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Revengers Tragedy (2002)

Cast: Christopher Eccleston, Christopher Eccleston, Eddie Izzard, more...
Director: Alex Cox, Alex Cox
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Fantoma
Genre: Costume Drama/Period Piece, Quest, Revenge
Running Time: 109 min.
Languages: English
    see additional details...

Revenge, obsession, and the morally ambiguous aristocracy are targets of this adaptation by director Alex Cox of the 17th century dark comic play Revengers Tragedy, written by Shakespeare contemporary Thomas Middleton. The vindictive and mentally unstable Vindici (Christopher Eccleston) has returned to the grimy streets of a post-apocalyptic Liverpool in order to attempt to bring ruin to the ruling family led by the Duke (Derek Jacobi). The Duke was personally responsible for the death of Vindici's fiancée ten years previously when the woman would not yield to the Duke's sexual advances. An opportunity arises for Vindici's vengeance when the Duke's youngest son is accused of raping the wife (Sophie Dahl) of Lord Antonio (Anthony Booth) -- one of the Duke's courtiers. When the Duke's son is acquitted of the rape charges, Lord Antonio's wife dies a mysterious death, which leads to even more havoc in the court of the Duke. Seizing the opportunity, Vindici acts swiftly and violently but the morality of his cause is just as questionable as the aristocracy he is ousting. Revengers Tragedy was a competing film at the 2002 Locarno Film Festival. ~ Ryan Shriver, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Commentary by Director Alex Cox and star Eddie Izzard
  • Behind the scenes Documentary
  • Featurettes
  • The Missing Scene
  • Cannes Promo 2001
  • Photo and production art Gallery
  • Excerpts from Alex Cox's "A Director's Diary"

A Harryhausen fan as a kid, Alex Cox made his directorial debut at 30 and Repo Man has been a cult favorite ever since. From Sid & Nancy through recent critical favorite Revengers Tragedy, music has been a driving, thumping force in his work. Little wonder, then, that Cory Vielma, who's written our Rock on Film primer, has a few questions for him. Full article >>

GreenCine Member Reviews

Great Little Movie by novachild February 9, 2005 - 1:17 PM PST
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Revenger's Tragedy - great little movie directed by Alex Cox and starring Christopher Eccleston as the "Revenger." Probably not for young audiences (language, violence), but is timely and loads of quirky, chaotic fun.

"Let the man who seeks revenge remember to dig two graves." This is the message the film begins with. How apt, considering the nature of the film and the state of the world's affairs.

Christopher Eccleston is a brilliant actor. Here, he plays a tortured man on top of his game seeking revenge for the murder of his bride and family. He's a 'bone-setter' by trade, and he even carries around his bride's skull and rants and raves with it (but not in the hamlet fasion; no, this is much more tortured and anarchistic than anything Shakespeare has ever done).

Derek Jacobi plays the villainous, lecherous duke who is the target of revenge. With such a determined performance, one would not believe that the actor was paid little to nothing for his involvement. Eddie Izzard plays a son of the Duke and the next in line, and a reluctant power junkie. His role is interesting, because he is both a smarmy sidekick and also a victim of revenge.

If you've seen Repo Man, Sid and Nancy, and Straight to Hell, take that impression and combine it with a jacobian revenge tragedy (language and all), add Eccleston and Eddie Izzard, with little or no budget, and you have a memorable way to spend 2 hours of your life. This won't be a remembered or highly-sought after film, but then again, the truly unique ones never are.

Updated Middleton, Nicely Done by talltale July 28, 2004 - 11:06 AM PDT
6 out of 7 members found this review helpful
The Thomas Middleton play (written way back in the 1600s) the REVENGER'S TRAGEDY is given a sharp, stylish, often funny and plenty bloody update in this surprisingly good film by Alex Cox. Cox got a lot of raves for "Sid and Nancy" two decades backs but his work since then has been pretty uneven, so it's great to see him rise again with this effort. The cast is headed by Christopher Eccleston and Eddie Izzard and features a number of fine Brits like Derek Jacobi and Diana Quick. Cox leaves some of the script fairly intact while giving the visuals a now-and-future look. Consequently the combination of Elizabethan and present-day dialog works quite well. Middleton is definitely a popular culture kind of guy--blood, sex, incest, revenge and more--so anyone seeking a sleaze fest will be rewarded. He's also a good writer--not in Shakespeare's league, of course--but there are plenty of pointed, thoughtful and poetic lines to savor. Cox's take on present-day world politics will not be lost on those with an eye/mind for it, and this makes the movie even more pertinent and fun. The song over the closing credits (itself unaccredited but called, I believe, "Don't Try This at Home") is definitely a winner. Recommendation: keeping the "Captioned for the Hearing Impaired" subtitles on during the movie may help you better appreciate the dialog.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.80)
25 Votes
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