Vindicta is one of those movies that doesn’t really have a point. There is a vendetta, as the name suggests, a villain, a hero with a past, and an attempt to go down the Dan Brown route with some symbolic hints through a dead language, but it is all for naught because there is no story to begin with. It is especially annoying because, as the audience, we don’t even have any characters to sympathize with. Vindicta gave us nothing, and it makes us want to understand what goes on in people’s minds when they decide to greenlight such projects that have neither a head nor a tail. Either way, here is the summary and ending of Vindicta.
What is the masked man doing?
Let us call the masked man David, because that is his name, as revealed at the end of the movie. Throughout the film, we barely catch a glimpse of his face, and he is mostly seen wearing a mask of Michelangelo’s David while killing his victims. There was a fire at a building some five years ago, and David lost his wife and son in that. It is evident right from the start of the movie that this man is some sort of vigilante because of the flashbacks they keep showing. It is just a matter of understanding how it all connects.
In the present day, Detective Hale and his partner are killed by David when they are in the building investigating some disturbance. The next day, while Hale is missing, his partner’s body with the head severed is found in the car, alerting people to a new criminal on the block. Elsewhere, Lou is getting ready for her first day on the job as a paramedic. She had slipped up in her test when she spent a few extra minutes on a patient she believed had a chance of being saved instead of swiftly moving on to the next one. We are told that this has something to do with her childhood trauma of losing her mother. Lou had been trained by her mother to use the EpiPen, but when her mother actually needed it, 9-year-old Lou had frozen up and been unable to act in time. She has carried the guilt of that ever since, and that is why she tries a little harder. Also, she majored in Latin and speaks Cantonese because of where she grew up. That means that she is the perfect person for this story and nothing else.
Lou has had a terrible first day already as she discovers the bodies of the reporter and her injured cameraman on the site she goes to. The cameraman is unable to recount what has happened, but this is just the start of everything about to go down. Throughout the place, on dumpsters and on the bodies of people, the killer has left messages in Latin for the cops to decipher. This is why this movie is so badly written, because it did not occur to anyone to sit down with a pen and paper and try to understand what the killer was saying. They treat these Latin words as graffiti, and it is just irritating to watch. Elsewhere, Vinny and his girlfriend, who we understand to be some common thugs, try to rob a store, but David ends up killing the girlfriend. He would have also killed Vinny, but he was able to escape.
Meanwhile, Lou can sense that someone is keeping a watch on her. Her uniform was stolen while she was taking a shower, and someone clearly broke into her car and destroyed the toy figurine that she had attached to it. She finds the head of that toy in the supermarket when she goes there to rescue the girlfriend. She knows that something is seriously wrong, and she soon finds out what it is. David immediately attacks the two of them while they are in their van, and they are unable to move because of him. David kills Jason, and Lou is forced to call Rick and Russo for help. While Russo also gets stuck in the van with her, Rick is gravely injured by David outside of it. They are unable to call for more backup as all the forces are busy with the skyrocketing crime in the city. While trying to escape David, the three officers hide in the building, where it all started.
What is David’s past?
The building finally reveals what David has been trying to do so far. Once they are inside, David immediately calls Patrick, and he rushes to protect his daughter. While in the building, the officers realize that the killer had been keeping tabs on them and the other person he had killed for a long time. They also find Lou’s thesis pinned to the wall, and that could only mean that David had been stalking Lou for years prior to this. It all finally comes together when they find a video of the night that the building first caught fire. Patrick, Rick, Jason, and Hale were talking about how the fire was by design and not an accident. They had deliberately set the fire for purposes of their own, and David’s family had been an unintentional casualty. Vinny was supposed to check that there was no one in the building, but he had not done his job properly, which led to this. However, even the officers had been apathetic to the situation. The fact is that Patrick stole some drugs from the evidence room to sell to the dealers and make some profit. But when the Internal Affairs department wanted to investigate, they had to stage the fire to erase all evidence of their corruption. It was a plan by the entire group to save their own skin by letting someone else die.
Is David dead or alive?
Somewhere in the entire ordeal faced by David in the past, he ended up losing his mind. He had tried to go into the building to rescue his wife and son, but instead ended up injured with his entire face disfigured. The officers had decided that they would let him take the fall for the fire and move on with their lives. Nobody thought that he would survive the night, but he did and took revenge for his entire purpose of living. We are not sure when he chanced upon Lou. Probably, it was when he was trying to investigate and understand his enemies’ weaknesses, but when he did see her in college, he was quite taken in by the stories of Greek gods and their tales of war and justice, which is how he ended up shaping his mission.
In the building, he ends up killing Patrick while Lou watches, and Russo shoots him dead in retaliation. However, they discover that the dead man was Hale, who was probably being blackmailed by David, or perhaps there was some other reason that we never quite caught on to. Either way, Lou is in danger as David is out to kill her as retribution for what her father did. Lou gathers herself together, and after a deadly game of cat and mouse, she locks him in a room and sets fire to it. But David has some sort of invincibility, and he is proving impossible to kill. But finally, Lou gets the better of him and stabs him down while he is on fire, protecting herself and finishing him off.
During Vindicta‘s ending, we see that everything is over, and David is being sealed up in a body bag. But at that precise moment, he opens his eyes. There are a few ways to see this. Maybe it was a final burst of consciousness before he succumbed to his injuries. Or, like the demi-gods of old, he gained some magical powers due to his ordeal, which made him invincible. Or maybe he is just not dead and still has a few moments of rampage left in him before he is killed for good. It could be any one of these things, but this movie is written in a way that doesn’t make us care too much, so we would be fine with either.
Once again, just because it is a cliche doesn’t mean that it needs to be badly done. We would have settled for average, but Vindicta was a pure waste of screen time. Even the supposed surprise doesn’t excite us. Either way, it is over, and if you managed to watch it till the end, it was a strictly all right experience, and we can all move on to the next good thing.