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1[[quoteright:250:]] ˛-->''"Punish only he who has committed the crime."''˛-->--'''Marcus Aurelius''', ''Meditations''˛˛''Acts of Vengeance'' is a 2017 thriller/martial arts film directed by Isaac Florentine. It stars Creator/AntonioBanderas, Creator/KarlUrban and Creator/PazVega.˛˛Frank Valera (Banderas) is an immensely successful lawyer with a reputation of having a silver tongue. One bad night, however, he returns home to find his wife and little daughter murdered in their car. Seeing his life crumble in front of his eyes, and upon finding out that the cops are completely in the dark with the case, Valera becomes a self-punishing alcoholic that finds solace as a tomato can in an illegal UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts circuit. However, after getting in a street fight while trying a child prostitute, he falls through the window of a discount book store, where he fortuitously grabs Marcus Aurelius' ''Meditations'' to stop the bleeding of a wound. Valera then discovers the ancient philosophy of UsefulNotes/{{Stoicism}}, and resolves to become a killing machine and undergo a vow of silence until he discovers who killed his wife and daughter.˛˛Not to be confused with the 1974 film ''Film/ActOfVengeance''.˛˛!!Tropes in ''Acts of Vengeance'' include:˛* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Valera's narration claims that ancient Stoics took vows of silence to focus on tasks. In reality, while Stoics did value working hard and avoiding idle words, they weren't known for the extreme kind of vow Valera does in the film. Vows of silence were instead done by the Pythagoreans, another philosophical school that was popular in Rome before Stoicism became the hottest thing there.˛* BondVillainStupidity: [[spoiler:In their final showdown, Strode manages to overpower Valera and stab him with a piece of scrap, but instead of cutting his neck right there, he opts to try to choke him out with his arms. Unsurprisingly, Valera throws Strode away and uses the scrap against him, defeating him for good.]]˛* TheCameo: Valera's UsefulNotes/{{Karate}} sensei is played by director Florentine himself.˛* CulturedBadass: Valera becomes one after getting into philosophy. During his TrainingMontage, we can see him studying not only the ''Meditations'', but also Sun Tzu's ''[[Literature/TheArtOfWarSunTzu The Art of War]]'', UsefulNotes/MiyamotoMusashi's ''The Book of Five Rings'', Inazo Nitobe's ''Book of Bushido'', a modern book about Zeno of Citium's lost ''The Republic'', and Herodotus' ''Literature/TheHistories''.˛* CycleOfRevenge: [[spoiler: Valera helps a criminal avoid justice, the criminal murders Strode's daughter, Strode murders Valera's family, Valera seeks to avenge his family and find the real killer.]]˛* PartingWordsRegret: Valera considers the words "I love you" he says to his family the most important words he'll say in the whole day. On the day of his daughter's performance he promises her that he'll be there, but knows that he probably won't be able to keep his promise and doesn't say "I love you" at the end of the call because of guilt. After his family is murdered, he regrets both his empty promise and not saying the important words.˛* PunchClockVillain: While Valera's actions in a firm are implied to be shady from the start, [[spoiler: the final act reveals that he thought nothing about helping dangerous criminals escape prosecution.]] His actions weren't malicious and after the tragedy strikes, he leaves the firm.˛* RevengeByProxy: [[spoiler: To avenge his daughter who was killed because Valera helped a criminal escape justice, Strode kills Valera's family.]]˛* ShoutOut: The Russian mafia, the child prostitute and the protagonist quoting philosophy are likely references to ''Film/TheEqualizer'', a similar 2014 film starring Creator/DenzelWashington.˛* TheStoic: Valera becomes one, both in a literal and a figurative sense.˛* SurprisinglyRealisticOutcome:˛** Valera is beating up dudes until one of them pulls out a gun, which means troubles for you not matter how good of an unarmed martial artist you are.˛** During the final fight, [[spoiler:Valera initially holds his own nicely, but being substantially older and much less experienced in real fighting than Strode, he ultimately fails to beat him.]]


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