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REVIEW: Accident Man (2018) - ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Accident Man (2018)

Run Time: 105 Mins
Rated: R
What To Expect: A fun British action flick, a great Scott Adkins vehicle, and a pleasing adaptation of the comic book source.

More than just another cheap, nasty direct-to-video action movie, 2018’s Accident Man actually represents a long-gestating passion project for star/co-writer/co-producer Scott Adkins, and his enthusiasm shines through in the finished product. An adaptation of the “Accident Man” comic strips from the early 1990s written by Pat Mills and Tony Skinner, there is so much flavour, wit and charm to the picture, which elevates it above any number of other low-budget action titles currently flooding the marketplace. Admittedly, there might not be much originality to the narrative, as it boils down to a revenge story with little in the way of surprising twists or turns, but it’s a hugely entertaining watch nevertheless, invigorated by the details of this assassin underworld and a goofy sense of humour.

A ruthless assassin, Mike Fallon (Adkins) is known as the “Accident Man,” as he specialises in methodically eliminating targets and making each death look like an accident. Fallon is a member of an underground league of assassins ruled by Big Ray (Ray Stevenson), while Milton (David Paymer) takes care of liaising with clients and assigning the contracts to the appropriate killer/s. But when Fallon’s ex-girlfriend Beth (Brooke Johnston) is found dead after an apparent burglary, and another assassin tries to kill Fallon, he believes that there’s more to the story. Confiding in Beth’s devastated girlfriend Charlie (Ashley Greene), Fallon suspects that fellow assassin duo Mick (Michael Jai White) and Mac (Ray Park) were involved in Beth’s killing, forcing him to put his life in jeopardy as he becomes determined to find out who put out the hit. Meanwhile, his own crew are ordered to hunt him down.

At first glance – with the picture’s voiceover narration, excessive violence, sense of humour and assassin bar – Accident Man does look like a British Deadpool rip-off, but that’s an erroneous assumption. The comic book source on which the movie is based actually went to print before a single “Deadpool” comic was published, and Adkins had been working on the screenplay with Stu Small long before 2016’s Deadpool lit up the box office. Despite the writers’ inexperience (it’s the first screenplay credit for both men), the script represents an agreeable adaptation of the first Accident Man comic book story, with little touches to modernise the material. Furthermore, whereas most modern superhero franchises feel the need to spend an entire feature exploring its protagonist’s origins, Accident Man only spends fifteen minutes showing how Fallon got his start as an assassin, set to voiceover narration by Adkins, revealing everything that we need to know. On that note, Fallon’s introduction is note-perfect as well, observing the professional contract killer carrying out a job (and taking a selfie with the corpse) before blowing off some steam by deliberately getting into a bar brawl.

With a meagre budget, there was no leeway for any large-scale, CGI-laden action set-pieces, and therefore Accident Man relies on the martial arts prowess of its stars to deliver thrills. Once the movie kicks into high gear at about the hour mark, the action is almost non-stop all the way through to the end credits. Smartly, the cast is filled out by capable fighters – aside from Adkins, there is also the likes of Jai White (Black Dynamite) and Park (Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace), while actress/stunt-woman Amy Johnston (playing Jane the Ripper) proves to be adept with a samurai sword. It’s a treat to watch these seasoned professionals throwing down, aided by outstanding fight choreography and smooth camerawork which ensures that we can always comprehend what’s going on. Luckily, there’s enough variety to the bruising, brutal action set-pieces to prevent things from feeling repetitive or monotonous, and pacing is assured. Outside of a few moments (including a shonky climactic decapitation), Accident Man fortunately doesn’t feel necessarily cheap – it’s a slickly-constructed undertaking on the whole, with director Jesse V. Johnson making the most of the limited funds at his disposal. (Of course, it may appear cheap to those smug hipsters who download a low-quality pirate copy, but it looks top-notch in pristine high definition.) Johnson is something of a direct-to-video action luminary, having previously helmed Savage Dog with Adkins (among many other flicks), making him a perfectly sufficient directorial choice.

Adkins has appeared in a few major motion pictures, but they often fail to take advantage of the actor’s insane abilities. Hell, in the likes of Doctor Strange and The Expendables 2, he was just a henchman with minimal screen-time. Accident Man, however, is the star vehicle that Adkins has always deserved, showcasing his terrific martial arts skills as well as his innate charm as a performer, and it’s therefore a bit of a shame that this movie isn’t a bigger deal. The comic book portrayal of Fallon was a bit more refined with more expensive tastes, but Adkins is nevertheless an ideal pick; he’s gruff yet charismatic, making the character his own. And unlike his iconic role of Boyka in the Undisputed sequels, Adkins gets to make use of his natural English accent here. There’s a sizeable ensemble of assassins in Accident Man, and the movie efficiently introduces them one-by-one before getting into the story proper.

Permeated with a distinctively British sensibility in its dry sense of humour and use of songs, Accident Man will appeal to fans of Adkins and should satisfy those who like the comics. Hell, movie-goers just seeking a fun time should find a lot to like about this actioner. It never takes itself too seriously and it definitely wears its R rating on its sleeve, which makes this an easy recommendation for fans of ’80s and ’90s genre flicks, but it’s probably not a movie for the easily offended. Fast-paced and lean at 105 minutes, Accident Man is an insanely fun independent British action flick, as well as a pleasingly accurate representation of the source material. With its unique energy and flavour, you will be left yearning for a sequel. This is one for the Blu-ray shelf, lads.

20 Comments

  1. Saverio

    February 26, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    I blind bought this. It was ok. He’s the best fight choreographer outside of Uwais Team. I really enjoyed him in Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning! The best is ahead for Scott!

  2. Mucho Macho

    February 27, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    On the “To watch” list
    👍👍

    • Cal

      February 27, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      Please support it, Mucho! Rent on iTunes or buy the Blu-ray or something. Scott HATES piracy and we want to see a sequel!

      • Mucho Macho

        February 27, 2018 at 7:59 pm

        You know it’s funny cuz I saw this movie at a store the other day and I was contemplating buying it but it was at full price , it was not on special and I didnt buy it. But it was on my radar.

        I seen a couple of clips on YouTube and it looks cool I’ll pick it up soon.
        I think Scott Atkins is the best action star of his generation and it still annoys the shit out of me that he’s not as famous as he should be . You know in the 80s & 90s he would have had at least Van Damme level of Fame and success.

        • Saverio

          February 27, 2018 at 8:36 pm

          I feel exactly the same way about him

          • Mucho Macho

            February 27, 2018 at 9:29 pm

            Yep. I guess we were lucky to get as many action stars as we did because it was the era.

            Even the straight to cable/video stars wouldnt have had success nowadays I believe. Don “the Dragon” Wilson made like 15 “Bloodfist” movies, today I don’t think he would have gotten to make one.

            📼4 ever!!

          • TheOldMcClane

            February 28, 2018 at 12:46 am

            same with Michael Dudikoff.

          • Mucho Macho

            February 28, 2018 at 12:58 am

            Yes sir
            there were so many ..
            you had the big huge Stars on the big screen like Arnold and Stallone, then you had the mid-level guys on the big screen as well and then you had the straight to cable guys.

            Cannon pictures had 3 main guys
            Bronson, Norris & Dudikoff.
            It’s a shame they could never figure out how to have a movie with all those three together.

          • Saverio

            February 27, 2018 at 9:45 pm

            The movies I would watch on HBO late night as a teenager would be movies like No Where to Run, Stone Cold, Tiger Claws and Joshua Tree. Great times.

          • Mucho Macho

            February 27, 2018 at 10:08 pm

            The cable networks were buying B action movies like crazy cuz they always did well in the ratings and especially amongst the young male demographic.
            Companies like P.M. Entertainment were cranking them out for video store chains & Networks to buy. They were cheap to make and generated good Revenue.

            By the way speaking of the once-great HBO in the early to mid 90s they had a great show called “Thursday night Prime” and each week they will debut these sorts of movies on prime time. I used to love their promos. It’s sad how shitty things have gotten.
            Here are a few of those HBO Thursday night promos. Good memories. My mom will yell at me like “Did you do your homework?!” and I’ll be like “No.. shut up woman! I’m watching HBO!”
            Then of course she kicked my ass😂

            📼https://youtu.be/tgenSHmHSmY

            📼https://youtu.be/Ug7_KzMTcqc

            📼https://youtu.be/hGmf4BO0qk4

            📼https://youtu.be/QGdTSSGfgAU

          • Saverio

            February 27, 2018 at 10:37 pm

            Nice find Mucho. You never cease to amaze me

          • Mucho Macho

            February 27, 2018 at 11:25 pm

            One of the things that I used to love about this show is that it would sometimes make fun of the movies they would air.
            Check out this vid at the 3:23 mark.
            “Bloodfist” promo.
            https://youtu.be/WcOHbW0aHws

            By the way I did leave the house..LOL the thing about me is that growing up I literally had I don’t even know how many VHS tapes. I had them all over the living room, my bedroom, drove my mother nuts. I would leave stuff on timer all the time & watched later.
            Think about it..a tv series u can now stream or get on disc but back then you accumulate vhs tapes like crazy just recording series. I also taped movies, behind the scene stuff, videos, talk shows, sports games. My friends used to call me Blockbuster cause all the tapes I had. I have 1 of those transfer VHS to DVD machines but my god I had so many it would take me an eternity to transfer all of them. Not to mention I ‘ve lost many of them over the years.

          • Saverio

            February 27, 2018 at 11:35 pm

            Oh yeah sounds like me all the way. I always had Chiefs games that I would tape not to mention all the after midnight Saturday night HBO B action movies

          • Mucho Macho

            February 28, 2018 at 12:55 am

            Saturday night was HBOs premiere night. The big movie would premire at 8-9 pm on saturday. Sometimes they will sneak it in during the morning unannounced.
            They had some great comedy specials and also great series.
            I know you’re a football fan so did you ever catch this one on HBO back in the day, way back in the day. It was called “First and Ten ” check out the cast OJ Simpson was in there LOL …also Shannon Tweed and others
            https://youtu.be/ocwBe9-wg2c

          • Saverio

            February 28, 2018 at 2:28 am

            I remember the promos for it but was never interested in watching it.

          • Mucho Macho

            February 28, 2018 at 4:19 am

            I actually liked the show.
            Stupid cheesy fun as I recall

  3. crocop97

    February 27, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    Now I want to see what Scott could in an early Guy Ritchie flick