Review by Sean Boelman
Filmmaker Jesse V. Johnson has made one thing in his career: straight-to-VOD action B-movies — but as they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So he keeps putting out consistently entertaining filler like Hell Hath No Fury, an action-packed but largely unoriginal Nazi gold adventure.
The film follows a French national who, after being branded a traitor, is rescued by American forces under the condition that she leads them to a hidden cache of Nazi gold. As is the case with a lot of Johsnon’s movies, there isn’t a whole lot of complexity to it, but it’s overly convoluted for something that essentially only needs to be the bones for a few action set pieces.
Perhaps the best thing about the film is that it is mercifully short, with a runtime of ninety-four minutes including credits. And given the fact that there is so much action in the movie, there’s not a lot of dead space to be found. Although the action isn’t that unique within the genre, the film is just so loud that it’s hard not to be entertained by it.
There is a certain energy that Johnson brings to the movie, and that is what really makes it tick. Even though it’s just some pretty generic gunfights in a cemetery, it’s the way that Johnson directs it that makes it interesting. The use of spatial geography in the film is definitely interesting, creating some much-needed tension.
Without a doubt, the biggest drawback of the movie is that there is very little to be said in the film. Themes of patriotism during WWII have been done to death, and so Johnson thankfully spares the audience of rehashing those ideas. But there is still the groundwork here for something interesting with regards to the character dynamics.
However, the character development in the movie is extremely shallow, and that also holds the film back. There is no way to get emotionally invested in the story because every one of the characters is a pure archetype. And beyond that, virtually none of the characters has an arc beyond the protagonist, whose growth is entirely predictable.
The ensemble of the movie is fine enough, but there’s no chance for any of them to shine. The only performer with a substantially meaty part is Nina Bergman, whose performance is fine, but doesn’t have much in the way of nuance. Some of the antagonistic players are exaggeratedly enjoyable, but not in a memorable way.
Hell Hath No Fury isn’t a very deep film in any way, but the action is enough fun to make it worth a watch. Jesse V. Johnson has always made B-movies that are slightly ahead of the rest of the pack, and this is an example of that.
Hell Hath No Fury is now available on VOD.