Hey gang, Valkor here. And I’m back with another choice MediaView nugget directed by Giorgio Serafini. And you know when you're about to watch a Serafini film you can expect three things – a nice dose of drama, followed by gritty action and hot women – smoking hot women, some even lacking in proper attire... ahem. Just those three items alone make any Serafini film worth sitting through. Then along comes new fish “Puncture Wounds” DVD that brings along the usual suspects as well as a newcomer to the fold, but does it deliver?
Puncture Wounds shines the light on John Nguyen (Cung Le), a vet just recently returned from a torturous stint in Afghanistan, now trying to adjust back into civilian life. Sadly enough he doesn’t even have the nerve to face his family, who wanted more of him than just a war hero. To make matters worse, he’ll make a choice that’ll flip his world upside down and not in a good way. Just outside his motel room, the town whore Tanya (Briana Evigan), is getting seriously fucked up by her sryan pimp and his gang. So John decides to step in, killing a couple of the hoodlums and wounding the others. Unfortunately for John, those guys worked for a drug kingpin known as Hollis (Dolph Lundgren), who is none to please by the turn of events. So what does he do? He has John’s family killed to show he means business. And that sets John off on a murderous rampage to get Hollis, starting from the low man of the totem pole all the way up to the big guy himself and everyone in between.
Tossed into the mix of Hollis trying to track down John and John looking for Hollis, you’ve got a couple of cops trying to piece it all together; on one side you have Sgt. Mitchell (James C. Burns), who really doesn’t give two shits about the situation because the bad guys are getting their just desserts. Then you have Det. Farragut (Sean O’Bryan), who just so happens to be working for Hollis and also wants to find John, not just for Hollis but to also keep his pockets lined. And while Hollis has his men, John has his ace as well in friend J.P. (Jonathan Kowalsky), who might be missing a leg but he’s not missing much else with that spot on aim with a sniper rifle. And when it all finally ties together, you can bet it’s gonna be one messy night.
Serafini shares the director’s chair with James Coyne (producer of the live-action Tekken film) and along with Cung Le, who is new to the fold, he brings along to regulars – Gianni Capaldi and Vinnie Jones. Does Puncture Wounds hold a candle to Serafini’s previous works?
If Puncture Wounds were a steak, it’d be a glorious piece of meat with a lot of fat around the edges. But once you strip away the fat, you’re in for a damn good meal. The film, at its core, is all about revenge – John wanting revenge for his family and Hollis wanting revenge for his men. And with that, it succeeds with a solid plot filled with murder and betrayal, with some sexy side pieces to make it all look good. The film does a lot of sidestepping, but it’s easy to follow. The action is well balanced with the drama; it’s well choreographed and kicks in at all the right moments – Cung Le has the moves and it’s impressive to watch him kick all that ass onscreen. Though his acting is a little clunky, it’s tolerable and his performance is done right for the role he has to play, which is a no-holds barred bad ass. Lundgren switches up his role a bit, playing the head villain; but even when he’s playing a villain like in “Blood of Redemption”, he still has a heart. But here he’s flat out evil. Not as disturbing as I’d have liked, but having a family burned alive – that’s pretty damn cruel. He still plays it cool, but I would have liked his role given to Vinnie Jones, who can play the bad guy for days and you just enjoy watching him work. The rest of the cast put on solid performances that help move the story along, making this 96 minute pill that much easier to swallow. In the end, Puncture Wounds is the sort of film any action film can appreciate and enjoy.
There are some areas in the film that feels like so much fluff, like if you cut them out, maybe the story would flow much smoother, such as the opening scene or that Colonel Trautmen-esque speech delivered by Major Griggs (Christian Levatino) later in the film delving further into the psyche of John (if you’ve ever watched First Blood, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about). It’s just… fluff. Also Lundgren's brostache... yea...
Puncture Wounds is available now and it’s a solid effort by Serafini and crew, blending hardcore action with a hefty level of drama; it drags in some areas, but overall it’s definitely one to watch, especially if you’re a fan of action films and looking to kill some minutes. And out of TOV 5 stars, Puncture Wounds gets a 3.5 out of TOV 5 stars.