Revenge is a dish best served cold. But when it comes to the big screen, the production line is red hot with new thrillers to recycle this age-old idea.
From Gladiator and Kill Bill through to The Godfather trilogy, revenge is an easy and simple topic to choose when writing for a film – but a hard one to produce something memorable for. That much is especially true when it comes to new Spanish Netflix movie, Xtreme.
Xtreme is under no illusion over what sort of film it is though. It’s an unashamedly simple, well-shot action flick that leans in hard on the action and fighting but does so at the expense of an original story.
That’s not all bad though and sometimes you just want to switch off and watch one man plough through an army of disposable goons. Xtreme delivers that in (pun absolutely intended) extreme doses.
The bare bones story we do receive however, centers on step-brothers Maximo and Lucero. Lucero kills his father and takes over the family business. He doesn’t stop there though. Going after Max, he kills his son right in front of him and believes he’s killed Max too. Only, Max is very much alive.
Fast forward 2 years and Max is in hiding, waiting for the opportune tine to strike and hit back at Lucero and his goons. That time is now. Whisked up for the ride is Maria, who helps Max gain some sweet, sweet revenge.
This is a very straight forward and predictable movie, with no subplots or depth given to any of the characters. Given the plethora of other revenge thrillers out there, that makes Xtreme a tough sell but it thankfully makes up for it with the action.
This is one stylish movie too, and the camera work and visual flair works perfectly to heighten the tension during every fight. A skirmish in a garage, for example, is bathed in thick shadows and sparks. By contrast, the end fight is illuminated in green and red neon lights.
The choreography is pretty good too, although a few times the scenes do cut abruptly just prior to a big strike, switching to a different angle. It’s not a deal breaker but seeing a punch to the gut suddenly culminate in Max flying backwards through a doorway gives the film a somewhat cartoony feel at times.
These moments are few and far between though, as most of the movie does a great job ramping up the tension for every fight.
If you’re in the mood for an adrenaline-soaked thriller with lots of punching, kicking, gunshots and sword fights, you can’t go wrong with this one.
The story and dialogue is admittedly weak but Xtreme is a typical popcorn munching summer flick. It may not be overly memorable but it is an xtremely fun watch while it lasts.