Dir: George Kirby, Harry Kirby
Star: Scott Adkins, Ray Stevenson, Perry Benson, George Fouracres
Scripts. They’re vastly over-rated. Indeed, this may be a case where the presence of one such, actively devalues the film as a whole, by its embarrassingly wretched nature. I would venture to suggest that abandoning almost all efforts at plot or characterization, replacing them with more top-tier fight sequences, might well lead to a more entertaining product. The makers of this know what they have in Scott Adkins and his pals, who provide hand-to-hand action that’s as good as anything you’ll see out of far bigger productions. Yet they seem, mistakenly, to believe that’s not enough, adding in nonsensical stories and literally shit comedy, because…?
It’s a sequel to Accident Man, and sees our hitman Mike Fallon (Adkins) decamping to Malta, hoping to avoid the fallout of having wiped out the business of his mentor, Big Ray (Stevenson). Naturally, it doesn’t work. His sidekick, Finicky Fred (Benson) is kidnapped by the Zuuzer crime family, to use as leverage on Mike. He’s tasked to protect the family’s scion, Dante (Fouracres) from a slew of assassins who have been commissioned to go to Malta and take him out, including Big Ray. These also range from South African Freya du Preez (Zara Phythian), through a killer who thinks he’s a vampire, to Pogo the Killer Clown (Beau Fowler), wielding a breeze block on a stick and medically impervious to pain.
After the du Preez scene, my concern was, how can they possibly top it? Yet, they do, consistently – and that’s absolutely no diss on Phythian, who is well-known for her abilities. It’s just that the bar keeps getting raised. I’m not sure which I’d call the best. Perhaps Mike vs. Oyumi (Andy Long, who did fight choreography on Indian Die Hard knockoff, Sanak), although the ending is a bit disappointing. You certainly can’t say so about Mike vs. Pogo. There are even bonus entries. To keep himself in practice, Mike has contracted with Wong Siu-ling (Sarah Chang) to attack him, anywhere, anytime, and she does. Except it’s a storyline which never goes anywhere – as well, of course, as being shamelessly stolen from the Pink Panther franchise.
Virtually every non-fighting scene has similar problems. Fred’s quest for his online girlfriend? Irrelevant. The tracking device Dante swallows? There purely for an awful sequence of him straining his bowels noisily over a bucket, then fishing through the runny excrement for the tracker. Either the writer is eight, or is a scat fetishist. I am neither. It’s a real shame. Otherwise, this could easily become my go-to example of choice, to give to people as an illustration of why Adkins is arguably the most under-rated action star in the world. But in all good conscience, I can only recommend it in an edited form, with all the juvenilia taken out. Mind you, there would remain about a 60-minute show-reel of amazing martial arts skills. So still consider it rec’d – providing you keep a finger on the fast-forward.
This review is part of Project Adkins, covering the movies of Scott Adkins.