Tag Archives: Jesse V. Johnson

Avengement (2019) Movie Review By Peter Pluymers

 

Avengement Review

Director: Jesse V. Johnson
Writers: Jesse V. Johnson, Stu Small
Stars: Scott Adkins, Craig Fairbrass, Thomas Turgoose

So…prison turned you into a stone-cold killer, did it?
Nah, prison didn’t.
You and my brother did.

I’ve just seen the Philippine revenge film “Maria” in which a beautiful woman beats up everyone she encounters. And before I know it, the next one presents itself already. This time it’s a flick from the UK and from a completely different level. Not only the story itself is acceptable. Also, the endless series of fight scenes will bring fans of action movies into ecstasy. Scott Adkins is a man with brutal force who crushes his opponents without mercy with his hammer blows. So expect a large amount of splattering blood, shattered bones, cracked skulls and wisdom teeth flying around. In other words, “Avengement” is a very brutal movie.

At first, I expected something similar like “We still kill the old way” or “Legend“. An English crime/action film full of violence but with that English politeness still present in the background. Well, that doesn’t apply to “Avengement”. Every kind of courtesy is being crushed into the ground here. You can compare it with “Brawl in cell block 99“, but on English soil. This film is a relief when you compare it to all the digitally created violence Hollywood produces lately. In this film, the physical prevails a bit more. When looking at Disney and Hollywood violence, you’d give a “wow” cry. With “Avengement” it’s rather an “ouch” cry. The physical violence is so realistic, you sometimes can feel the pain yourself. And not only Adkins’ opponents moan noisily. He too suffers and regularly has to take hits.

Not only does Adkins needs to show how extreme anger runs through Cain’s veins. That’s about 90% of the total playing time. You’ll also see how normal and fair Cain is at the start of the movie. A decent man who begs his brother to help him with the idea to start a gym. The transformation, however, is frightening when he’s in jail for a while. A punishment he got when a job he had to do for his brother went terribly wrong. It’s there that the fairly well-behaved Cain is slowly turning into a cruel hot-head. The constant attempts of fellow prisoners to kill him one way or the other ensures that he trains and practices every day. These confrontations are already very brutal and cruel. It’s also here that he gets metallic teeth. When he finally ends up in a private pub, Cain is a scarred man. Both internally and externally. The only thing that interests Cain is revenge.

To be honest, I didn’t know who Scott Adkins was in the first place. Completely unknown to me. Well, mega-fans of action movies will probably turn their nose up at me. And I admit that I don’t understand how it’s possible that I didn’t know this tough Englishman yet. For all I care, he can safely join “The Expendables” next time. He certainly won’t look out of place next to Statham and Van Damme. He certainly isn’t a person you want to bump into at night. That’s for sure. Not only does Adkins show in this film that he masters the necessary fighting techniques, but for once I didn’t have the impression that the I-wait-patiently-for-my-turn-to-be-beaten-up principle was applied here. A method that’s usually used in such action films. You’ll see someone waiting patiently on the side who, as soon as a colleague sticks to the wall, quickly takes his place. Something that nerves me immensely every time it’s used.

“Avengement” certainly isn’t a first-class film and won’t win loads of film prizes. Maybe using flashbacks isn’t something that will get you excited. Me neither. But if you just want to enjoy a raw, extremely violent revenge film, then this is really suitable for you. I certainly enjoyed it intensely. Just watch the trailer, and you’ll agree instantly.

Triple Threat (2019) Movie Review By D.M. Anderson

 

Triple Threat Review,

Director: Jesse V. Johnson
Writers: Joey O’Bryan, Fangjin Song (Writer)
Stars: Tony Jaa, Tiger Hu Chen, Iko Uwais

I suppose you could call Triple Threat an all-star, East vs. West clash of titans.

In one corner, you’ve got Asian martial arts superstars Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais and Tiger Chen, none of them strangers to the genre. In the other, there’s Westerners Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White and Michael Bisping. Adkins & White are legends of direct-to-video action, while Bisping is a former UFC champion.

If that collection of names doesn’t excite you, you’re obviously reading the wrong review.

For everyone else, Triple Threat is blood-soaked brawl with a plot thrown in because most movies require them. Fortunately, director Jesse V. Johnson wisely keeps the story simple, lest it intrude too much on the action. For the record, though, Jaa & Uwais play Payu & Long, two mercenaries duped into helping a crew of baddies release their boss, a notorious terrorist named Collins (Adkins), being held in a Thai village. After the mission, they are left-for-dead, as is lone surviving villager, Jaka (Iko Uwais), who now wants to avenge his wife’s murder. The three form an uneasy alliance to track down these killers, whose next target is Tian (Celina Jade), a philanthropist using her wealth to stop organized crime in her country.

Much of the movie is a chase, Payui & Long protecting Tian while Jaka infiltrates Collins’ crew (which includes White and Bisping). Though the film takes an occasional breather for necessary exposition, it’s mostly one elaborate action set-piece after another. There’s martial arts o’ plenty, of course, as well as ample amounts of bullets and blood. And if you’ve ever wondered what being shot point-blank by a grenade launcher looks like, this is the movie for you.

If not, why are you still reading?

Though the film is fairly light on characterisation, the performances are good. When they aren’t snapping limbs, the three protagonists are congenially likeable and empathetic. Both Adkins and White look like they’re having a great time tearing things up, relishing their roles as villains. On the other hand, Jade can only do so much with her thankless role as “the woman in jeopardy” (including an eye-rolling scene where she’s hampered by high heels).

While not in the same league as The Raid (what is?), Triple Threat wisely takes the similar path with its story telling: Keep it simple, keep it moving and keep it intense. The film doesn’t necessarily challenge the intellect, but it seldom descends into stupidity, either. Ultimately, this East vs. West showdown is a feast for action lovers.

Triple Threat (2019) Movie Review By Steven Wilkins

Triple Threat Review,

Director: Jesse V. Johnson
Writers: Joey O’Bryan, Fangjin Song (Writer)
Stars: Tony Jaa, Tiger Hu Chen, Iko Uwais

Triple Threat is, for the most part, an action lovers dream come true.

Since this is mainly fan service, one could almost say the story is near pointless but for what it is worth, it serves its grand purpose.  A hit goes wrong, revenge is sought, whole lotta lives are cut short and then you’re finally witnessing what you essentially signed up for. Big names in the martial arts action world going at it Hand-to-hand. It’s not the best, but it works. Throughout the film, should you find yourself paying much attention, it won’t be difficult to cringe a bit at some of the dialogue delvered. Again, this movie is pretty much fan service so most of the cliche moments are destined to be present.

Triple Threat is by no means the film it likely could have been say 10yrs ago when the cast had that much more youth to them.  Some of the combat isn’t crisp but the action delivered is brutally enjoyable.  Overall, this is a good time killer and you get a great cast of action stars mixing it up.

Solid thrills, good action

B-

Savage Dog (2017) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

Savage Dog.png

Director: Jesse V. Johnson
Writer: Jesse V. Johnson
Stars: Scott Adkins,  Marko Zaror,  Juju Chan

Plot:  A story set in Indochina in 1959, a land beyond rule and a time without mercy and the birth of a legend.

IMDB Score: 4.9

Why I Watched it: If Scott Adkins is in an action movie I’m there no questions asked.

Random Thoughts: I didn’t know much about this film going in, I saw one trailer and it looked like a different film for Adkins and it also had a pretty good action cast.  Also going in knowing this was a period action film which we don’t get very often unless of course Jackie Chan is in it.

What I Liked: As an action star I always like Scott Adkins, he’s a great fighter and also he has a presence and can act as well.  Here he kind of stretches a bit, he’s played anti heroes before but this guy is very close to not being even an anti hero, he’s just the lead guy here cause he’s not likable.

The rest of the cast is good, Keith David is always good and he does have that air about him, he classes up the film.  It was good to see Zaror get a big role, man he’s a big guy, I would really like to see him find that breakout roll.

The fighting is fine here, nothing new it’s Bloodsport type fights and they’re fine.  I will give the film credit it tries something a little different with the setting and the backstory.

What I didn’t like: I hate to say it but I was really disappointed, this is a boring film and really I get that Adkins wanted to stretch but I think he pushed it too far, his Irish accent is real bad, he has no chemistry with his love interest and the script is just action cliches put in a different time period and setting, they do nothing new.

The big failure is they seemed to want to do an action movie with more depth and impact then most made for DVD action films and I admire that but the problem is they do neither very well, the drama is boring and standard and that brings down the action, there’s no depth and the biggest problem is Adkins character is not likable, he doesn’t say a lot but we get no feel for him, Keith David is the only actor able to breath life into his character and I wished the film was about him.

I love action films and really like made for DVD action films, I like seeing different actors and pushing the limits but Savage Dog almost ended up as a bit of a mess, to many elements fighting each other.

Final Thoughts: If you’re an Adkins fan then I would give it a watch, it’s not terrible but it’s not a deep action film or a bad ass action film it falls in the middle.

Rating: 4/10