Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Kickboxer: Vengeance


Check out my new review of Kickboxer: Vengeance over at Far East Films.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

China O'Brien 2


Check out my new review of China O'Brien 2 over at Far East Films.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Tekken 2


Check out my new review of Tekken 2 over at Far East Films.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Hard Target 2


Check out my new review of Hard Target 2 over at Far East Films.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Wolf Warrior


Check out my new review of Wolf Warrior over at Far East Films.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Camino


Check out my new review of Camino over at Blueprint Review.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Close Range


CLOSE RANGE (2015)

Directed by
: Isaac Florentine
Screenplay: Chad Law & Shane Dax Taylor
Starring: Scott Adkins, Nick Chinlund, Caitlin Keats, Jake La Botz

Action dream team Adkins and Florentine are back at it with the hard boiled, super charged Close Range. Honing their fine action movie skills to almost perfection they deliver a tough edged action blast that may be streamlined on narrative but is busting at the seams with expertly handled fight and firepower scenes.

Adkins is Colton MacReady: you know the type – tough, fight skilled, ex-soldier, man of few words and a dab hand at taking out the bad guys. No sooner has the flick started than MacReady has taken down various Cartel goons in a glorious one take shot that starts in an elevator, continues down a hallway and ends with a muscular tussle in a hotel room. He’s there to rescue his niece who has been kidnapped by the local scuzzy Cartel. He does so quick smart and high tails it back to his sister’s ranch to deliver her daughter safe and sound. No sooner has he done this, the Cartel show up demanding revenge and the return of some high value flash drive MacReady inadvertently made off with during all the fighting. Throw in some dirty cops, a ranch under siege and enough action to sear your eyeballs and leave a huge grin on your face, and you have Close Range.


This is the type of film Cool Target is all about: lean, mean and stuffed to the gills with expertly staged action. With just enough set up and character motivation to build the siege aspect around, Adkins and Florentine then unleash a torrent of ever mounting action as the heroes fight desperately to stay alive. The two know what they’re doing in this genre by now and waste no time in staging action nirvana. There’s a mean edge to the action and proceedings meaning there is a true sense of a fight for survival, more than a few nods to Sergio Leone (with a great tangy western score adding to this vibe) and some solid support from the likes of Nick Chinlund, Jake La Botz and Caitlin Keats who handles all the gunfire just as well as Adkins as his tough but loving sister.


Florentine’s style is woven throughout from his trademark swoosh noise, slick camerawork and spot on scene construction: not a scene is wasted, action or otherwise, in terms of shot placement, character positioning and either driving the action or drama forward. Yet it is the action no doubt most of us will come for and boy does it excel. Adkins and Florentine seem to just want to showcase as much as possible on their admittedly slim budget and propel proceedings with fluidly shot action scenes. Along with all the ace fighting, Florentine piles on a surprisingly amount of welcome gunplay and the siege element frames the escalating carnage well. And what about the fights? They are glorious: tough and rough and most important, staged, shot and edited with clarity for maximum impact. The standout is a one-on-one tussle between MacReady and bad guy Cruz (played by fight choreographer Jeremy Marinas) that is blisteringly brutal, intricate and spectacular.

Close Range is a straightforward action blast with a director and star doing what they do best making it heaps of action fun. MacReady is also character that deserves a sequel: Close Range 2 please.


Friday, 15 July 2016

Police Story: Lockdown


Check out my new review of Police Story: Lockdown over at Blueprint Review.

Friday, 3 June 2016

The Trust

 The Trust

Check out my new review of the really rather good The Trust over at Blueprint Review.

Friday, 27 May 2016

One Million K(l)icks


ONE MILLION K(L)ICKS (2015)

Directed by: Alex Pardutt & Oliver Juhrs
Written by: Marco Theiss, Story: Mike Moller & Marco Theiss
Starring: Mike Moller, Martin Baden, Bartholomeaus Kowalski, Volkram Zshiesche, Sabine Steinbech, Yanlong Li

Fast and furious martial arts action is front and centre in the low budget but very slick and action packed One Million K(l)icks. Stunt guy and all round super screen fighter Mike Moller gets to showcase his considerable fight skills in a barrage of energetic action scenes that make One Million K(l)icks some must see martial arts mayhem. 


Moller aptly stars as Mike, a down on his luck dude who is a wash out with the ladies, estranged from his father and looking for a bit of fortune to come his way. This fortune comes along in the form of a couple of shady business douches (Baden and KowalskI) who happening upon Mike’s considerable fight skills set him up as an internet star: streaming Mike fighting various opponents over the web. Mike has one condition, that all the potential fighters will provide a worthy fight: which they do as he takes on a series of increasingly skilled fighters. Internet fames beckons and the money rolls in but after a fight with a once renowned fighter (turned chef!) ends with Mike questioning his motives and a follow up fight leaving him severely injured, he decides it’s time to get out while he can. But with his shady business “partners” reluctant to give up their cash cow and a slimy cop hot on his trail, Mike has to fight one more time in order to break free.

Having performed stunts on the likes of Resident Evil, Unknown and Pound of Flesh, One Million K(l)icks is basically a showcase for Moller’s considerable fight and acrobatic talents, and what a showcase it is. While produced on what must have been a limited budget the film often looks slick (nicely shot and cut together) and delivers a flurry of wickedly choreographed fights. Action junkies will certainly get their fix (as this action junkie certainly did - if watching the English dub version!) with some impressively staged fights that see Moller taking on a variety of expert fighters. Particularly memorable are a scrap in a kitchen and a bar room brawl that incorporate all kinds of bootwork, acrobatic skills and takedowns. The fights scenes are fast and fluid, clean and crisp and sustained and satisfying. Despite a slight dip in fight action around the hour mark the filmmakers wisely pace the film with frequent bouts of memorable martial arts action.


While the narrative is fairly straightforward, presumably in effort to showcase the action, there is a nice turn of events where the renowned fighter (turned chef!) Mike originally takes down comes to his aid, retraining him after his injuries and the two share good chemistry. The sub plots of Mike’s blossoming romance with a nurse and his troubled relationship with his father don’t always work and clog up the second half unnecessarily. However, all the cast perform decently, there’s a nice bit of comedy peppered throughout (meaning events aren’t always taken too seriously) and the bad guys are suitably slimy and sneery. The lack of budget does show on occasion (and the obvious dubbing may irk some - if watching the English dub version!) but One Million K(l)icks is overall a slick package that showcases Moller skills to considerable effect and delivers a ton of incredible martial arts combat.

The end titles also promise a sequel Two Million K(l)icks - Hong Kong Death Match: bring it!