Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Movie Review: Hard Target 2

Hard Target 2
Universal 1440 Entertainment, Living Films, USA, Thailand, 2016. 

Mixed Martial Artist Wes 'The Jailor' Baylor (Scott Adkins) wins a match against  his best friend Johnny 'Solid Gold' Sutherland. Unfortunately Wes beats him so that Johnny dies. Depressed Wes goes to Bangkok to drink, funding his new hobby with fights in underground matches. Talent-seeker Jonah Aldrich (Robert Knepper) notices Wes' skills. He offers $500000 for a single match in Myanmar. And Wes has nothing better to do so why not.
Scott Adkins
Wes 'The Jailor' Baylor
Robert Knepper
In Myanmar Wes meets bullfighter Esparto (Adam Saunders), redneck father & son Jacob and Tobias (Peter Hardy and Sean Keenan), Sofia who has daddy-issues (Rhona Mitra), geek Landon (Jamie Timony) and hunter Maduka (Gigi Velicitat). And of course Aldrich and bulky Madden (Temuera Morrison) A bit odd roster for a fighting tournament so where's the beef? Wes is the beef! The others will hunt Wes and if he survives he gets the money. If he doesn't his head will probably be placed above someone's fireplace. 
Rhona Mitra
Robert Knepper, Adam Saunders, Jamie Timony and Temuera Morrison
Aldrich, Esparto, Landon and Madden
The sadistic creeps underestimate Wes, he is a trained champion of close combat after all. Wes does not need to try to survive alone as he meets local girl Tha (Ann Truong) who has her own grudge against Aldrich's hunting club.
Ann Truong
The original "Hard Target" was one of Jean-Claude Van Damme's better movies and also one of the better John Woo's American era directions. White pigeons an slowmotions remind about John Woo's style. The sequel moves the story from urban location to jungle, otherwise the story goes quite similarly so fans of the original movie should feel entertained. Scott Adkins is in great kicking condition and he even does Van Damme-style split-kick. Also Ann Truong shows her martial arts skills. Robert Knepper has gone the Lance Henriksen acting school, Temuera Morrison plays the style of heavy he usually plays, and Rhona Mitra and Adam Saunders are the most interesting of the hunters. The cinematography looks great for a direct-to-video movie, and the story has a nice 1990s style action movie vibe.

Rating: Good

Starring: Scott Adkins, Amarin Cholvibul, Thira Chutikul, Robert Knepper, Geoffrey Giuliano, Rhona Mitra, Temuera Morrison, David Asavanond, Adam Saunders, Troy Honeysett, Jamie Timony, Katrina Grey, Byron Gibson, Cullet Eric, Komkrib 'Krib' Wongwirot, Suthipongse Phukaokaew, Sahajak Boonthanakit, Peter Hardy, Sean Keenan, Gigi Velicitat, Ann Truong, Chanthathanisa Vismitananda, Chiv Patrick Tang, Supoj Khaowwong, Eoin O'Brien, Khiri Lowenstein, Anteo Quintavalle, JeeJa Yanin
Director: Roel Reiné


  1. Erittäin positiivinen yllätys oli mielestäni. Adkins on oikein oivallinen tässä ja sama pätee myös Knepperiin, joka on aina tasokas ketkua esittäessään.

    1. Aluksi odotin hieman huokeampaa jatko-osaa aiheesta, mutta jo Adkinsin nimi kannessa antoi viitteitä siitä ettei ainakaan toiminnan suhteen oltu menty siitä missä rima on matalin. Hyvä löytö oli tämä.

  2. Sounds interesting. I'll keep an eye out for it down my local CEX.

    1. Yeah, it should sooner or later get there. I was also lucky enough to find it from local charity shop at very affordable price.


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