HELL HATH NO FURY (2021) Reviews of female-focused action war movie

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Hell Hath No Fury is a 2021 action war film about a woman who single-handedly takes on the might of the three male armies: the German war machine, the French resistance, and a wayward band of US infantrymen.

Directed by Jesse V. Johnson (White Elephant; Debt Collectors; The Mercenary; Triple Threat; The Butcher 2009) from a screenplay co-written by Katharine Lee McEwan and Romain Serir. Produced by Erken Ialgashev (executive producer).

The American-French-Kazakhstani-Belarusian co-production stars Nina Bergman, Daniel Bernhardt, Josef Cannon, Charles Fathy, Luke LaFontaine and Louis Mandylor.

Plot:
Branded a traitor by her countrymen, French national Marie DuJardin (Nina Bergman) is rescued by American soldiers on one condition: to survive, she must lead them to a cache of gold hunted by the Nazis, the French resistance, and the Americans alike…

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Our review:
Director Jesse Johnson’s female-fronted WWII grab-that-gold actioner skews a little closer to a twist on Treasure of the Sierra Madre than Kelly’s Heroes: ethically twisted folks are driven by greed to betray each other amidst the collapsing Third Reich.

Marie DuJardin (Nina Bergman, offscreen a model-singer-vegan-activist; Milla Jovovich evidently set the bar fairly high) is, apparently, mistress to a powerful SS officer Von Bruckner (Daniel Bernhardt), who has set aside a gold stash for his planned postwar escape.

After the liberation of Paris, Marie is one of many women branded traitors and shamed for consorting sexually with the Nazi invaders (her hair is cut off in public, leaving the actress virtually, fetchingly bald most of the run time – Sigourney Weaver in Alien3 and Demi Moore in G.I. Jane also evidently set the bar fairly high).

Immediately after that humiliation, Marie is taken hostage by a small band of renegade American G.I.s led by Major Maitland (Louis Mandylor), who threatens further brutality if Marie does not lead them to Von Bruckner’s gold. Flashbacks fill in blanks for viewers on complications in what should be a straightforward treasure hunt: Marie was really supposed to be working undercover for the French Resistance against Von Bruckner, but had to improvise when the French bungled the Nazi’s attempted assassination.

And what if Von Bruckner isn’t really dead? And what if the gold is still there in its cemetery hiding-place, for the taking?

This last proposition is a particularly hard one to swallow, but if one can accept it, there is an okay, borderline-grindhouse wrapup, as the picture resolves into a gory battle in the small cemetery. Involved are fleeing SS remnants, one or two morally compromised Free French, those greedy Yanks, and of course Marie. Over it hovers the question of whether she really is an unjustly accused, grievously abused and secretly courageous heroine or a scheming femme fatale whose actions and allegiances serve nobody’s purpose but her own.

Should that give one reason to sit through the CGI-assisted blood spurts and bullet exit wounds, then there is value to be had in Hell Hath No Fury. It is only a minor spoiler here that the Black American fellow who seems to be the only halfway decent person in view gets killed early on; a peculiarity of filmmaking racial attitudes usually dictates that such a likeable character is saved for next-to-last slaughter in the casualty count – I’ve seen that one so often I would not be surprised if the Lumiere brothers started it.
Charles Cassady Jr, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:
“In terms of flaws, I’d say that it takes a little while before the action kicks in but it needs to give us time to get to know the characters and their motivations […] Overall, Hell Hath No Fury may not be as action-packed as Avengement or Triple Threat but Nina Bergman and Daniel Bernhardt especially stand out and there are plentiful vicious R rated kills to keep action fans happy.” The Action Elite

Hell Hath No Fury is exactly the type of movie I would expect from Jesse V. Johnson. If you are a fan, this is an easy recommendation. I do think the movie is a bit too predictable, but it is still a lot of fun. Daniel Bernhardt steals every scene he is in, and he only gets better with age.” Bulletproof Action

“A little rough around the edges, maybe not to everyone’s taste, and perhaps not as straight-up fun as some of his other more crowd-pleasing films (The Debt Collector, Avengement), Hell Hath No Fury is nevertheless another great notch on Johnson’s action belt, a surprisingly dark drama, and a great showcase for lead Bergman.” Far East Films

YouTube reviews:

Trailer:

Interview:

Release:
In the US, Well Go Entertainment released Hell Hath No Fury theatrically on November 5 and on Digital on November 9, 2021.

Cast and characters:
Nina Bergman … Marie DuJardin
Daniel Bernhardt … Von Bruckner
Josef Cannon … PFC Vic
Charles Fathy
Luke LaFontaine
Louis Mandylor … Major Maitland
Timothy V. Murphy
Dominiquie Vandenberg

Technical details:
1 hour 34 minutes

Related:
Army of One (2020)

Notes:
Not to be confused with Nicholas Grant’s 2021 film of the same name.

Fun facts:
The phrase “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” originates from the quote “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor Hell a fury like a woman scorned” in English playwright William Congreve’s tragedy The Mourning Bride (1697).

Suggested double-bill:
Army of One (2020)

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