Justice Served A Cornucopia of Convoluted Engagement
Justice Served Film Details
Director: Marvin Young
Writer: Marvin Young
Release Date: May 9th, 2017
Release Format: DVD/VOD
Three individuals whose loved ones were victims of crimes are about to get the chance to re-litigate the crime in a private setting, under the auspices of “Justice”, a mysterious voice acting as judge, jury, and executioner.
Vengeance is a theme that has taken many forms in Horror cinema. From instance, the seventies presented the exploitative era. Women were often the subjects of horrible callous crimes. In return for the injustice, revenge would serve as judgment. These films were notable for its glamorous violent content. The vengeance theme also had subtleties in the creative approach. Carnage and atrocities were set aside for cerebral visuals.
The latest breed of vengeance-themed films takes the genre onto a different plane. These narratives place the antagonist and protagonist in a battle of wits. The psychological approach is refreshing and leans more into Drama, Thriller territory. In 2016 filmmaker Malcolm Deegan presented an intriguing vengeance theme concept. Deegan’s film was a slow burner but the impact of resided with the mind games.
Marvin Young is most notable in the music scene as Young M C. Hip Hop is a genre this author is oblivious to. After doing research it was realized Young was influential on the scene, much commendable. Young made his directorial debut in the Thriller genre with the film Justice Served. The production, upon first glance, enters as a fresh contender of visual storytelling.
Lance Henriksen does what he does best that that is to give a powerful onscreen presence. The character Henriksen portrays lacks value thus making the role difficult to digest. Yet, somehow the veteran actor brings life to each line of dialogue offered. Actress Christina Rose also delivered a good performance. Once again the role felt underdeveloped but Rose worked her best with what was given.
Justice Served falls short on every level of conceptual design and execution. Young as director and writer does nothing to engage audiences. The film suffers from many errors beginning with the script and ending with the film itself. Let’s delve into these areas in detail.
The performances were lackluster, each portrayal had the hallmarks of B-movie quality. The chemistry, delivery, and the conflicts projected failed to convey any connection. These characters were hollow and had no sense of purpose. Audiences could care less about the situations and outcomes that befall these roles. The problem begins with the writer failing to add any value to the characters. In transference from script to screen these foundationless characters remained.
The cinematography was simplistic in every aspect. There wasn’t anything prominent with the lighting or set design. Most of the film unfolds within bright white colored rooms. Where is the character? How does this environment stand out as influential and/or intimidating? Filmmakers are well aware of the importance of environments.
Ambiance serves as a major influence to the viewer. Developing the setting is as important as the performers themselves. It is erroneous to think bits of dialogue in the script can brand a locale as clandestine. Let actions speak volumes and present an adequate living environment.
Justice Served had a convoluted concoction of confusion and served it as a plot. There’s no defined protagonist to follow, no antagonist to despise or relate to. In fact, the synopsis of the film is a false advertisement. Act I opens with one topic and shifts into another and yet another. There was no anchor to settle the narrative. Who are these villainous subjects facing this unorthodox brand of torture? Why should audiences care? The viewer is introduced to a hodgepodge of narratives that end with a hitman stealing the show. Why? To begin with, this particular character never provides a level of engagement.
In any genre, the antagonist provides the backbone to the plot. There is either the principal goal or set of intentions. These actions are not tossed in for the sake of the narrative. The antagonist must have a humanistic reasoning behind his/her agenda. Justice Served is void of all these elements.
Justice Served serves little justice.
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