HTS Moderator , Reviewer
HTS Overall Score:71
I have a weakness for DTV action flicks. Big muscled men walking around with guns, knives and their fists and feet delivering justice willy nilly. Probably due to the fact that I grew up in the 80s and 90s when vigilante martial artists were all the rage. They’re guilty pleasures, but still fun pleasures nonetheless. Long gone are the days when we can be assured of seeing quality action flicks from the likes of Jean Claude Van Damme, Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Dolph Lundgren (although they still have the occasional murmur in the DTV market now and again), but there are still a few martial artists in Hollywood that are making a living in the waning market of chop socky film making. Scott Adkins has become the mainstay for this market and for good reason. The brit is an INCREDIBLY skilled human being with his art and I can see why Van Damme basically passed the torch to him some years ago. He’s a solid enough actor but his real weakness comes in the form of not having the screen presences that some of the “oldies” had, and it has kept Scott from becoming the leading man as the “next great action star” over the last 10 years or so. That’s not to say he hasn’t carved out his own niche. Adkins is pretty much the go to stunt man for any movie that needs a martial artist or acrobatic fighter. You’ve seen him as everything from a made up “Weapon X” in “Origins Wolverine” (yup, that was Scott Adkins playing that abortion they tried to pass off as Deadpool), an agent in “The Bourne Ultimatum” and the high flying agent of evil that Doctor Strange fights in the hospital in Marvel’s latest entry. Not to mention his own DTV level of fame where he is the leading man in the “Undisputed” sequels as Boyka, the most balanced fighter in the world or the wildly fun “Ninja” series.
Eliminators is about as generic an actioneer as you can get. Scott Adkins is playing an American man living in England (ironic being that he IS a brit living in America right now) under an assumed name with his young daughter, Carly (Lily Ann Stubbs). He lives as a simple security guard and has made a life for himself over in England until the fateful day that a group of three thugs invade his home and threaten his daughter in a case of “wrong house, wrong guy”. Thomas (that’s his real name) has to kill the three punks in self-defense but English law doesn’t see it that way (if anything, this movie highlights the sheer ludicrousness of England’s self-defense laws), and Thomas is now splashed all over newspapers as a murderer. This is quite LITERALLY the worst thing that could have happened. You see, Thomas is an ex federal agent who got in too deep with an international mob boss and had to be relocated and given a new identity when he got out. Now this mob boss knows EXACTLY where he is thanks to the news and now He and his daughter are in peril.
The U.S. government sends over a handler as quickly as humanly possible, but Thomas is not about to sit around locked to a chair while his daughter’s life is put at risk. Especially since she’s been taken from him due to his status as a “murderer”. Taking the law into his own hands (or his own feet and fists in this matter), Thomas opens up a can on anyone in his way, leaving a trail of bodies with busted ribs and sore jaws as he tracks down the location of his daughter. However, he is not alone in that pursuit. A stone cold ex-special forces killer, code named Bishop (British WWE star Stu Bennett) is hot on his trail and he’s got Carly in his sights too. Now it’s a race against the clock as Thomas desperately tries to reach his daughter before Bishop does and heaven help the man who gets in his way.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=85490[/img]As I said a little bit earlier. “Eliminators” is about as generic an action film as they come. The big tough super-agent has to come out of retirement and do the mano e mano thing against hordes of bad guys following him as well as one big “boss” fight. It ticks off all the proper check marks in the DTV action world. Guy is a super soldier, check. He loses someone, check. He has to save someone who will “redeem” him, check. Bad guys are hulking brutes that he has to punch, spin kick and do high flying stunts against, check. Even the main “villain” (not Bishop) is your clichéd mob boss who wants to wreak vengeance for wrongs that Thomas has supposedly done. Again, another check mark. The fights are all satisfactory and Adkins never fails to impress with his physical prowess. I only had a complaint with the choreography feeling uninspired. Bennett is a HULKING beast of a guy and towers over Adkins the entire time, but you never really felt like he was that intimidating as he didn’t move as fast or as athletically as Adkins does. Something which makes the final fight a bit less “realistic” if you know what I mean. We all know that Scott is going to beat Bishop’s tushy, but there wasn’t this sense of urgency that a good fight can give you despite knowing the clichéd outcome.
That being said. There’s nothing really that wrong with “Eliminators” either. It’s generic, but the action choreography is decent and Adkins is a blast to watch. I had a decent amount of fun watching his open up a can on everyone in his way and I did appreciate the slight derision over the inane self-defense statutes that England is famous for. I have several friends and relatives from England who have moved here because the common man is pretty much helpless against invading thugs without retribution from the authorities if they have the audacity to defend themselves. Kind of a nice little dig right there in the film if I do say so myself.
Rated R for violence, language and brief drug use
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=85498[/img]“Eliminators” has a fairly standard digitally shot 1.78:1 AVC encoded image, but it gets the job done rather nicely. The colors are usually rather flat, with a teal and grey overlay to the color spectrum that keeps them from popping heavily. There’s a lot of yellow and greens strewn throughout, but there are some nice blues and reds that are comfortably warm too. Fine detail is excellent throughout, with great detailing on clothing and the brilliantly lit office building where Bishop and Thomas face off for the first time. The blacks tend to be decent, but as they are shot on lower end digital cameras (comparatively) they can get kind of murky and shadow detail is a bit spotty. Sometimes you can see perfectly in the dark and others are a bit more soupy with crush and greying going on. It’s a good transfer, but just not one that pops off the screen with vibrant colors and amazing shadow detail.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=85506[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is very much like the video. Quite pleasant to listen to, appropriately aggressive, but doesn’t do anything notable to make it stand out from the rest. Dialog is crisp and clear at all times, and the surrounds get a lot of use with the car chases, bullets whizzing overhead and the score pulsing in the background. The apartment shootout is one of the most impressive with the 5.56 battle rifle having some heavy duty weight behind it as well as the shotgun blasts impacting with a nice bit of low end to it. LFE is tight and clean, but fairly one noteish and really doesn’t get THAT aggressive till the end. Probably the most impactful mid bass in the film is the closing credits song, as that one really kicks you in the chest. It’s a solid experience and technically well done, making the 5.1 mix a pleasure to listen to.
• Featurette - Hand-to-Hand Bishop
• Featurette - Bishop for Hire
“Eliminators” is a fairly generic action movie, even among the world of DTV films. However, it is by no means a bad film in any way. Especially if you’re a fan of low budget martial arts movies. The hand to hand combat is quite satisfactory and the movie is punctuated with enough gun fights to keep it from being JUST a martial arts flick. Scott Adkins has become one of my favorite go to guys in the martial arts world after Van Damme, Donnie Yen and Jackie Chan have sort of aged themselves out of the market. It won’t win any awards, but it makes for a decent enough rental when you want to see someone beat the living snot out of a cadre of goons and face off against a deadly assassin. Recommended for a fun rental.
Starring: Scott Adkins, Stu Bennett, Daniel Caltagirone
Directed by: James Nunn
Written by: Nathan Brookes, Bobby Lee Darby
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Runtime: 95 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: December 6th 2016
Buy Eliminators On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: For the fans
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