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  Redeemer Born Again BadassBuy this film here.
Year: 2014
Director: Ernesto Díaz Espinoza
Stars: Marko Zaror, José Luís Mósca, Loreto Alavena, Mauricio Diocares, Noah Segan, Smirnow Boris, Otilio Castro, Eric Kleinsteuber, Nuñez Nelson, Mauricio Raab Sanz, Pablo Raab Sanz
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Pardo (Marko Zaror) is a man with what can best be described as a troubled past, a former hitman who "took care of" many people until he saw the light and began to use his skills for good, turning against his old masters. He has done so because he found God, and as a born-again Catholic he attends church as often as possible to pray and ask for forgiveness for his multitude of sins. However, he has an ulterior motive for being there, as he listens in on what others are praying out loud for and works out if he can help, intervening if they are being victimised by thugs since with his aptitude with fighting, there's practically nobody that can beat him in hand to hand combat...

Marko Zaror was well-established as an action star of the new breed, those muscular men, and indeed women, who may not be having their vehicles released theatrically around the globe, but were finding an audience nonetheless among those who were not necessarily impressed by the whistles and bells of the blockbusters, and simply wanted to see a proper ruck portrayed with as much satisfaction as a low budget effort could muster. Zaror was unusual in that he was not appearing in English-language movies as a rule, preferring to stay in his native South America, Chile to be exact, where through sheer hard work he became the country's biggest star.

Or at least their biggest international star, as there were other celebrities who were more recognisable within Chile's borders, but if you were to ask an action fan who the most famous Chilean they could think of was, Zaror may well be who they nominated. He was yet to break through to wider fame for the mainstream, perhaps, but with his obvious ability with boots to the head he assuredly had the moves, and films like Redeemer were content to keep the plotting to the minimum so that the viewer could look forward to the next combat setpiece safe in the knowledge there would be one along presently, and the quality would be reassuringly high.

Zaror grew up loving the movies of Bruce Lee, and that unfussy, don't bore us, get to the punching and kicking style had an affinity with the Hong Kong methods of action and martial arts productions, often produced cheaply and happy with that for the biggest draw was the expertly choreographed violence, and nothing much else was needed to adorn them. Redeemer was not a tale of a young chap from the country arriving at a Shaolin Temple to be trained into the ways of kung fu all the better to get his revenge on the fighting master who killed his brother, or whatever cliché you may have expected from Asia's cinema. Nope, here our hero battled drugs barons and their neo-Nazi minions, crunching their bones with a righteous mission to atone for whatever crimes he had committed in the past.

That was the difference, as while many film industries produced religious films, or films with religion included, Chile was delivering this where the morals of the action flick were under the microscope and we were invited to ask what good all this was doing for the souls of the participants. The inference was that Pardo was too far gone thanks to his previous behaviour, so no matter how much he tried to get into God's good books (not God's Good Book) with an abundance of prayer and bloodthirsty dogoodery he may have left it too late. The Lord moves in mysterious ways even in circumstances such as this, so even at the end we are not one hundred percent certain if the hero has been forgiven by the Almighty, but we are assured the bad guys have been given the opportunity to have a hard look at themselves. We know this thanks to Zaror's extremely impressive techniques, often kickboxing his way out of trouble in extended sequences, so even if you could take of leave the religion, you had to acknowledge he was damned good at the physical stuff. Music by Claudio Rocco.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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