Revenge films are rather formulaic. In order to get the audience onboard with the extreme violent measures taken in enacting vengeance, they are first forced to endure an attack on the protagonist. These scenes are also attacking the emotional reflexes of the audience members in order to inspire a reaction that welcomes the violent method of revenge. These films don’t just want the audience to watch the revenge; they are asked to participate. The biggest problem with Revenge for Jolly is the fact that the audience is never on the same level of the characters enacting revenge, and so instead of participants in the crime the audience we are simply unwilling witnesses.
Revenge is, as the title suggests, for Jolly. Jolly is the beloved little lap dog belonging to sociopath Harry (Brian Petsos), and in the opening sequences it is killed by an unknown party. The death of the dog is handled very discretely, only showing the aftermath from a distance and silhouetted. The manner is which the dog is disposed is also mild and blood-free, setting up the film to be more comic than dramatic, but also leaving less room for justifying Harry’s violent rampage.
Harry quickly enlists his cousin Cecil (Oscar Isaac from TV’s “The New Girl”) in helping him find and dispatch judgment on all who were responsible for the death of his dog. Then Harry begins indiscriminately killing people along the way, including a bevy of celebrity stars with brief appearances. The cast includes Elijah Wood, Adam Brody, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe, Kevin Corrigan, Garret Dillahunt (“Raising Hope”), Bobby Moynihan (“Saturday Night Live”) and Jillian Jacobs (“Community”).
Entertainment Value: 8/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 7/10
Historical Significance: 6/10
Disc Features: 1/10