FILM REVIEW: A Certain Justice (aka Puncture Wounds)

Cung Le & Dolph Lundgren go head-to-head when an Iraq War vet and a local gangster cross paths in backstreet Los Angeles!

Go back 30 odd years, and it was the Vietnam war that influenced the outcome and personal experience of protagonists in such films as The Deer Hunter and Rambo. In the modern American psyche, Afghanistan & Iraq have definitely now replaced those events as the military millstones around characters necks – those haunting nightmares which motivate their on-screen actions.

And so to this film: returning to the US following a tour of duty in Iraq, chief protagonist John Nguyen struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as he re-integrates into mainstream society. One day he intervenes to save a local call-girl from a group of Aryan Brotherhood thugs, killing one of their number. In doing so, John and his family become targeted by Hollis, the ruthless leader of this group, igniting the war that will explode between them.

Well, this is clearly a straight-to-video production… Dolph Lundgren hams it up as the slightly over-the-top Hollis for a pay cheque in-between Expendables sequels, while Cung Le, a contender to replace Jet Li, plays the veteran soldier with emotional baggage. Physically Le, is a credible guy and he certainly has the moves, but he lacks the charisma of Li, and so any chances of you considering this as any more than straight-to-video are pretty small. The story is very predictable & formulaic: vet comes home, tries to rebuild life, sees something he shouldn’t and intervenes, upsets local villain, who then retaliates by pushing the stakes higher, and it all leads to a showdown. 

It’s pretty brutal and gratuitously cruel in places, adding nothing to story except shock value and trying to sell how extremely ‘hard’ the two leads are, but really, it just comes off as exploitative. The fact that the third name in the roll-call is Vinnie Jones speaks volumes about this film’s standing…

Save yourself the effort and give this a miss.

GS Blogger: Silverfox

GS Rating: 1/5

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