John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
The Walking Dead
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I can't get my head around Scott Adkins, he's acted alongside some of the top action men of all time and in some big action flicks, but most of his work is straight to DVD, badly acted, throw away hokum. You only gotta look at his filmography, half of them you probably haven't heard of.
I give you exhibit A: this time Adkins hangs up his martial arts skills and tries his hand at the Indiana Jones angle as a cryptozoologist (mythic creatures instead of mythic places and objects). After the failure to capture...errr a very large bear, its off to China to hunt down...errrm a very big lizard...oh OK a dragon then. Its Adkins and his goodie goodie team of kind scientists vs Lundgren and his baddie team of hunters. Yep you've guessed it, Adkins and co wanna find and study, Lundgren and co wanna hunt and kill!.
So a US accented Adkins leaps about in this really iffy low budget creature feature which doesn't really scare or thrill. Nothing much happens at all accept for the odd obligatory water sequence where faceless people get snatched by the monster. Its all very 'Lake Placid' like but with really bad attempted humour and some atrocious acting all round.
The dragon in question isn't really a dragon naturally (shame), they go down the more realistic approach and merely make it an overgrown gecko type lizard...salamanderzilla. So no fantasy element just a stupid looking big lizard that doesn't really look threatening. The finale sequence in the caves really shows the creature in a bad light, hokey ass CGI. The moment Adkins wrestles the beast is fantastically crappy looking, even Harryhausen's dated work looks better.
The only thing more hokey than the CGI lizard is the lurching Lundgren and of course this being a flick with the two action men they gotta fight. Amazingly though neither of them gets their shirts off, old fashioned fisticuffs for this one.
The entire film is basically trash accept for the finale which is slightly more exciting, as said the lizard looks awful but at least you get plenty of eating action. It feels like a homage to those old Doug McClure fantasy flicks more than anything, then you could easily forgive the schlock on screen, problem is it isn't. Why would the Chinese hire Americans to search their countryside for a man eating amphibian?
A tremendously exciting and explosively thrilling old-school action-adventure. It's big, smart, enjoyable and a lot of fun. It takes thrilling and fun elements of films like The Ghost in the darkness and Anaconda. A stylish and strong thrill-ride that's loaded with action, suspense, wonderfully drawn characters and development and exceptional special effects and stunts. Scott Adkins and Dolph Lundgren give excellent performances, they are at their best playing characters that are no where near their standard action roles and they deliver on these perfectly with charm, wit and intelligence. Lundgren and Adkins are sensational to watch, they give a lot to their characters and performances. A monster of a good time. Director, Eric Styles does and fine job with his material, and shows he really cares about the story and the characters.
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