‘Sanctioning Evil’ Ending, Explained: Why Did Virginia Let Barnes, Dakota, and Seth Go Free?

In his most recent work, “Sanctioning Evil,” director Ante Novakovic made an attempt to raise the issue of child trafficking but failed miserably in building the drama or suspense that was required for the genre. He started out with strong character development that quickly faded away as the plot proceeded with additional storylines. The characters played by the actors did not have any effect on the narrative of the story. Let’s now briefly discuss the plot of the movie.

Spoilers Ahead


What Happens In The ‘Sanctioning Evil’ Film?

The first scene of “Sanctioning Evil” takes place in a courtroom, which deals with various events that have happened in Afghanistan in the background. In one of these scenes, a soldier is shocked to see a little boy armed with a gun. Since it had been passed down to him from his father, the young child refused to put down the rifle he was holding. But, the troops kept calling him to put the rifle down multiple times throughout the interaction. However, during that tense moment, a boy scout by the name of Jimmy Varin lost his temper and shot the little boy. The child was pronounced dead on the spot, and a commission was established to investigate whether Sergeant Barnes (Tobias Truvillion), who was in command of the operation, had committed any errors. The commission finally reached its conclusion and held Barnes accountable for the death of a young child, and as a result, he and the rest of his associates were all terminated from their positions. Even their ranks, along with all the perks that came with those, were stripped off from them. After some time had passed, a congressman by the name of Dakota, played by Zach McGowan, extended an offer of assistance to Barnes, but Barnes declined it.

Eight months later, Barnes lived in a small house with his mother. Dakota had written to him during these months, to which he never replied. But he soon got frustrated with having no income and having bills to pay, so he ended up calling Dakota. Dakota appeared to be ready for this call because when his security informed him, he quickly shut off all his office work and got ready to meet with Barnes. When Barnes got there, Dakota told him that he knew some criminals by their names and offered him the task of killing them. He told Barnes that while good people like him were going through hard times every day, bad people were living their lives the way they wanted to. Soon we are introduced to Dakota’s brother Seth (Kyle Travis Sharp), who used to be an alcoholic but has recently started going to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings. There, he met an alcoholic FBI agent named Dani (Taryn Manning).

Seth and his brother talked Barnes into killing the criminals, but Barnes had his own thoughts. When he was young, someone took his sister Diane and killed her. Dakota had given Barnes the task of doing away with criminals who had the same track record of either kidnapping or torturing children. So, Barnes took the job to exact revenge for his sister’s death and also because he thought he could finally catch the person who had killed his sister. As time went on, the killings started causing more problems. Soon after, Virginia, a powerful woman in the government, called Dakota, Barnes, and Seth to come to her office. She told them that she had a video of Barnes and Seth killing people. Since she also wanted these criminals to be taken out of the world, she offered to hire them to kill the people as she saw fit instead of handing them over to the police.


‘Sanctioning Evil’ Ending, Explained: Why Did Virginia Let Barnes, Dakota, and Seth Go Free?

Dakota used to work with Virginia, but he wasn’t aware of who Virginia was. Virginia was watching Dakota and following his movements. Virginia’s husband was involved in this trafficking business, so she felt like she owed it to the victims to bring justice by killing the people involved in the horrible crime. So, Virginia had her own team dealing with such criminal activities. She soon found out about Dakota’s plannings to do the same as soon as he met Barnes. The next day, she ran into Dakota, but he didn’t recognize her. Dakota and Barnes were almost done locating the giants behind the trafficking operation, and Seth wanted to join them on the mission. Dakota and Seth had never killed anyone directly until now. But Seth joined Barnes on his mission to kill the people who uploaded videos of children being abused. They didn’t know that Seth’s AA meeting friend Dani had followed them. She filmed them being killed and sent the video to her aunt.

In the end, it turned out to be Virginia. Seth and Barnes were very lucky that Virginia shared their goal because if she hadn’t, they would have gone to jail. Virginia wanted them to keep working, but she wanted them to be more careful. She also said that from then on, she would tell them the names of the people who had to be killed. She also put Dakota in charge of the state. It seemed like Dakota was tired of Seth’s mistake of making friends with an FBI agent, as he seemed offended. Dakota, on the other hand, asked Barnes to go with him to Washington, DC, for some important business. For political reasons, he had to move to Washington, DC, for a while because he was going to be Governor soon, all thanks to Virgina and her connections within the government. Maybe the next person on the list of Virginia is a member of the government. This could be why she used her power to get Dakota elected as the Governor. She knew that if Dakota held a more important office in the government, he could help her find all the major people who were involved in trafficking children. And with Barnes’s help, they could kill each and every one of them.


“Sanctioning Evil” is a 2022 action thriller film directed by Ante Novakovic.

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Shovan Roy
Shovan Roy
Shovan Roy is a creative content writer. Formerly he used to write film reviews on an international film festival website named Beyond the Curve International Film Festival. He also interviewed global directors. He also interviewed one of the characters from the show 'Trailer Park Boys', Mr. Bernard Robichaud, platformed in Netflix. Shovan tends to write through the third person narrative and he loves to do psychoanalysis. He can't say that he has mastered it but that is some sort of hobby of his. Film is a platform where he loves to spend most of his time learning.

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