Righteous Villains tells the story of two unlikely “saints” who are sent on a divine mission that will determine the future of mankind. Saint Jeremiah, a con man, and Saint Jolie, an ex-prostitute, travel together to a mysterious island to rescue a child from the evil New World Order.
In the beginning, we are introduced to Jeremiah (Jamie Crew), a con man, primary protagonist, and narrator of the film. We see the kind of scams he pulls while we hear him explain his actions during the narration. From there we jump to the backstory of Jolie (Lois Brabin-Platt), a prostitute who meets Mickey (Gary Dourdan) who rescues her from the life she is in. Together, they open a pub where Mickey continues to deal drugs. However, their seemingly perfect life soon falls apart.
The two find themselves summoned by the mysterious Adrestos, who refers to them as Saint Jeremiah, the deceiver, and Saint Jolie, patron saint of Nothing to lose. He charges them with their sacred task. While this is where the main story starts, it is also where sadly where the film begins to fall apart. Categorised as a Crime Thriller, the quick cuts, dialogue, and narration immediately seem reminiscent of a Guy Ritchie film such as Snatch. As such, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the film has some promise. And it does. Sadly, this promise is reneged on about 20 minutes into the film.
The trailer refers to the film as the ‘anti woke backlash,’ aimed at giving a “proudly raised middle finger to cancel culture”. Now, I myself often find myself exasperated by cancel culture and other ‘woke’ groups as well as their actions. As such, I thought the film would be an interesting dive. Sadly, I was mistaken. While scenes of a judge having people executed for things such as telling a racist joke, being sexist, etc., is clearly meant to highlight the often even more hateful response and actions of so-called ‘woke’ groups and individuals, the rest of what transpires fails to do so.
Once the pair have arrived on the mysterious island where all the evil happens, 90% of the visuals seem purely to offend and or gross out the audience. This includes a priest eating the innards of a dead sheep, a couple dancing naked around a fire covering each other in blood, orgies, literal baby eating and more. While much of it is shocking and bound to offend people out there, none of it actually serves the story, and it feels like a slide show entitled “Nasty things to upset people.” The story itself becomes incoherent, unclear, and ultimately feels unfinished.
That being said, the performances by Gary Dourdan, Lois Brabin-Platt, and Jamie Crew are absolutely fantastic, with Jamie Crew shining as Jeremiah, however, even their standout performances aren’t enough to save the film. While the concept of an ‘anti-woke backlash’ is not unwarranted or necessarily a bad idea, in this case, the execution sadly leaves much to be desired.
The film would have done far better just being a Ritchie-esque crime drama. If you’re looking for a way to kill 75 minutes of your life, there are worse ways to spend them than watching Righteous Villains, however, not many. All in all, a very interesting concept which would be very interesting had it been executed better.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.