In the world of DTV action films one name I look for is Scott Adkins, apart from being a solid performer, he usually has good judgment in accepting projects. One name I tend to avoid is WWE Studios, their output tends to be very sub-par and generic. So what happens when Scott Adkins stars in a film for WWE Studios?
Former federal agent Thomas (Scott Adkins) and his daughter Carly (Lily Ann Harland-Stubbs) have been stashed in London by the witness protection program. One night three goons looking for stolen drugs mistakenly break into his apartment attacking him and threatening his daughter. Despite taking a beating he kills all three of them before passing out. He wakes up in the hospital charged with three counts of murder. The news coverage brings him to the attention of Cooper (James Cosmo) who recognizes him as the agent who was undercover in his organization. He hires the best assassin in Europe, Bishop (Stu Bennett or as he’s known to wrestling fans Wade Barrett) to kill him. Thomas needs to find his daughter and save both their asses.
The problem here is the script, it has so many unbelievable elements and conservative talking points that it undercuts itself constantly. We’re supposed to believe that after being found in his own home surrounded by three dead goons Thomas would be charged with their murder or accept the demonization of social services for taking his daughter even though he’s hospitalized let alone charged with murder. I guess they should have left the child on her own. Watching the “best assassin in Europe” standing in a crowd firing off round after round with no attempt to hide his face makes me wonder how he’s avoided the police so long. And what are the odds of these thugs getting not only the wrong apartment but his apartment?
Granted the plot isn’t the drawing point of these films, it’s the action scenes, and Eliminators does deliver the goods here. James Nunn does a much better job of directing here than his previous teaming with Adkins Green Street Hooligans: Underground. The scenes between Adkins and Bennett/Barrett are excellent even if at times they feel more like a “falls count anywhere in the building” match than a cinematic fight. Cinematographer Luke Bryant (not the country singer) helps with some wonderfully atmospheric shots to set up the action.
If you can deal with the problems in the script, this is a good film. For those to whom the script really matters there are going to be some major issues. It’s certainly worth a watch once it hits Netflix, whether it’s worth a VOD or DVD cash outlay is another matter.