Hell Hath No Fury review: Hulu’s 90-minute war thriller packs a punch
The 90-minute thriller is too rare in today’s film ecosystem,
But excellent There is no rage in hell release of 2021 new to Hulu this week, is the antidote to this era of three-hour epic superhero epics. The action takes place at the end of World War II, there is no rage in hell followed by Marie Dujardin (Nina Bergman), a French woman who has her head shaved to designate her as a Nazi collaborator. She is rescued (or captured, depending on your point of view) by a group of American soldiers who demand that she reveal the location of a cache of Nazi gold. They are not the only ones looking for gold: members of the French resistance and a battalion of Nazi soldiers heading out of France are also on the hunt.
What follows is a gripping, tense thriller set almost entirely in a graveyard,
With a palpable atmosphere of suspense that challenges everything you think you know about the characters and the situation. Director Jesse W. Johnson, a former stuntman best known for his collaborations with DTV action legend Scott Adkins (revenge although my favorite debt collector) presents one of his best films, which keeps the audience on their toes throughout the 94-minute screenings.
According to this great interview with JVJ Matthew Essay,
The film was funded after Johnson contacted a financier who had a non-routine request. “He really, really wanted a World War II Jeep and wanted to be able to write it off as part of the production cost,” Johnson told Essary. “And so I said, ‘I think I have the perfect film.’ And we made our way there sideways. Another funny moment from this interview: JVJ himself performed one of the stunts in the film’s climactic scene.
The cemetery is a brilliant example of low-budget filmmaking,
not only simplifying the filming process, but also creating atmosphere and inner geography for viewers before the climactic final set. Death hangs over the film all the time and from all sides, superimposing haunting, mournful energy on top of the incessant tension. The decision to leave the film mostly in one setting also allows viewers to subconsciously understand the location of the area where the climax takes place, making the chaotic final sequence much more legible than it would be in an unfamiliar setting.
Bergman and the rest of the cast, filled with JVJ regulars, are all amazing in subtle roles where their true motives are never clear. Daniel Bernhardt (ur. explosive blonde, None) is an uncanny combination of menace and charm in one of the most striking roles he has ever played, as the villainous Nazi officer von Bruckner. JVJ regulars Louis Mandylor and Dominique Vandenberg add their own rugged charm to complement the superb ensemble cast.
But Bergman shines brightest, playing the layered and complex lead role of Marie. Danish singer-songwriter Bergman has previously collaborated with JVJ on an amazing woman shorter fan. She has the most cases out of all the actors, playing the character with the most screen time but whose motives are the least clear to viewers. While Marie Bergmana is constantly in danger and masks at first an unnamed source of trauma, she is never helpless, hardened by her experience and the cruel world around her.
Violent and dark film There is no rage in hell gives a medium, powerful punch in a 90-minute pack. After all, there are no heroes in this story, only survivors.