Never accuse prolific B-movie impresario Christian Sesma of lacking ambition. In between cranking out feature-length horror and action films at a furious clip over the past few years, Sesma teamed with screenwriter-actor Paul Sloan to make the ultra-violent superhero Web series “Vigilante Diaries,” which has been expanded into a low-budget movie that aims to compete with the likes of “Pulp Fiction,” “Kick-Ass” and “Taken.”
Kevin Smith regular Jason Mewes stars as video-blogger Michael Hanover, who follows a gun-toting avenger who calls himself the Vigilante (played by Sloan). When the self-styled superhero takes down the wrong bad guy, both he and Michael get caught in the crossfire between multiple rival gangs, as well as a shadowy band of American military operatives.
Sesma and Sloan cobbled together “Vigilante Diaries” from pieces of the Web series and two separate shoots — one of which was originally intended for a sequel. To link all the disconnected pieces, the movie employs Tarantino-style chapter headings, along with occasional narration from Mewes and a direct-to-camera address by one of the movie’s thugs, played by Michael Madsen.
The gambit doesn’t work. “Vigilante Diaries” never rises above what it is: a bunch of frenetic shootouts and fight scenes unencumbered by plot.
Although this film never really makes sense, Sesma’s years of experience means that it’s at least competently shot, with locations around the world. Plus, it’s admirably gonzo. And when it comes to cheap genre fare, bizarre always beats boring.
‘The Vigilante Diaries’
MPAA rating: R for strong violence, language throughout, and some sexuality/nudity
Running time: 1 hour, 48 minutes
Playing: MGN Five Star Cinema, Glendale