11th Jul2019

‘Incoming’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Scott Adkins, Aaron McCusker, Michelle Lehane, Vahidin Prelic, Lukas Loughran, Alaa Safi, Milan Kovacevic, Arkie Reece, Vladimir Aleksic, Milan Jovanovic Strongman, James MacCallum, Dominic Power | Written by Jorge Saralegui | Directed by Eric Zaragoza

incoming-poster

The third of this week’s Scott Adkins film reviews couldn’t be more different from the rest, insomuch that Incoming takes place in an alternate future, one where the International Space Station has been turned into the ultimate black site prison. Being in space means no one’s getting out; and no one knows it’s there. But when the imprisoned terrorists, who have suffered years of mental and physical abuse by the prison’s “warden” (Lukas Loughran), take over the Station and turn it into a missile aimed at Moscow – to complete the mission they started five years prior – blowing up likes of Big Ben, as seen in the films opener.

Adkins steps into the picture as Reiser, a CIA agent who is tasked with checking out the prison to determine if the rumours of abuse and neglect are true. He’s accompanied by a pilot, Bridges (Aaron McCusker), and psychiatric doctor Stone, played by Michelle Lehane – who, in a moment of well-meaning stupidity, releases the prisoners…

It’s not only the fact this film is a sci-fi movie that makes it different from the other two Adkins films we’ve reviewed this week. It’s release makes it different too. Whereas Triple Threat and Avengement arrived with some fanfare and debuted on DVD and Digital, Incoming sneaked out onto VOD platforms, like iTunes where I found it, without so much as a wimper.

There’s a reason for that of course. Incoming feels a long way from the polished, yet still direct to market, films Adkins appears in today – in fact it feels more like a film from much earlier in his career, where he is used as the films muscle rather than a central character, the focus of the film if you will. The fact Incoming arrived direct to VOD is also probably due to the films low budget – with the film, despite its outer space setting, amounting to little more than a few sets and a few corridors, all of which look on a par with the likes of Red Dwarf’s early years!

Yes depsite all that, what’s actually intriguing about Incoming, especially given how lacklustre the rest of the script feels, is the fact that there’s no clear line between bad guy and good guy. Like the space station itself, all the characters are painted in shades of grey. Yes, the space station is filled with six members of a terrorist group AND they decide to use the space station as a weapon, but said group have been tortured for info for 5 years by the obviously power-mad idiot running the place. I’d call that even-stevens really… Even Adkins, who works for the CIA (surely the good guys right?), isn’t squeaky clean. He’s quick to kill anyone, anyone(!), that gets in his way whether they’re fighting back or not. He also knows who the leader of the terrorists is before he arrives but neglects to let anyone else in on the secret – leading to this whole mess. Well, it’s not all on Adkins, the stupid do-good doctor is the one that sets all this in motion and she doesn’t really face any consequences for the havok and death her actions result in!

And that’s the other problem. Everyone in this film is so damn unlikeable. Even Adkins. Obviously the terrorists are supossed to be unlikeable and so is the power-mad warden of the black site but is Michelle Lehane’s doctor supposed to be? Because she is. She REALLY is. Then there’s Bridges, the pilot, whose character is so under-written there’s zero reason for the audience to invest in his well being; and yet the b*stard ends up being unlikeable after locking Adkins’ CIA agent in a corridor with one of the terrorists to save his own skin! Though to be fair said fight between Reiser and the terrorist at that point is actually a highlight of the film.

Said issues mean though that there’s no-one to root for, no hero to will on to win. And the hero, well more like anti-hero, we are presented with in Scott Adkins’ Reiser… Well I’m not going to spoil his character arc here. Let’s just say I was left feeling INCREDIBLY frustrated and more than a little p*ssed off!

I’m loathe to say Incoming is a bad film. It’s honestly not. It just suffers incredibly due to the low-budget and lack of likeable characters. In fact I’d be more likely to say this is… disappointing… more than anything else. See for yourself, the film is out now on iTunes and Amazon Prime.

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