A low rent action flick, “Vigilante Diaries” has little to recommend it. The writing is incoherent, and the cinematography tries to be cool but comes off amateurish. Fight choreography is patchy, hindered by the poor skills of Paul Sloan, who plays the title character. He takes on the Armenian mob, personified by Andreas (fairly well played by Arman Nshanian).
There are attempts to write interesting characters, but only the arch villain, Barrington, rings true, perhaps due to the surprisingly good acting of martial artist and actor Michael Jai White. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson of UFC fame, who starred as BA Barracus in the A-Team movie (which I still haven’t seen) does a creditable job, but his character is pretty stock, except for one humorous scene that he stretches to pull off.
The female characters are boring. They fight (mostly each-other), and the Vigilante’s love interest Jade (the gorgeous Jacqueline Lord), though used as a pawn by Barrington to lure the Vigilante to Armenia, is able to escape her captors unaided. But, like the other throw away female characters in the film, she gets tossed aside in the final act, a bizarre save the world subplot that comes out of nowhere.
Overall, this film is a mess. Kudos to Quinton Jackson for pulling one of the better good guy portrayals and some humor. Maybe he should have been given the lead. I’m not sure he could have pulled it off, but at least he has the fighting skills Paul Sloan lacks. I’m really interested to see if Michael Jai White goes places, and that says a lot, considering I’d recommend that you don’t waste your time with Vigilante Diaries.