Stars: Scott Adkins, Lily Ann Stubbs, Wade Barrett, James Cosmo, Daniel Caltagirone, Stephen Marcus, Nick Nevern, Ty Glaser, Sean Cronin, Mark Wingett, Mem Ferda | Written by Nathan Brookes, Bobby Lee Darby | Directed by James Nunn
If there’s ever a phrase that will have me instantly reaching for my wallet it’s “a Scott Adkins film…” Honestly, nine times out of ten I will buy an Adkins film without so much as seeing a trailer. Why? Well because for me, Adkins is keeping the DTV dream alive, picking up the action hard-man mantle from 90s pioneers like Jeff Speakman, Olivier Gruner, Gary Daniels and in particular Jeff Wincott, one of the only other true action heroes to have the same perfect blend of fighting skills, charisma and acting chops as Adkins.
Eliminators sees Adkins re-team with his Green Street 3 director James Nunn (who also co-directed the fab British thriller Tower Block) for a film that tells the story of former US Federal Agent Martin Parker aka Thomas McKenzie (Adkins) is a single dad living a quiet life in London under the witness protection programme with his daughter Carly (Lily Ann Stubbs). However, his past catches up with him after his house is broken into in a high-profile robbery. Martin uses his expert fighting skills to dispatch the three intruders but his actions see his face plastered all over the news, leading his old enemies to come after him once again…
Wht’s that? A London-set action movie, produced in association with the WWE. See, it’s not just the UK wrestling talent that WWE wants a slice of, it’s our acting talent too. To be fair, even though the film is set in the UK, Adkins still plays an American – but here he has a fantastic foil in British wrestler Stu Bennett, here appearing under his former WWE moniker Wade Barrett, who plays a bad-ass hitman sent to kill Adkins and take his daughter. Why couldn’t Barrett have such a “take no prisoners” attitude in the WWE? He obviously has the acting skills to pull off such a tough guy persona and acting in a similar manner to his character in Eliminators would certainly have given his time in the promotion an ever greater edge than he already had (if he was so merciless in the WWE he would surely have been a World Title contender for sure)
Eliminators is everything you’ve come to expect from a good “Scott Adkins” movie (yes, I’m calling that a genre from here on out), it’s packed with action, allowing Adkins to show off both his martial art and gunplay skills; the story, whilst simple, still has an emotional resonance – you REALLY want to see this father succeed in protecting his family; and there are some cracking villains: including Brit acting legend James Cosmo (Game of Thrones, Trainspotting) as, Cooper, the mobster who orders Adkins death, for reasons I won’t go into for fear of spoilers. British film producer Mem Ferda, who produced Jessica Cameron’s Truth or Dare and the upcoming Mania, also gets a rare spotlight infront of the camera in a allbeit brief cameo as a gangster who crosses Cosmo’s Cooper.
Another home run for Adkins, Eliminators is out now on DVD from Altitude Film. A must-buy for action fans.