“Vengeance” Trailer Digs Up Mysteries and Laughs in West Texas

Just when it seemed like all true crime and true crime parodies had been covered, along comes B.J. Novak (The Office) with a new twist.

Vengeance marks his feature debut as a writer-director. He also stars as Ben, a podcaster who travels to Texas to attend the funeral of an ex-lover. When her brother (Boyd Holbrook) insists her death was no accident, he recruits Ben to solve the seemingly non-existent mystery. What starts as a story to mock these country bumpkins turns into real danger when their lives are threatened.

While the Texas-set film was filmed in New Mexico, it looks like Novak (a Boston native) got many of the details right, including the Texas-Texas Tech rivalry, love of trucks and obsession with Whataburger. The excellent cast includes J. Smith Cameron, Issa Rae and Ashton Kutcher in his first major film role since 2014's Jobs. Jason Blum produces, making this among the handful of non-horror films under the Blumhouse banner.

Vengeance arrives in theaters on July 29. Check out the trailer below.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.