Adkins Stars/Co-Writes/Exec Produces His Dream Project
When Scott Adkins says he’s creating his dream project, I pay attention. Who am I kidding? I pay attention to everything Scott Adkins does. But it should be stated that very few in the filmmaking industry really put it out there regarding their dream projects. That adds a level of pressure, doesn’t it? Regardless, if you had asked a young Scott Adkins about his dream role, he would have told you he wanted to adapt UK comic book Toxic!, about British hitman Mike Fallon, known as the Accident Man for perpetrating hits that always look like accidents.
Watching Accident Man as a well-documented fan of Adkins’ career is a hugely satisfying experience for a variety of reasons. As a fan, regardless of the outcome of the final film, one has to be encouraged to see the hard work and talents of a filmmaker pay off in such a unique way as they do here. Adkins has been the hardest working man in action cinema for a decade now. He’s the best at what he does. There’s a drive in him that can’t be ignored and shows through in his work. Now, take that drive, and add to it the lifelong dream of bringing a certain story to the big screen. Adkins negotiated and secured the rights to the project, co-wrote the script with lifelong friend Stu Small, executive produced the project, hand-picked director Jesse V. Johnson whom he had worked with previously on Savage Dog, and proceeded to make the project of his dreams a reality. Loading the cast with a plethora of acting and action talent and pushing himself in the most humorous and wordy performance of his own acting career, one can’t help but feel a sense of appreciation and satisfaction when taking in the final product that is Accident Man.
As huge of a fan as I am of Scott Adkins, I try to go into his work as honestly as possible. And to be honest, the primary reason I follow this guy is because he’s got amazing, game-changing talent as an onscreen fighter. The guy brings the hand-to-hand goods time and again. But I’d never have accused him of being well rounded. He’s handsome, he puts in the effort with his fight talent, and he’s managed to will a career in exactly the corner of cinema that best fits his skill sets. And he’s done a damn good job of that. But Accident Man is the first project I’ve seen in which Adkins’ sense of humor and talents as a writer or producer have really been on display. He did a film called El Gringo years back that was going for the action/comedy vibe, and while it was appreciated, it didn’t quite stick the landing. And while Yuri Boyka remains Adkins’ most iconic role, Mike Fallon pushes the envelope for the star. Fallon is biting; a sociopath with an extremely British sense of humor. Fallon (and Adkins’ own screenplay) give Adkins the actor his most well-rounded performance (and overall project) to date.
Accident Man introduces us to a whole cadre of killers, all of whom congregate at Big Ray’s pub to socialize, toss back a pint, and receive their assignments. Real actor Ray Stevenson has a blast here as the retired killer who keeps this salty crew in line. Other real actor David Paymer plays Milton, the weasley go-between for the killers and clients. Right there you’ve got a more compelling cast than most any other Adkins offering could afford. Then throw on top of that Michael Jai White and Ray Park as killer duo Mick & Mac, and a villainess (of sorts) in rising action talent Amy Johnston, and you’ve got an action fan’s dream cast.
Behind the camera Accident Man also has a lot going for it, with frequent Adkins collaborator Tim Man handling fight choreography, and rising talent Jesse V. Johnson directing it all. Perhaps as important as all that, Accident Man is also shot in London, where it is set. Adkins rarely gets to play an actual Brit, and even less frequently gets to shoot in his native country. Accident Man is a uniquely British hit man action comedy and it feels right to have Britain’s most kick ass action star bring a project home and knock it out of the park.
There’s nothing revolutionary about the plotting of Accident Man, with all of it feeling familiar to fans of British crime filmmakers like Guy Ritchie or even Edgar Wright. There’s a breezy energy to the thing, with violence and death being at the heart of the story, but not a whole lot of moralizing or gravity. Fallon learns that his ex-girlfriend (whom he can’t quite get over) both went lesbian after him, and then went and got killed. As a shallow and psychopathic man, Fallon can’t quite wrap his head around either of these realities, and sets out to find those who killed his (ex) girl. In the process, he’ll break every last one of Big Ray’s rules, and send all of his mates after him. The result is Fallon versus the world, as Adkins takes on both Jai White and Park in a two on one fight scene for the ages, and then culminates in a brawl with Amy Johnston that only further cements Johnston’s future action mega-stardom.
While Accident Man may not shoot to the top as my number one personal favorite Scott Adkins film (Boyka remains Undisputed), it certainly heralds a level of well-rounded quality that isn’t always available to Adkins as an action star in an age where those talents aren’t treated to multiplex budgets. Audiences will find laughs, colorful characters, breakneck action, and a well-realized vision when they take Accident Man for a spin. Fans of Adkins will find an onscreen talent who is taking his career to the next level, going behind the camera as producer and writer, taking control of his own destiny. Knowing the work Adkins put in here actually does increase one’s appreciation for the final product. Knowing that 2018 holds more in store with further collaborations with Jesse V. Johnson, Jai White, and more, gives fans a hope that 2018 will see Adkins’ career deservedly soar into the stratosphere.
I haven’t been this excited about Special Features in ages. Scott Adkins fans don’t get movies with commentary tracks. And we most especially don’t get them featuring Adkins himself, speaking frankly with his old mate Stu Small about the variety of caps he wore in the production of this film. But I guess when you’re the producer as well as the star, you’re able to get that track onto your Blu-ray release. And it’s a genuine treat. Adkins isn’t romantic when he talks about his career. He lays out the realities of grueling shoot schedules, painful injuries, and the other many perils of low budget action filmmaking. It’s no different here, except you also have the pleasure of hearing old friends break each others’ balls a little bit while reminiscing about writing the project, not to mention talking about the comic book since way back in high school.
Scott Adkins fans absolutely must pick this Blu-ray up both to support Adkins and because there’s actually incentive to check out a rare commentary track that you won’t get if you wait for this film to show up on a streaming service somewhere.
And I’m Out.
Accident Man hits Blu-ray Feb. 6th, 2018 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment