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Schlock thriller 'Vengeance Is Mine' has few surprises yet never bores

When a movie is titled "I Spit on Your Grave III: Vengeance Is Mine," no one goes in expecting Shakespeare. So it's no surprise that this third installment in the schlock-thriller franchise, which began with a 2010 reboot of the notoriously vile 1978 original, contains scenes of horrendous violence as well as a rudimentary narrative.

What is a bit unexpected, though, is that for all its in-your-face male-bashing, uncalibrated emotion and spotty acting, the film, as directed by R.D. Braunstein from a script by Daniel Gilboy, moves at a pretty decent clip and is never boring. Unstomachable at times, yes, but never boring.

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The story picks up where the 2010 film left off as Jennifer (Sarah Butler), who has reinvented herself as "Angela," remains irrevocably haunted by the brutal assault she experienced at the hands of five men, including one police officer.

The pretty Angela, who walks around in constant defense mode, joins a support group for rape survivors. There she befriends Marla (Jennifer Landon), a tough cookie with an abusive ex-boyfriend. But when Marla soon turns up dead, a switch flicks in Angela and she begins to seek vengeance against the men who preyed on her support group members. To say that Angela takes no prisoners would be an understatement.

Meanwhile, a square-jawed police detective (Gabriel Hogan) and his no-nonsense superior (Michelle Hurd) investigate the murders, a shrink (Harley Jane Kozak) tries to sort out Angela's anger and a grieving father (Doug McKeon of "On Golden Pond" fame) threatens to go violent.

The whole thing's as subtle as a brick through a window and about as single-minded. But did I mention it's never boring?

"I Spit on Your Grave III: Vengeance Is Mine." No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 31 minutes. Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood. Also on VOD.

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