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Tainted (2020)Review

Tainted (Crime, Drama, Thriller) (2020)


Director: Brent Cote

Writer: Brent Cote

Stars: Alan van Sprang, John Ralston, John Rhys-Davies, Sara Waisglass

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Lance (Alan van Sprang) is an ex-con, recently released from a fifteen-year prison sentence. He's looking to sever any ties with his previous affiliations; namely the Aryan Brotherhood and the Russian Mafia and live a normal life. Unwillingly Lance gets dragged back into the life when he's handed a contract to finally grant his freedom and an opportunity to truly be free.

As expected, it doesn't go quite as the main character imagined and things go from bad to worse. The majority of Tainted deals with what happens after Lance has completed the "last" contract and that story is as some would describe a slow burner. Honestly, I didn't mind it, It's a story we know all too well after centuries of film making, but this feels like it just diversifies itself enough to stand out even if it's minimal.

The film's atmosphere and the demeanour of Lance creates a darker feeling than most similar films. Not only would I describe this as a Drama or Thriller but also an action movie in some respects. The fighting scenes are effective and brutal, at one point in the film the female lead (Sara Waisglass) walks into a bar's bathroom to look for Lance to see him repeatedly mash a guy's head against the bathroom tiles, brutal and effective. The approach to the short action sequences sells exceptionally well with the character's background. There's a balance of friendship, music and intense action in a dark veneer.

Serving as the antagonists are John Ralston playing Gregor and legendary actor John Rhys-Davies playing Vladimir with the backup of Gregor's son Koso played by Shawn Roberts. The most notable fact in Tainted is that none of the actors portraying Russian mobsters use a Russian accent, and thank god they didn't as there are too many films that make the mistake by forcing the actors to use these ridiculous accents that sound like that one guy at a party who says he really good at a Russian accent but really isn't. This was one of the best subtle decisions in the entire movie, as we understand the nationality, so using bad accents would've just dumbed down the film.

While the film is quite generic with its revenge plot, it just barely sets itself apart enough with its slow sub-action movie approach.

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Untainted with Russian accents.