Stream or skip? +2023

In the Italian Actioner My name is Vendetta (Netflix) A gruff but loving father must face the evils of his secret past if his daughter is to have any chance at life. This is close to bone stuff, with father and child dancing close to death at every turn, much of it taking place in the night darkness of Milan’s rather unfashionable corners. In so early vendettaMake sure to enjoy the fantastic mountain views and pristine forests of Italy’s northernmost reaches while you still can.

The essentials: “Before I met your mother, I had a different life. I was a different person. not a good person Do you know what ‘Ndrangheta is?” Santo (Alessandro Gassmann) and his determined teenage daughter Sofia (Ginevra Francesconi) have this terse conversation in an abandoned hotel near their farm in the South Tyrol region of northern Italy. Santo has stashed supplies like an extra car, burner phones and passports there. For better or worse, this is also where he hid his former life as a mafia enforcer named Domenico Franze, and now that he and Sofia are on the run, it’s definitely worse. It’s a lot for them, given the shocking tragedy that has befallen them. Despite everything, Santo seems to understand that his daughter has the ability to recover. He knows how tough she is on the ice with her hockey club. And they share an affinity for Buck’s kill-or-be-killed mentality in Jack London call of the Wild.

Father and daughter will soon be going to Milan. They’ve already fended off attacks from various henchmen, and Santo knows the armed thugs won’t stop coming. His assumed name, the new life he’s built up north – all to escape Don Angelo (Remo Girone), who has been searching for Santo for 20 years. In his mansion, the aging and ailing mafioso huddles with his remaining son, Michele (Alessio Pratico), the family’s strained financial genius who doesn’t want to jeopardize everything the organization has built out of revenge. Angelo is disgusted. Sure, he wants Santo dead. But he also respects him. “He’s not a man who runs. He is a man of honour. And every time I look at you, I think Franze got the wrong son.”

You can see where this is going. As Santo/Franze teaches Sofia how to hot-wire vehicles, build IEDs, and contend in a knife fight, he says, “It’s a lesson I wish I didn’t have to teach you,” he says, but you get it Feeling He’s Proud of Her Talent – Don Angelos’ Ndrangheta foot soldiers close in on their position with the help of sleazy security guard Ferrario (Gabriele Falsetta). Will revenge end tonight? Or is there another chapter?

My name is Vendetta
Photo: Everett Collection

What movies will it remind you of? In Italian Film 2020 The beast, a troubled and unbalanced military veteran, leads a one-man army against the drug-dealing Mafia gang that has kidnapped his daughter. There are also some parallels between Alessandro Gassmann’s work in My name is Vendetta and that of Sami Bouagila, recently from the French limited series gang country as well as the movie Earth & Blood.

Notable performance: Alessandro Gassmann generates a lot of seriousness here as Santo/Franze. His stern demeanor as Sofia’s loving father and worst nightmare for a band of ‘Ndrangheta gunmen is often reminiscent of Benicio del Toro.

Memorable dialogue: “The last face they see will not be that of their loved ones, it will be yours. The cruellest revenge.” Of all the knowledge her father imparted in her apprenticeship, Sofia takes this knowledge to heart the most.

gender and skin: Michele has a few sex workers in his office at one point, but beyond that, rivet.

Our opinion: Yes, Lumberjack Dad Santo is the former Franze, the ruthless mafia hitman who always knew his day of reckoning would come. But from the second it arrives, it also feels like he’s been ready to turn all of that violence into a teaching moment for his beloved daughter Sofia. Of course, he would rather have watched her ice hockey team win the playoffs and continued to enlighten her on the ins and outs of navigating a vintage Land Rover through the forests and rivers of South Tyrol. But you can never stop what’s coming, and now that it’s here, Santo and Sofia soon agree on what they must do together. “If someone attacks you, make the first move,” he tells her, and once father and daughter have to team up to take down a mafia thug, they’re locked in a tacit bond. Santo’s secret past has become her collective and bloody present, and Sofia is here for that.

In this way, My name is Vendetta becomes a kind of coming-of-age story for Sofia, who plays newcomer Ginevra Francesconi with an intriguing, evolving mix of sadness, anger and driven resignation. As she begins to understand the ruthless, unchanging nature of the ‘Ndrangheta, it makes Sofia love her father more and inspires her to stand up to everyone he couldn’t. Until the end vendettathe question you might be asking is who will have one in the sequel.

Our appeal: Stream it. My name is Vendetta wastes no time using his intrepid father-daughter duo against those who would wish them dead, something these arrogant mafia types should have considered before upsetting their former enforcer and his unlikely student.

Johnny Loftus is an independent writer and editor living at large in Chicagoland. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, All Music Guide, Pitchfork Media and Nicki Swift. Follow him on Twitter: @Glenganges

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