The Eliminator's (2016)
Fight Choreographer- Tim Man
Directed By- James Nunn
Starring- Scott Adkins, Stu Bennet, Ty Glaser, James Cosmo, Olivia Mace, Daniel Caltagirone,
Plot Snyopsis- When a criminal gang looking for drug money, invade the wrong house due to an error. Former U.S Federal agent and widower Thomas(Scott Adkins), is forced to blow the cover of his witness protection. When he fight's the crooks, and the police arrest him for murder. Putting his face all over the media, attracting the unwanted attention of an old acquaintance and big time arms dealer Cooper(James Cosmo). Who hires Bishop(Stu Bennet), Europes top assassin, to track down Thomas and his daughter.
"Oi you, there's ten grand for you, if you knock him out for me"
2016 was another busy year for West-Midlands Warrior Scott Adkins. The Eliminator's was the last of eight films he would appear in, from Doctor Strange and Grimsby to Hard Target 2, to name a few. Along with the Boyka: Undisputed, this was one of his best movies that year. Produced by WWE studios, which might, put some non wrestling fan's off this title. They shouldnt let this be the case though, having watched a number of WWE productions, this has to be one of their strongest efforts. Sure it's no movie making masterpiece, but it delivers what you would expect from a movie featuring Adkins as the star. Directed by James Nunn(Green Street 3: Hooligans, Tower Block), Nunn is no stranger to his star attraction, having worked with Scott on Green Street 3.
6' 6" Ex bare knuckle boxing champion, marine biologist and former WWE wrestler Stu Bennet, makes for a more than formidable assassin. Bennet was no stranger to acting, having appeared in 2013's Dead Man Down, starring Colin Farrell. Along with a number of T.V show appearances in the States. He's also starred in British actioner Vengeance(2017), alongside Brit-Kicker Gary Daniels. Which only recenlty premiered in New York, and is set for a London premiere in March. Just hope he's as good playing the hero, as he is playing the villain in Eliminators.
The movie opens with ripped former U.S agent Tom, going through a morning workout. He's up before the alarm clock goes off, he's that dedicated, or is he just unable to sleep due to being haunted by past events?. One of the nagatives of this production for me, is the attempt to use American accents for some of the characters. Bennets role doesnt have this issue, but Adkins is forced to drop his English accent. While he does a decent job of this, it would be much better to see him use own unique voice. This wont be a problem in his latest movie The Accident Man, a comic book adaptation that he both produces and stars in. Back to this flick, when a gang of two bit thugs break into his new home. Tom eliminates the trio faster than a Bryan Mills throat chop.
"Your a worthy adversay, Ill give you that"
Fight choreography wizard Tim Man(Acts Of Vengeance, Ninja Shadow Of A Tear) created and directed the films brief and desperate fights. The action here, is sharp, crisp, and economic, you dont see guys standing around waiting to be kicked in the face multiple times. Unlike the Raid movies, where you could argue the choreography borders on overkill a lot of the time. Some might say this isnt Scott Adkins best action display, but I feel it stands up with the rest of his physical performances. There's short but intense two on one brawl in a cramped cable car over London. With our hero faces of with two guys who fancy collecting a nice finacial reward, for Tom's capture. The real action highlights for me are the two one on one encounters, between Tom and hitman Bishop. Which I'll get back to later in this ramble.
Veteran Scottish actor James Cosmo(Braveheart, Troy, London Heist) might be getting on in years, but he's still a commanding force on-screen. Despite being given little to do in terms of the script, he stills manages to project a sinister presence in the movie. Not many actors, could pull this off, if they were given the same minor part. Actress Ty Glaser does a fine job of playing social worker Stacey, who looks after Toms daughter. Olivia Mace puts in a nice turn as a sinister character Hannah, who works for gangster Cooper. Apart from those two minor roles, there's isnt a big female presence among the cast. Special mention should go to Daniel Caltagirone, who does a fine job playing Ray, Tom old Federal Agent friend, who helps him out. The pair appear in one of my favorite scenes. When Tom and Ray are in a safe house, with a bullit proof armoured door. Bishop is forced to use other means in order to get at the pair. It's a well staged sequence that builds the tension nicely.
"It's been fun, but this fight is over"
There's a good pace to this movie, and it never feels like it dips. For an independent picture filmed with limited time and money, they really made the most of what they had. At least it appears that way in the watching the finnished product. A lot of the production is shot at night, which is always cheaper than shooting during the day. Stu Bennet like Adkins, is a natural on-screen, and he's very convincing as a rough cold but dedicated hitman. Both characters are very determined and don't intend to give up so easily. It gives the movie a nice cat and mouse like feel to it. When the two finally go one on one, it's not a dispointing dust up. Tim Man has intergrated a few Pro Wrestling moves seamlessy into his fights. Whenever a Wrestler appears in an action movie, there's often a moment where you will see them use a few well known throwdowns. Which often stand out in contrast to the rest of the fight choreography. Here it doesn glaringly stand out so much, and screen combat works all the better for it.
While most of the action is Martial Arts based, theres no shortage of gunplay. Not on the same level as a John Woo movie, but it more than serves it's purpose here. After a brief gun fight, at an old farm house, the setting for Bishop and Tom's final meeting. It's another well put together fight, with that never out stays its welcome. Some might complain its too short, but I personally dont think this is the case. Eliminators is an entertaining DTV production, that's elevated by its two mian stars strong physical performances. Not to mention the many stuntmen, who help to bring it all to life, and risk their necks for a living. If there's one thing I learned from this movie, its this. Find yourself handcuffed to a hospital bed, with a nightmare of a hitman after you. Simply slip the paper lip of a nurses clip board, and you can free yourself in seconds. There's just the small problem of being able to pick a lock. For those few modern martial arts cinema fans that havent checked this out already, you should give it a chance. If your into Scott Adkins movies, its essential viewing.
If you live in the U.K, you can currently buy a brand new copy for just 5.99 from HMV.Com, or you can pick up this and another movie of your choice for just ten pounds.