ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – G – Gallowwalkers (2014)

Director: Andrew Goth

Writer: Andrew Goth (Screenplay) Joanne Reay (Story)

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kevin Howarth, Riley Smith, Tanit Pheonix Copley, Simona Roman, Steven Elder

 

Plot: A cursed gunman (Snipes) whose victims come back from the dead recruits a young warrior to help in the fight against a gang of zombies.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Misses the Targets

 

Story: Gallowwalkers starts as gunslinger Aman (Snipes) travels around the wild west in search for the dead, executed men and women that come back from beyond the grave with Kansa (Howarth) being the leader of the zombie like gang that he killed years before.

Kansa has built up an army but is still searching to find a way to bring his son back from the dead, killing people in hopes of being able to give him the ability his gang has. Aman recruits Fabulos (Smith) to help him battle the gang as both side wants to eliminate the other once and for all.

 

Thoughts on Gallowwalkers

 

Characters – Aman is the gunslinger roaming the wild west in search for the undead that have returned causing havoc across the land. He has a connection to the gang as he is the one who killed them in an act of revenge and is happy to spend his days killing them again. Kansa is trying to bring his son back from the dead, like he has been able to, he will kill people in search for the chance and has been waiting to showdown with the man that killed him for years. Fabulos is the young hero that Aman recruits to help him defeat the undead, he learns as the times goes on about his skills and reason to fight.

PerformanceWesley Snipes is here in name only, he gets to have a few fight scenes which you feel he enjoys more than he should because his delivery is sloppy throughout. Kevin Howarth does make a good villain without being as twisted as you think his character should be while Riley Smith looks lost at times out there.

StoryThis is a story that doesn’t seem to click, but you do have to respect the idea they didn’t want the traditional undead zombie problem rather focusing on resurrection. The problems with this story is that we only seem to focus on Aman or Kansa story and they were only meeting in the final act of the film. we have Aman just wondering around killing odd undead while Kansa looks to resurrect his son. It does feel like we needed more of a connection between the two storylines instead of just focusing on the captive’s boobs.

Action/Horror/WesternThe action is mostly lazy western styled action, a few gunshots here a few there while we also focus on a couple of by the book fights. The horror side of the film comes off weak too as we do want to see a lot more from the zombie figures.

SettingsThe western settings put us in the desert for most of the film which does work without being anything truly iconic like the best westerns.

Special EffectsThe effects are the highlight of this film because we do get to see plenty of head explosion through the film which is a lot of fun.

Scene of the Movie – The train meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Lack of connection with the stories.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple to watch action horror that is basically a tame western, it has action scenes we have seen before, a story that doesn’t work but the head explosions are the highlight of the film.

 

Overall: Watchable but not great.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Skin Trade (2015)

logoDirector: Ekachai Uekrongtham

Writer: Gabriel Dowrick, Steven Elder, John Hyams, Dolph Lundgren (Screenplay)

Starring: Ron Perlman, Tony Jaa, Dolph Lundgren, Celina Jade, Michael Jai White, Peter Weller, Conan Stevens, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

 

Plot: After his family is killed by a Serbian gangster with international interests. NYC detective Nick goes to S.E. Asia and teams up with a Thai detective to get revenge and destroy the syndicate’s human trafficking network.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Pure Action Film

Story: Skin Trade starts with a young girl running from Cambodia where she gets tricked into becoming another victim to the Skin Trade. Skip to New Jersey where we meet Detective Nick Cassidy (Lundgren) using his know how to track down a suspect. We also meet Tony (Jaa) in Tokyo trying to take down the latest Skin Trade. Both men get the information they need and show that they are on the good side of the law.

Viktor Dragovic (Perlman) is the Serbian mobster working in Russia with the Skin Trade being his primary money maker. Viktor is having his latest shipment delivered to New Jersey and all the law authorities are there waiting to finally take him down. The bust at the docks leads to plenty of bloodshed with Viktor’s son being one of the victims of Nick’s, but most importantly Viktor is put behind bars.

Viktor may well behind bars but his boys are out for revenge for the death of their brother and target Nick, killing his wife and his daughter, leaving him for dead. To make matters worse Viktor has fled the country.

Nick travels to Thailand where FBI agent Reed (White) teams up with Tony to try and stop his rampage from getting out of hand. Nick becomes a most wanted man when Reed frames him for the murder of Tony’s partner. It isn’t long before Tony and Nick learn they are after the same thing and only have each other to trust as they aim to take down Viktor as his crime syndicate.

Skin Trade is a film that I went into not expecting anything amazing but the cast make enjoyable action films so this had to be watch. What is got was a pleasant surprise with a great story that enters into the realm of reality (without the endless bullets part) where we have a real look into the horrors of the human trafficking business. I maybe well be slightly biased towards action films but I must say this one pulls you in early and simply never lets you go. We do get a few generic traits in both good and bad guys but hey, this film isn’t going to be about character building it is about fighting. I am willing to say this is the best storyline in an action film that I have seen this year. (9/10)

 

Actor Review

Ron Perlman: Viktor Dragovic is the Serbian mobster who runs a human trafficking ring around the world. When he gets captured and his son is killed he takes out the man responsible before going into hiding. Ron makes for a great villain with his blank stares when he comes face to face with Nick that show he really has no fear or regret for his characters action. (8/10)

 

Tony Jaa: Tony Vitayakul is the Thai Detective trying to stop the human trafficking working with his connection in the US to stop it. Tony teams up with Nick to take down Viktor after losing his partner to one of Viktor’s men. Tony kicks serious butt here showing he is ready to take the US market by storm. (8/10)

jaa

Dolph Lundgren: Nick Cassidy is the good cop who finally gets to take down Viktor but due to a technicality ends up on his bad side when Viktor takes out his family leaving him for dead. Nick sets out on a one man crusade to kill anyone working with Viktor and anyone who gets in his way. Dolph does a great job apart from when he is running where he looks like he is showing his age. (7/10)

 nick

Michael Jai White: Reed is the FBI agent who gets involved in trying to take down the human trafficking ring offering help where it is needed, but he is really staying close to inform Viktor about investigations. Michael does a solid job in the supporting role where he gets to have a great fight with Tony Jaa. (6/10)

 white

Support Cast: Skin Trade has a supporting cast that includes the victims of the Skin Trade as well as the people involved in dealing in it or preventing it.

Director Review: Ekachai Uekrongtham – He does a great job directing this all out action film that never seems to let you take a breath. (8/10)

 

Action: Skin Trade is filled with hand to hand combat, chases and firefights to keep the action rolling throughout. (9/10)

Thriller: Skin Trade starts off making you interested but by the end of the film I was at the edge of my seat waiting for what will happen next. (10/10)

Settings: Skin Trade takes the action all over the world showing just how widespread the human trafficking really is. (9/10)

Suggestion: Skin Trade is an absolute must watch for any action fan out there, dare I say action film of the year? (Action MUST Watch)

 

Best Part: Jaa & Lundgren together.

Worst Part: Lundgren running.

Action Scene Of The Film: Jaa versus White.

 

Believability: The idea behind what is going on is a very real problem but the action side it not. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It could have a sequel.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Taken

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $9 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline: All scars tell a story.

Trivia: Dolph Lundgren wrote the script before ‘Taken’ (2008) came out or was produced, after he had read a newspaper article on human trafficking.

 

Overall: When it comes to Action Skin Trade is packed with everything you want and then some, being the action surprise film of the year.

Rating 89