Soft-spoken, hard-eyed, and traveler of a million rough-and-tumble miles, Sam Elliott plays Calvin Dexter, an ex-army special forces warrior who served as a tunnel rat in Vietnam. Armed with a .45 and a flashlight, these guys faced enemies and traps as they wound through miles of underground tunnels. In AVENGER, Dexter is grieving over his daughter's murder and putting his gun out for hire to people who have had loved ones murdered by predators the law won't touch. Contracted by Stephen Edmonds, an affluent businessman, Dexter travels to Bosnia to find out what happened to Edmonds's grown son. Then he has to travel to South Africa and confront a covert op team put into place by the United States to bag his prey.
Sam Elliott is one of those guys you just don't forget. His presence on the screen -- whether as cowboy (THE SACKETTS, CONAGHER), cop (FATAL BEAUTY, SHAKEDOWN), military officer (THE HULK), or hunk (LIFEGUARD) -- leaves a lasting impression. Frederick Forsyth, bestselling author of several thrillers (AVENGER, THE DOGS OF WAR) wrote the book the movie was based on.
I'm a Sam Elliott fan. The man can simply do no wrong in my eyes. I loved him in THE SACKETTS and in MASK (he co-starred with Cher), and I enjoyed him in AVENGER. The made-for-TV movie is a solid piece of work, not like the over-the-top action of "24," but a nice movie to watch and relax while enjoying a story that grips you enough and a character that warms to you. Although the movie doesn't have the frentic pacing of many of today's films, and doesn't rely on a lot of violence or computer generated effects (I love those too, but they are a different venue), it delivers a great story. The scene cuts and movement through the various viewpoint characters is solid as well, pushing the story along quickly.
People who might find Jack Bauer too violent or too unbelievable will probably enjoy AVENGER. And for Elliott's many fans, this is another dependable delivery.