You've strayed quite far from Middle Earth, Orlando!
5/10 - Orlando Bloom gives his best performance to date, but this is a harrowing watch that some viewers might find disturbing
Release Date: 
Sunday, March 28, 2021
Written by: 

Orlando Bloom plays a demolition worker battling the demons in his past in this hard-hitting drama.


The release of Retaliation – also known as Romans – has been a long time coming.

Orlando Bloom filmed this hard-hitting drama in late 2015 and it had its premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2017, and it has somehow taken four years to get a U.K. release.

The Lord of the Rings actor stars as Malky, who is haunted by the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a priest when he was only 12 years old.

He is a deeply troubled and tormented man who struggles to control his rage and anger or have a committed, monogamous relationship with Emma (Janet Montgomery) and is physically violent towards himself and others.

The horrors of his past come to the forefront more than ever as Malky and his demolition team are tasked with knocking down the church he attended as a child and the priest moves back to town.


Make sure you’re in the right frame of mind when you watch Retaliation because it really is a depressing, gruelling, and harrowing watch.

Certain scenes – particularly of Malky punishing himself physically – are horrifying and disturbing and hard to forget.

This is easily the best performance in Bloom’s career and it is so different from the roles he usually plays, with it proving that he can do this kind of sombre, bleak drama.

He throws his all into the challenging part and does well at physically embodying a cold man filled with pent-up rage and long-nurtured resentment and a massive chip on his shoulder, but his range was a bit limited on the emotional side and lacked the amount of nuance and subtlety the role really needed.

The final scenes of Retaliation - which are shocking and gripping - should have delivered a devastating gut-punch and could have done so in much more capable hands.

Bloom doesn’t have the range to do the role justice and it was so hard to connect with such a horrible person, so it didn’t have the emotional impact it could have done.

Retaliation is a difficult, distressing film to watch. Consider yourself warned!

Released on digital platforms on Friday 26th March.

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