Ladies and gentlemen, actor B. J. Novak, best known for his role on The Office, makes his directorial debut in — Vengeance, which has captured a lot of praise from fans, and a lot of controversies.


Vengeance was released on the 29th of July 2022 by distributing company, Focus Features, featuring an incredible cast in the likes of Ashton Kutcher, the director B. J. Novak himself, Boyd Holbrook, and Issa Rae.
In this psychological dark humor thriller, we follow the life of an ambitious writer/journalist/radio host for The New Yorker, who gets a call from one of his many friends with benefits’ brother.
The brother, Ty Shaw played by Boyd Holbrook informs Ben Manalowitz played by B. J. Novak that the family will be holding the service for her funeral this upcoming weekend, as since they know how close they were, he’d appreciate it if Ben came down to Texas to say a few words.
However, what Ben doesn’t know is that Ty’s convinced that his sister’s death Abilene Shaw played by Lio Tipton was no mistake but instead a murder, covered up by the Mexican cartels and the government.


And being the ambitious writer that he is and seeing an opportunity to make a story for himself, Ben calls up his superior Eloise played by Issa Rae and this is where everything begins.
Now that you have the gist of the story, let’s get straight into the review.
Throughout the entire film, what I found fascinating and enjoyable about this film are the character’s dialog and dynamics between each other.
Eloise and Ben have such great chemistry together, it felt as if I watching two siblings guiding and loving one another without the hustle.
The Shaw family from Texas are complete gold, listen, everyone, if you have not been to Texas and would like to know what to expect from Texas, watch Vengeance, it is the complete tour guide that you will ever need.
Where do I even begin with this family? Okay let’s start with Granny Carole played by Louanne Stephens, she is without a doubt, the star of this family, her stories are rich in culture and history, wish I could have heard more from her honestly.
The younger sisters — Kansas City and Paris, wow their names alone say about all that needs to be said, Kansas City represents the beautiful yet rebellious women of Texas whilst Paris represents the love of food and its abundance.
I believe B. J. Novak did an amazing job in the way in which he introduced the family as you immediately understand what a wild situation Ben is in, not to mention, the entire family honestly believes that he was dating their Abilene, whilst the truth couldn’t be further from it.
Ben has never been in such a situation so you as the viewer are interested to see how he works around and handles the situation.
Keep in mind, that the film is constantly trying to tell you just how different Texas is from New York with its tight family units, and choices in food such as WHATABURGER, or Fried Twinkies; clutching my head that sounds like murder lol…
And this is the greatness of Vengeance, by mixing and matching two different ideologies we get unbarred, dark comedy that just leaves you tearing up with laughter.
Though at times there were moments that made me feel as if I were watching a psychological movie, especially when we met Quinten Sellers played by Ashton Kutcher for the very first time.
I can’t bring myself to decide whether it’s just the script or the way that he said it however, it felt as if he were talking directly to me when explaining what my role as a writer is and I agree.
Texas may come off as just a large land filled with sandy roads and country people, but those people take pride in themselves like no other, and just like every city and country in the world, it has its silly people but you also have some seriously wise people.
As for the things that I didn’t like about the film, that would be its pacing in Act 2.
Sure, the first act was okay, perfect for introducing the characters and difference in ideology, however, it’s in the second act when questioning the people around Texas that the film fell off for me.
It was probably after meeting Sancholo played by Zach Villa that the film seemed to drag on until the moment El Stupido tells us the password to Abilene’s phone that I gained my senses again.
Then we get to the ending of the film, am I a fan of the ending? Honestly, No. Reasons being?
Well, firstly, Ben is a journalist, he should very well know the consequences of his decision and that’s just it, no consequences have applied to him.
So is B. J. Novak trying to imply that in Texas these kinds of choices have no consequences because no one calls the police in Texas?
And do the actions justify the means? In my opinion, he had everything he needed in his hands but still doubted that justice would be served.
Quinten gives a good argument, no doubt about it, but Ben gave up, he lost hope and that’s my ending argument about the final act.
Overall, Vengeance is a good film worth watching, it’s fun, very American, and a good way to see what makes Texas different from the rest of the other states in America. I’m waiting for that Florida remake lol…
That’s it for today SPIRITS.
Let me know in the comments section below what you loved about Vengeance and B. J. Novak’s first directorial debut.
Thank you all for reading my reviews, I appreciate it.Vengeance

B. J. Novak

“It's definitely the world I live in; that we all live in. And I think, ironically - and this is just sort of my theory, it's not necessarily the point of the movie - but it does feel to me that the things that we think are connecting us are not, and vice versa.”

Ben is a writer that ends up investigating the sudden death of one his “Friends with Benefits” that takes him all the way to Texas for some self introspection.
B. J. Novak
Dove Cameron
Boyd Holbrook
Lio Tipton
Ashton Kutcher
Issa Rae
John Meyer
Isabella Amara
J. Smith Cameron
1h 47mins
Focus Features

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