Scott Adkins

THE LEGEND OF HERCULES

Oh, January. It’s like we don’t even need any other months when the first one can supply us with such strong contenders for the best of the year and the worst of the year. Guess which category The Legend of Hercules falls under. Hint: it’s not playing at Sundance. I know, it’s too early to be sure that this will fall on our list of the most awful movies of 2014, and we’ve got another Hercules movie out this summer from Brett Ratner, so you know it could actually get much worse. At least that competing blockbuster has The Rock as its lead, promising a charisma that Legend star Kellan Lutz just completely lacks. Not that more personality would have made this movie a lot better, but it could have used someone with more appeal than if they’d just cast an actual rock in the role of the demigod. This is supposed to be a legendary figure, after all. Until this movie, Lutz was best known for being a regular in the Twilight movies. Those are movies I’ve seen and, I have no shame in saying, sometimes enjoyed. And yet I have absolutely no memory of his presence or character in that series. That’s how unimpressive he is as an actor. He kind of reminds me of Sam Worthington, only without the talent. In The Legend of Hercules, he’s occasionally part of a large battle scene, and whether he’s wearing a helmet or not doesn’t matter; he never stands out. Nor does […]

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Ninja 2

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Ninja 2

American movies are messy, always shot so that you can’t actually see what is going on. I’m paraphrasing Ninja: Shadow of a Tear director Isaac Florentine, whose introduction to the premiere of his new movie at Fantastic Fest came packaged with a mission statement about what martial arts movies should be. In a refreshing and long-winded moment of honesty, the Israeli-born director who has studied martial arts for 40+ years in places like Sweden, spoke about the way the Japanese and Chinese shoot their fight scenes and how that has become a driving force in his visual style. A style on full display as he once again throws British ass-kicker Scott Adkins into the role of an American expatriate ninja warrior whose circumstances force him to seek revenge upon a drug lord in Burma. “The man who seeks revenge should dig two graves,” he’s told. “They’re going to need a lot more than that,” he responds.

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Editor’s note: This review originally ran as part of our Fantastic Fest 2012 coverage, and since Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning in now playing in limited release, we reckon it’s a good time to repost it. As if slipping into a nine-year coma isn’t bad enough, John’s extended nap was preceded by the murders of his wife and daughter. He does not have the best of luck. As he begins to regain his memory, after waking from the coma he was beaten into at the end of a crowbar, John begins to hunt for his wife’s killer. All the while, mercenaries of highly advanced skills begin to stalk him, and the mysteries of his own past come spin-kicking to the surface. Spoiler: Universal Soldiers are involved. When John Hyams brought Universal Soldier: Regeneration to Fantastic Fest in 2009, expectations were hovering somewhere around the stickiest parts of the theater floor. That is no reflection upon Hyams, it’s just that the series, unlike the characters that populated the first film, seemed far too dead to revive. But what we got was an adrenaline shot to the heart of the franchise that reunited its legendary leads and gave us a reason to be fans again. Now, with the re-return of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren, and burgeoning action hero Scott Adkins (Undisputed III, The Expendables 2) added into the mix, anticipation was decidedly higher for the next chapter. And perhaps that’s where the issue lie.

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The Expendables 2

Sylvester Stallone‘s The Expendables undeniably got a lot of people excited when it was first announced. It sounded like a dream come true but the stark reality of it was somewhat more disappointing. It was entertaining, but nearly as great as it could have/should have been. With the second coming of The Expendables, excitement was still high, but tempered by the slight sting of the first. For a lot of people, dreams came true – The Expendables 2 was a vast improvement over the first, offering up more mayhem and one-liners than anyone thought possible, making it super easy to find 10 Badass Moments we loved. Of course, spoilers follow, but if you’re brave enough, check out the best badass the film had to offer, after the break.

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Scott Adkins

Today, The Expendables 2 comes crashing into movie theaters across the country like a tank. With its Herculean roster of action legends, one name you might not yet recognize on the poster is that of Scott Adkins. We must stress, the “yet.” Adkins is currently fighting his way, literally, up the action cinema food chain. He appeared in such films as Ninja and The Bourne Ultimatum. He wowed many of us with his turn as vicious prisoner brawler Yuri Boyka in the Undisputed franchise. In Undisputed III: Redemption, he held his own with Mirageman himself, Marko Zaror. In addition to The Expendables 2, Adkins will again star alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren in Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, the “fourth” film in the franchise that was just announced as part of the second wave of this year’s Fantastic Fest. Not one to slow down, Adkins also stars in the action movie El Gringo, which is currently available on VOD services such as Amazon Instant Video. We kick around all these subjects with Mr. Adkins and he reveals, among other things, the status of Undisputed 4.

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et tu The Expendables?

It almost hurts to think about The Expendables. It was simply heartbreaking to see such a great concept squandered, buried in a mire of terrible effects, ridiculous over-exposited story and worst of all, poorly shot and cut action sequences. How could they have brought together some of the greatest living action stars for a modern action film, a seemingly simple endeavor, and still managed to screw up? So it was with “fool me once” eyes that we as action movie lovers gobbled up news stories on the inevitable sequel. Expanded parts for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis? Jean Claude Van Damme?! Chuck Norris!?! It wasn’t long before the excitement grew so big that it clouded our collective memory of the disappointment of the first film. With everyone important back, some great new faces and an R-rating secured, we allowed ourselves to hope that maybe they finally got it right. And while The Expendables 2 does deliver more of what we always wanted from these films, it’s still not quite the home run we wanted.

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Tony Jaa

That’s it folks, Tony Jaa has called it quits (for the time being at least). Who could possibly fill the shoes of one of the most gravity defying kickers of ass today? Here are eight worthy prospects…

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Over the weekend at the first annual Actionfest, Isaac Florentine, who also recently directed the high-flying direct-to-DVD film Ninja, was honored with the festival’s Best Director award for his work on Undisputed III. Needless to say, our interest was piqued.

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First Look Studios has provided Film School Rejects with an exclusive first look at the Ninja, in the form of this awesome fight scene that takes place in the rain. This Scott Adkins-led film appears to kick some serious ass, if this clip is to be believed. And it is. We checked. It really did come from the film.

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tournament-header

Every seven years thirty of the world’s best assassins descend upon an unsuspecting small town and spend the next twenty-four hours trying to kill each other. Yeah, it sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

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Unbelievable and highly implausible sure, but filled with fantastic fights, gunplay, and bloody squib-filled bodies, The Tournament is one of the best action films of the year. Find out why with this new clip.

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But how can this be you ask? Didn’t the trailer for James Cameron’s Avatar appear yesterday? Didn’t The Wolfman with Benicio Del Toro claw it’s way onto the interwebs yesterday too?

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scott-adkins-ninja-2

Sit right down folks and prepare yourself for some badass ninja action — the likes of which you haven’t seen in a long while. That is, unless you went and saw X-Men Origins: Wolverine last weekend.

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With the success of X-Men Origins Wolverine, we’re a step closer to some new X-Spinoffs. But do we want them?

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If you don’t know Scott Adkins by name right now, after X-Men Origins Wolverine you’ll at least know him as that guy who has awesome spin kicks.

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