Scott Adkins, I am convinced, is one of our more underrated action stars. That is, I’m not sure if he registers at all on anyone’s “household name radar” and that’s a shame. The guy is one-man special effect and what he might lack in raw acting chops he more than makes up for with an ability to jump high into the air and extend his legs out in such a way as to cause moderate to severe damage to someone’s face.
So anytime a new Adkins movie comes down the pike, I take notice. The latest is Eliminators, a WWE Film that pits pro wrestler Wade Barrett against Adkins in a film that promises…well, massive beatings.
And that’s pretty much what we get. Adkins plays Thomas, a one-time special agent in witness protection. Due to a tragic misunderstanding with some young local toughs, his cover is blown and the gangster looking for his head springs into action. He dispatches his most fearsome assassin, Bishop (Wade Barrett) to rub Thomas out. With Thomas’s only daughter held in the balance and the ever-present threat of Bishop, Thomas races to keep his family alive, find safety and, ultimately, make it to the end credits in once piece.
That’s your movie and as far as direct-to-video productions, Eliminators isn’t bad. Adkins brings the requisite amount of pummeling to the festivities and Wade Barrett proves to be a worthy, physically imposing counterweight to his polished movie fight skills.
If you’ve seen the Adkins brand of fighting before you know he adds a decent amount of flash to his hijinks. In Eliminators the choreography is more grounded. No wire work, no CGI-enhanced stuff, and only a handful of the Adkins trademark flip-kicks.
Still–it works. If you’re not looking for all-out flash, there is a decent amount to enjoy here. The simple conceit of a dad wanting to protect his daughter proves enough of a motive driver for our hero and the stakes are robust enough to keep things a few degrees north of superficial. And the final bad guy showdown is worth your while.