What are those Soska Sisters up to now?
Jen and Sylvia, the Twisted Twins directing duo from Vancouver, British Columbia have been on a roll the last few years with a series of great, genre-busting movies like American Mary and See No Evil 2. There latest endeavour, Vendetta, is more new ground, as Jen and Sylvia take their talents to the prison movie genre.
Another collaboration with WWE Studios following See No Evil 2, Vendetta stars Dean Cain as Mason, a no bs detective whose wife is killed at the hands of criminal Victor Abbott (Paul ‘The Big Show’ Wight) and who enters the same prison to exact his revenge.
Vendetta has solid performances from the two lead actors, especially Cain, best known for his role as Superman on Lois and Clark. This is one his most high profile acting gigs in a while, and he plays the tough guy very well indeed. It’s nice to see him have a bit of a resurgence with both Vendetta and his co-staring role on the upcoming Supergirl CBS tv show. Paul Wight, one of the most talented big men to ever enter the wrestling ring is also strong as the heavy of the film. The Soska’s have mentioned that Vendetta has a Punisher vs Kingpin feel/influence, and you can certainly see it when its two stars are on screen.
Canadian chameleon Michael Eklund also delivers a noteworthy performance as the Warden of Stonegate Prison – slimy and maniacal. Eklund is one of the best actors this country has right now, constantly delivering in both staring and co-staring roles (he is, without question, the best thing about the post-apocalyptic horror film, The Divide – a film I recommend you check out solely for his performance).
Vendetta is fast paced, full of some great action sequences and some solid kills, which is what one looks for with this sort of film. Once again, the Soska’s prove that they’re at home directing any genre.
Following the groundbreaking American Mary, a true instant classic, the Soska Sisters have been playing it just a little safer these days in my estimation. That doesn’t mean the work they’re doing isn’t good, mind you. See No Evil 2 had fun with the tropes of the slasher film, and Vendetta does the same thing with prison films (I was reminded of the Tom Selleck classic An Innocent Man while watching); I’ve enjoyed both, and I think you will too. Maintaining a relationship with a high profile studio like WWE completely also makes sense, as the duo continue to build their resume and hone their talents. The Soska’s are a real creative force and have gained a wonderful reputation amongst fans and colleagues. I would just like to see them push their envelope further than I feel they have with their last two films. That would mean, I believe, writing their own film again – and with the clout they’re establishing, I’m sure I’ll get my wish before too long.
In the meantime, I’m happy to go back and watch Superman and The Big Show duke it out in prison.