played the part of his one-time black ops partner and joins him on his quest for revenge. Not only does Meloni get all the clever and funny lines, but his action scenes are well-delivered and he looks mega-buff, thereby lending believability to his role as an ex black ops agent and all-around tough dude.
Other highs throughout the film were the smooth editing and the well-shot locations. The city looked and felt like a perfect den of scum and villainy, which gives a fantastic setting for the film. The lows however, were the majority of the script and the supporting actors, who delivered some very weak performances.
The film looks and sounds great! Presented in well-executed 1080p high def, the picture was clear and crisp to the point where all I could do at times was gaze in wonderment at the oddness of Travolta’s damn-weird hairpiece. But in all seriousness, the film looked excellent. Nice clean blacks and vivid neon lights in the seedy underworld the movie is set within.
The sound is another fine element of the film. Roaring explosions, cracking, percussive gunshots, outrageously loud hand-to-hand combat and bumping night club jams all add to the fun of this movie and are sure to show off your home theater system. Although it’s presented in 5.1 Dolby surround, I was not hyper aware of the surround aspect at any point, but perhaps it’s just not one of those films that shows it off best.
Audio Commentary – This is a commentary track with Director Chuck Russell and Writer/Actor Paul Sloan, who played the big baddie. It’s a highly interesting commentary and it certainly adds value to an otherwise “meh” film.
THE ULTIMATE WORD
All-in-all, this wasn’t a bad movie, but it could have been so much better. Christopher Meloni is by far the best part of this movie and all I really wanted after seeing this film was an action movie with Meloni as the lead. More Meloni would have really made this movie twice as good, but sadly, all we’re left with is Travolta and his wig for most of the movie. Seriously… who green-lighted that thing? But I digress… ‘I Am Wrath‘ is unlikely to be on anyone’s list of favorites, but it’s a somewhat entertaining film and overall, a decently fun watch.
Worth One Look!