Eliminators online movie review - A slick, well made action thriller sure to hold over Scott Adkins' fans till his next Boyka film.
Eliminators is about A former US Federal Agent who must abandon the witness protection program and come out of hiding when his London home is invaded in error due to a wrong address.
When the event ends with multiple homicides, the news triggers those hunting him to send Europe's most dangerous assassin to kill him. Now on the run with his daughters life in jeopardy, a determined father must get her to safety before the people he's been hiding from tracks him down. Now a plot like this has been done bazillion times since Taken in 2008, tough guy father has to find and defend his daughter from bad, bad people, but what really surprised me about Eliminators was just how much thought was put into the writing to make all characters interconnected in some way, to set stakes and relationships that are never thoroughly discussed between the characters but is always felt. Scott Adkins has evolved not just as a martial artist and stuntman getting to an almost legendary level already due to his passion to make action films that don't feature CGI, shaky cam that obstructs the action, or overly edited fight sequences that do a poor job of matching coherency and/or speed of the action( something that plagued Scott Adkins' bigger film this year "Doctor Strange"). Wade Barrett of the WWE fame, gets a role as probably one of the most unrelenting and bulky assassins I've seen in a long time out for McKenzie's blood, known only as Bishop, Barrett's equally as good with his role, portraying a rather cheeky jerk of a killer, that will use personal information of someone to get the better of them as well as his powerful, crushing physique and fists. The rest of the cast is fine as well, in fact everyone does a serviceable job here, from McKenzie's partner coming to his rescue to their commander back in Washington to finally the big baddie grandpa of McKenzie's daughter, they all contribute much needed emotion to the plot, not much but just enough to justify all the action and make it more grounded, overall the characters and the actors here are definitely superior to that of Adkins' lesser but nonetheless entertaining films like last year's Close Range. Ah yes and of course what about the action, well it's actually very different in structure to Adkins' other films, the fights don't come back-to-back or Fight A after B, but rather they occur when the plot demands it, being a part chase thriller as well, there are numerous on-foot chase sequences that LEAD into fight scenes, and even then they're not with characters or people you may expect McKenzie to be fighting, clever moments such as a car-chase escalating into a foot- chase, where are hero barely manages to get away from the deadly assassin in a gondola riding sky-high, only for the villain to shout to the passengers on the gondola at the last minute:" HEY, 10 grand if you knock him out for me" leads to the shortest, yet coolest fight scene in the entire movie at least in my opinion, cause there we had tension, we had adequate and smart behavior from the characters that LED up to a great fight scene , beautifully shot by director James Nunn( who also made Green Street Hooligans 3 with Adkins conveniently), Nunn slowly rotates the camera around a Gondola in a set-piece that's both beautiful because of its setting and it's brutal fighting. Surprisingly this whole movie looks gorgeous, most of it is set at night and if you know me, you'd know that I love nothing more than action films revolving around a single day at night. The first fight with Barrett is fantastic, Adkins uses his high- flying signature Boyka kicks here and there, and while the second fight could've used a bit more work, the limitations of the location in which it was set in may have played a big part in it, a number of shootouts also punctuate the film and they all possess suitable kinetic energy and punch to them especially one set in McKenzie's partner's safe house that doesn't have a lot of cover but has a lot of narrow hallways, overall the action on display is great and is entertaining throughout giving the film this relentless pace that for a number of reasons: the writing and the direction, manages to not let up. It's also short clocking in at almost precise 90 minutes, with an ending that's not too melodramatic but one that has a worthy climax both emotional and physical. 9/10.