Monday, March 30, 2020

Valentine: The Dark Avenger (2019)

Streaming Service: Amazon Prime
Movie Name/Year: Valentine: The Dark Avenger (2019)
Genre: Action
Length: 105 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Skylar Pictures, Premium Cine, Umbrella Entertainment
Directors: Ubay Fox, Agus Pestol            
Writer: Beby Hasibuan
Actors: Arie Dagienkz, Matthew Settle, Ahmad Affandy, Sasky Aisyawara, Indra Birowo, Mega Carefansa, Albert Cen, Marcell Domits, Luis Jocom, Estelle Linden, Udeh Nans, Leroy Osmani, Joshua Pandelaki, Peter Pastimoore, Corey Pettit, Fendy Pradana, Aliza Putri, Nabila Putri, Jack Rico, Hanata Rue, Lily Sp, Melissa Sternenberg

Blurb from IMDb: Man recruits girl under the guise of making a movie, while really trying to turn her into a masked vigilante.

Cat’s Point of View:

I think we can all agree that social distancing and self-quarantine are no fun. What better way to spend some of your time, though, than streaming a random superhero action movie! It’s easy to go stir crazy if you just sit and think about the things you can’t do at the moment or the things you’d rather be doing.

I find it easier to grab moments of peace with either online interactions with my friends or immersing myself in an experience that takes me somewhere else and lets me walk in someone else’s shoes for a while – for good or ill. Movies do that for me, as do books.

That being said, I honestly didn’t have huge expectations for this action movie imported from Indonesia. I didn’t recognize any of the cast, or even the comic that this movie was based on. (Let this be the heads up for fans of the comics that I just have no clue whether or not this is true to that source material.)

Clean slate. I like it when I have no idea, beyond the snippets available in the trailer, what a movie is going to bring to the table.

Valentine, or Valentine: The Dark Avenger, as it was originally called is a solid bare-bones hero origin story. You’ve got a quirky sidekick, a gadget guy behind the scenes, and a plucky heroine who struggles with her own issues along the way. It ticks all the boxes for the recipe.

The delivery was a smidge on the shaky side, however. I’m not really talking shaky-cam level. While the cinematics did have a few ‘bumpy’ moments, it wasn’t as bad as some during action sequences.
I do want to give a big thumbs up and kudos to the fight choreography for this film. Not only was this the first movie to feature the Indonesian fighting style, Silat, but the fight and chase scenes were done really well. They contained a little bit of everything.

The overall plot was a little fuzzy in places but fine. I have an issue with whoever mixed the voice work here, however. The film has that disconnect between mouth movement and audible speech that quite a lot of foreign language movies dubbed to English do. I’m not sure what the deal was with this one that it bugged me so much – but perhaps that a lot of the time it looked like they really were speaking English but the voices didn’t time sync correctly. It was just odd.

Unfortunately, that was enough to take me right out of the headspace I needed to really enjoy this more. If you’re looking for something random (yet cookie-cutter) and love the color purple? Hey, this movie isn’t a bad choice. If you’re looking for something out-of-the-box and original, though – this isn’t the film I would recommend for you.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score –4.6 /10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 2.5/5

P.S. There are additional scenes mixed in all through the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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