Bullet Points: Eliminators (2016)
When the news broke that Scott Adkins and WWE Studios were teaming up for a movie entitled Eliminators, two scenarios immediately popped into my head…
- This was a remake of 1987’s Eliminators with former WWE Superstar Wade Barrett playing the Mandroid and Scott Adkins playing the Ninja.
- Scott Adkins was going to show up on WWE television to promote the movie and when he did somebody would end up the recipient of spectacular Scott Adkins kick to the head!
Unfortunately neither of those scenarios happened. But that’s ok, because what did happen was Scott Adkins delivered another top notch performance and added to his already impressive filmography of action movies.
- Dad Life: Martin Parker (Scott Adkins) is a single dad raising his daughter Carly in London. Both father and daughter are coping with the loss of Carly’s mother, but are doing the best to move on with their lives. The movie begins with a “day in the life” look at the Parkers. But things will take a sudden and violent turn, when some ski mask wearing, baseball bat wielding thugs show up at the Parker house looking for some cocaine. But there is no cocaine at the Parker house. These drug dealing (and likely using) bad guys got the wrong address… but now they are in too deep and when they threaten to shoot Carly in the head, Martin springs into action taking out all three men in a most permanent fashion. And this is when the audience realizes that Parker may have been in another line of work prior to his security guard job.
- Back Story: After his harrowing experience, Martin is taken to the hospital (and put under arrest for killing the three men who broke into his home), while Carly is taken to a social services facility. This story and Martin Parker’s face is plastered all over the news. This gets the attention of a bad man by the name of Cooper (played by James Cosmo of Braveheart fame). Cooper recognizes Parker as Thomas McKenzie, the federal agent who was under cover in Cooper’s organization for years. There is no love lost between Cooper and Thomas and now after years of not knowing what ever became of the fed that tried to put him away, Cooper dispatches Europe’s top assassin to eliminate Thomas once and for all.
- Good News: Wade Barrett (or as he is know outside the world of professional wrestling, Stu Bennett), plays Bishop, the top assassin that Cooper hires to kill Thomas. Bennett is fantastic in the role of the cold-blooded badass. His performance was so good, I believe Bennett made the right decision when he decided to walk away from his in-ring career and focus on his acting career. Bennett’s physical presence made him a great adversary for Adkins’ character and Eliminators gives us several scenes where these two professionals tangle.
- Sense of Urgency: One of the story line elements that really keeps the audience engaged while watching Eliminators is how all the main characters are striving towards a time sensitive goal. After escaping from the hospital, Thomas’ one and only goal is to get his daughter Carly and get them both to safety. Bishop’s goal is to take out Thomas ASAP so he can collect his fee from Cooper. Then there’s Ray (Daniel Caltagirone), Thomas’ ally from the United States, who is doing all he can in conjunction with his agency to clear Thomas’ name and bring Thomas and Carly in where they can be relocated and hidden from the evil Cooper once again. The constant sense of urgency gives the audience a well paced movie that never drags.
All of the WWE Studios films I have reviewed have been worth watching. Eliminators is the first WWE Studios film that I feel would be worth watching again and again and that is all thanks to Scott Adkins. Adkins’ passion for the action genre is evident in all of his films and Eliminators was no exception. Adkins’ fight scenes are a paradox of sorts. They look so fluid and so natural, that you almost forget how much training and preparation is required to pull these amazing sequences off. It has been said the great ones make it look easy and Scott Adkins is a great one.
Again I have to give props to Stu Bennett’s performance in Eliminators and I’m anxious to see him in more action movie roles as his acting career continues.
Now I wouldn’t want to eliminate one of the most beloved features in a Bulletproof Action review, so here are some bonus Bullet Points…
- Morning Montage: Many action films have included a montage. Eliminators wastes no time working a montage into this movie as we get to see Martin Parker’s morning workout in montage form as part of the opening credits.
- Improvise: Eliminators proves that when necessary bed pans make for great weapons.
- UK > US: I’m not sure how accurate it was to reality, but the social services building depicted in Eliminators was super swanky and not the run down, government funded dumps that are depicted in movies and television as social services facilities in the United States.
- Take That Hooters: When we are first introduced to the Bishop character, he is going to take out some targets at an establishment where the waitresses wear lingerie as their uniforms.
- Cobb County, GA: There is a character listed in the credits as the Big Boss Man. No doubt an homage to the WWE Hall of Famer.
- If You Ever: …wanted to see Scott Adkins kick some ass in a cable car high above London, then this is the movie for you.