The title alone is enough to make anyone pull a face; I was certainly wondering how many XXX’s and other related clichés the creators would have managed to stuff into this distinctly average erotic-thriller. Thankfully, it’s not all bad news.
X: Night of Vengeance follows Holly (Viva Bianca), an ageing escort hoping to break away from her life in Sydney’s underworld and flee to Paris, and Shay (Hanna Mangan Lawrence), a teenage runaway fresh on the streets. After crossing paths, the two end up on a job together that sends their lives into a tailspin.
Jon Hewitt’s direction is raw, tense and jolting as the film races through the mean streets and alleys of the city squalor, mashed violently with dashes of neon as corrupt cops and murderous thugs lie around every corner. There are a couple of completely unnecessary (and uninteresting) sex and nude scenes stapled in, but Hewitt manages to steer away from the film descending into total luridness and puerile voyeurism.
While generally formulaic, the script is fast paced and with only a few sections of truly clunky, chuckle-inducing dialogue. It has to be said that both the female leads do well in under developed roles, and you do find yourself caring for them a little even when the film starts losing its buzz towards the end.