Review: BETRAYED (2018)

BETRAYED Poster

We’ve had plenty of DTV action films dealing with either the Russian Mob or the Mexican Cartels. In BETRAYED writer/director Harley Wallen (ETERNAL CODE, ABSTRUSE) gives us both. Plus vigilantes.

Corrupt as hell Mayor Don Alderman (John Savage THE DEER HUNTER, THE KILLING KIND) has cut a deal with the Russian mob. Mikhail (Harley Wallen) hasn’t been keeping his end of the bargain and crime, especially human trafficking, is exploding. To balance this, he invites the Cartel in to push the Russians out.

The Russians don’t take well to this and counter by kidnapping the Mayor’s daughter Marie (Kaiti Wallen, wife of Harley) to be sold on the black market by Mr. Stone (Richard Tyson BIG BAD WOLF, DEATH KISS). Desperate he hires Mike Wolf (Billy Wirth BODY SNATCHERS, THE LOST BOYS) and Alpha (TJ Storm PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, TALES OF FRANKENSTEIN) to rescue her.

Betrayed 2

The plot description certainly conjures up expectations of some epic action scenes. Sadly the budget can’t deliver them and the action is mostly limited to rather brief fistfights until the final act. This still could have worked if the script and hype had been dialed back to fit the resources available. Instead, we wait for an all-out war between the two factions with the vigilantes caught in the middle.

It never happens and the audience feels cheated. Minus the gang war and simply pitched as a tale of bad-asses having to rescue a kidnapped girl it would have been more satisfying. But, I suppose, less likely to get sales. The film’s other big problem is the Mayor himself. He’s upset over women being kidnapped and trafficked but he’s doing business with two organizations notorious for human trafficking. What did he expect was going to happen? And did he think he could double-cross the Russians without bad shit happening?

BETRAYED does have some good performances And he makes an imposing villain. By the final act it works up a bit of steam but it’s too little, too late. The film also looks good from a technical standpoint. Maybe next time Wallen will put a bit more effort into getting a script that lines up with its budget.

BETRAYED is available from Vision Films

Betrayed - Trailer
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BETRAYED
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Jim Morazzini

Movie buff, gym rat and crazy cat guy

3 thoughts on “Review: BETRAYED (2018)

  • October 6, 2018 at 11:52 AM
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    If I may be so forward to reply, it was never about avgang war, it was about trafficking, and about the judgment we make when we choose the lesser evil!
    Like the Mayor instead of gang wars tries to justify his flawed decision of letting one controlled gang rule, and how things change when we are directly affected by something….

  • October 6, 2018 at 12:17 PM
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    The film is hyped as something entirely different from that though. Let me quote Vision Film’s website “When the Cartel comes to Detroit and tries to push the Russian Mafia out, things don’t go as planned. So now the Mayor must do whatever it takes to get his kidnapped daughter back.” The summary on IMDB is similar.

    I actually addressed this in the review, the disconnect between what one expects from that going in and what is delivered. I even said it would have probably come off better if the advertising had focused more on rescuing the mayor’s daughter rather than invoking Mob/Cartel conflict.

  • October 6, 2018 at 1:01 PM
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    It’s ok and yes I saw you mentioning it. In every interview I’ve told of the story being inspired by a service at my church about trafficking and I wanted to give the victims a voice and a face. I also wanted to put it on our own backyard in hopes we look into what we can do about this epidemic problem. Also as a lifelong high level martial artist I enjoy some fight action not to make it cheaper but blocking and coordinating the fight scenes takes longer and costs the same or more as a shoot out these days. It’s ok though, I know I can’t please everyone! 😊

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