Writer: Matt Harvey, Dominic Morgan, George Huang (Screenplay)
Starring: Scott Adkins, Robert Knepper, Rhona Mitra, Temuera Morrison, Ann Tuong, Adam Saunders, Jamie Tomony
Plot: Retired mixed martial artist Wes “The Jailor” Baylor (Scott Adkins) can’t refuse a million-dollar purse he’s offered for one final bout in Myanmar. But when he arrives for the fight, he learns he’s been tricked into becoming the target of a human hunt. Carrying only water and a ruby-filled money belt for the last person standing, Wes must outsmart the heavily armed group that has paid to kill him. As he fights for his life in the treacherous jungle terrain, the hunters become the hunted.
Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Late Night Action 101
Story: Hard Target 2 starts when mixed martial artist Wes ‘The Jailor’ Baylor (Adkins) accidently kills his best friend in his last fight, turning away from the sports, Wes takes small fights to pay for his drinking problem. Wes is approached by Jonah Aldrich (Knepper) that offers him a $1 million pay day.
Wes takes up his offer, which sees him travelling to Myanmar, only to learn that he has accepted to be part of a human hunt, with a string of hunters including Sofia (Mirta) hunting him down through the jungles, where he works with local Tha (Truong) and proves to be a lot harder to kill than Jonah thought he would be.
Thoughts on Hard Target 2
Characters – Wes Baylor is a title contender in mixed martial arts, having a number one contender match against his best friend, which sees him win, but at a cost, he kills his friend. Wes retires from competitive fighting, taking small fights in illegal bouts. Wes gets a chance to get a big pay day, though it isn’t what he fought, it becomes a race to survive against hunters that see him as a prey. Wes shows that he does have the fighting skills to survive against these people. Jonah Aldrich is the man that is running the hunting session, he recruits people that could be considered difficult to hunt and makes plenty of money offering this idea to the hunters of the world. He stays in complete control of the game, making sure that the hunters get a chance, though he isn’t happy with the prey is harder to kill this time. Sofia is one of the hunters that has been following in her father’s footsteps when it comes to hunting.
Performances – Scott Adkins is fast becoming a big name in the action genre, he is a man that will always be able to handle the combat side of a film with ease, even if some of the line delivery isn’t his strength. Robert Knepper as the villain is always a great pick for a sleazy one, this again plays to the actor’s strengths. Rhona Mitra is one of the bigger names in the film, she does make her character standout, though she doesn’t make the impact that would be expected.
Story – The story here follows a mixed martial artist that is forced into retirement and takes a big pay day in hope of escaping his life, though the pay day turns into a battle for survival against hunters that are looking for human prey. When it comes to the story, it is very simple and is something we have seen before, it is an entertaining story though, that always works for us when it comes to a single fighter that much look to fight for his own survival against a larger number of enemies. If you have seen The Running Man, The Condemned and even Death Race, you will know what you are getting into here.
Action – The action in the film lets Scott Adkins show off his skills, it is routine, but it works for what the film is trying to do and will show how deadly a trained martial artist can be.
Settings – The film is set in Myanmar which does offer the dense jungle which does make for a beautiful backdrop for the film.
Final Thoughts – This is a simple, fun action film, it does everything it needs to without being anything original, just simple fun.
Overall: Simple and fun action film.