I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Hard Target 2

tn_hardtarget2It’s weird that they would make a HARD TARGET 2, huh? I mean, it’s a DTV sequel, and the kind that doesn’t have any of the same actors or characters, just the title and the premise. But the part that surprises me is that it means the Master Control computer and its algorithms have figured out that we love HARD TARGET, that it’s a title that means something to us. I hope HARD BOILED isn’t next. Maybe STONE COLD would be okay though if they did it right.

Anyway, they went ahead and made it, so I’m glad they got a solid group of people working on it. The director (and also director of photography) is Roel Reine, helmer of such enjoyable DTV part 2s as DEATH RACE, THE MARINE and THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS, and he filmed it in Thailand, where he has alot of experience. The script is credited to the relatively unknown Matthew Harvey & Dominic Morgan (FUTURESHOCK: COMET, one episode of Taggart), but a press release also named George Huang, the director of SWIMMING WITH SHARKS. (Not a shark movie. Ask somebody who was into film in the ’90s.)

In the lead is our greatest modern action star, Scott Adkins. He does not sport a mullet or Cajun accent, and he’s not playing Chance “My Mama Took One” Boudreaux or his son Fingers Crossed Boudreaux or anything like that. He’s Wes “The Jailor” Baylor, rising MMA star exiled to an underground fighting circuit in Thailand after accidentally killing his best friend in the ring.

He’s not too mopey about his humble life living in a shed, and he’s reluctant to take an offer from some rich asshole at a party named Aldrich (Robert Knepper, HOSTAGE, TRANSPORTER 3) to fight for big money. But he goes with him to Myanmar, where he finds that, like the homeless veterans in the original HARD TARGET, he’s actually been hired to be hunted by rich people. (Donald Trump’s sons have definitely done this, by the way. You know this.)

mp_hardtarget2Knepper’s character is not hugely different from Lance Henriksen’s, but he gives it his own brand of bordering-on-mega intensity. His Arnold Vosloo style right hand man is Temuera “Grand Army of the Republic” Morrison, who also worked with Reine in THE MARINE 2 and THE SCORPION KING 3. He gets less to do than Vosloo, but I believe he does get to fire the same type of metal-tipped arrows.

A smart addition to the proceedings is to give the hunters personalities and gimmicks. There’s a video game designer (Jamie Timony) who assumes Baylor will recognize him from the cover of Wired (it turns out maybe he doesn’t read Wired). There’s a famous matador (Adam Saunders) who would like to murder a human every once in a while instead of a mere bull. The most memorable is Rhona Mitra as a cold-hearted oil company heiress. She exhibits many cliche female stereotypes, but she does it so well! She seems like more of a formidable opponent than the men, and she not only fights the female lead (Ann Truong as a local who Baylor meets when he rolls down a hill and bumps into some elephants) but has a long one-on-one with Baylor where she holds her own for a while before getting kicked through a wall. All throughout, the camera glorifies her in the types of shots Milla Jovovich thrives on, for example when she fires two mini-crossbows while walking away from an explosion.

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We get to see that from a couple different angles, too.

Unfortunately the hunting all takes place in the jungle. Nice scenery, and I know it’s to save money, but a hike through trees pales compared to an urban New Orleans setting in my opinion. But just as I was thinking about the first one being better partly because of great motorcycle action, a truck pulls up to distribute motorcycles to the hunters. Nothing matches the classic slow-motion motorcycle vs. car chicken game, but Adkins does get to one-up the kicking-motorcyclist-in-face scene by doing his trademark two-person kick on two motorcyclists.

Also worth noting: the motorocycles have machine guns, rockets and other gadgets built in.

The fighting is very clear and pretty varied. You can tell Adkins does many of his own stunts, which include alot of jumping away from explosions, off of bridges, or into the air to fire an arrow, as professional fighters have been trained to do, I’m sure.

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He punches and kicks, occasionally uses guns, shoots arrows, sets off landmines, rides a motorcycle, a boat, all kinds of things.

This is absolutely a good movie of its type, but I have to admit that as a connoisseur I had hopes and dreams for a HARD TARGET 2 that it didn’t completely fulfill on arrival. It’s just too much to live up to, unfortunately. One problem you have is that Adkins himself has starred in several of the best DTV action movies ever made, movies I mention every other day but in case I have to specify they include: UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING, UNDISPUTED 23, NINJA 12. And this is not gonna knock any of those off the list.

More importantly it’s hard to completely avoid comparing this to HARD TARGET, a movie that we’ve had decades to fall in love with, that was made with four times the budget, in a different time, by one of the greatest action directors who ever lived, at very close to his artistic peak. And though he was struggling with the studio you can still see the hunger there to make a good movie in this different system. Just compare it to all the other American action movies of the time, or even other Van Damme movies, and you can see how much lightning he squeezed into that bottle.

By the way, when this movie was first announced they said it would be produced by Woo, but his name is not on the credits. I wonder what happened there?

I like Reine’s nods to Woo: the first shot is of a pigeon in a cage, Baylor sleeps in a shed surrounded by doves, he has an inexplicable walking-slow-motion-with-doves-scattering shot, and there’s a brief Mexican standoff. He also gives Aldrich the same distinctive pistol as Henriksen’s Fouchon, which he says on the commentary track means that the two characters are related (I kept expecting them to say something like that in the movie).

I don’ think you can expect anybody to match Woo in the action department, so I won’t. But I do think it’s fair to think this rehash of the story removes some of the crucial elements of the original without finding enough new things to make up for their loss. With its vivid depiction of soup kitchens, long shoremen fighting for work, and long lines waiting for jobs passing out porno flyers, HARD TARGET painted a stark contrast between the desperate hunted and the degenerate hunters. Part 2 continues with the class differences by mentioning the corporate backgrounds of most of the hunters, but as a former star athlete living humbly in Thailand Baylor is too much of anomaly to have the working class hero appeal of penniless Boudreaux. Maybe more importantly he just doesn’t have as much personality. Adkins is great, and he does have a few good tough guy lines, but I miss the color (and style) of Chance.

To put it another way, we can tell the difference between Chance and any other Van Damme character. But Baylor could be pretty much any Adkins character with an American-ish accent.

And there’s one part that I consider an action faux pas, at least to my fellow fans of Jeeja Yanin, the amazing star of CHOCOLATE, RAGING PHOENIX and THE PROTECTOR 2. To my surprise (but not yours anymore – sorry) Jeeja pops up for a cameo near the climax, when five of Aldrich’s “friends” show up to try to kick Baylor’s ass. At the center, with the coolest pose, is Jeeja, and he singles her out for ridicule.

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Even if you don’t know who Jeeja is, you know what this implies: this “little girl” has to give him a way harder time than he expects. But she doesn’t. She gets in some fast spinning kicks, but no more than the guys do, before he grabs her by the hair and punches her out. I like that female fighters are given full equality in this movie, and the abruptness of that finishing move is great. I also gotta assume they would’ve liked to do more of a scene with her but time did not permit. Still, if you know who she is it feels a little insulting to her. Only big Hollywood productions are supposed to treat martial arts icons as anonymous thugs.

(Fortunately NEVER BACK DOWN: NO SURRENDER gave her a good guest appearance earlier this year.)

Since all these things are complaints about what the movie is not, instead of what it is, I hope they won’t matter as much (if at all) when I watch it again some time down the line. Which I definitely will. Whether or not it’s worthy of the HARD TARGET title, it’s another respectable entry in the Adkins catalog. I mean, this is in the movie:

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VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 at 12:24 pm and is filed under Action, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

83 Responses to “Hard Target 2”

  1. Had a great time with HT2. Adkins told me the connective tissue to this and the original was supposed to be that Knepper was to be Henriksen’s brother, but Universal didn’t like the idea. It’s a GREAT idea.

  2. I enjoyed it this one as a pretty solid DTV chepquel, meaning I watched it and enjoyed it and will probably never watch it again. I felt it was more solid than Reine’s other movies which I usually just think are okay. For comparison I liked it much more than KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE and it is a much, much better play on THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME than Rob Zombie’s 31 which I saw last week.

    As stated before, HARD TARGET is forever synonymous to New Orleans with me so a sequel taking place in a random jungle was never going to live up to it for me. Despite that, for what it is, it’s pretty entertaining and I recommend it.

  3. It’s available streaming on Netflix. Going to watch it tonight.

  4. Tomorrow, bitches. Tomorrow.

  5. The Undefeated Gaul

    September 7th, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    There is so much to like in this film and although I have bitched about fellow countryman Roel Reiné in the past (have only seen a couple of his early Dutch films and DEATH RACE 2, which was a goddamn travesty), I will admit he made this thing look way more slick and expensive that it was, with all those nice shots of the scenery using drones and the sheer amount of stunts/action. If you think about this whole thing being shot in 20 days, that’s kind of a stunning achievement all in itself.

    Still, where Adkins’ films fall down too often is the scripts. You’ve got this guy who’s a brilliant martial artist and who, aside from Statham, has got no Western equal when it comes to making ass-kicking look this spectacular on film. Downside is he’s not a versatile actor. He does have presence and charisma, but it only comes out if you let him play to his strengths. When you do that, you get an iconic character like Boyka. When you don’t do that, you get Casey Bowman or Wes “The Jailor” Baylor. He knows this himself and mentions it often in interviews – he needs to play a villain or anti-hero to really shine. Don’t get me wrong, Ninja 2 imho is right up there with Undisputed 2-3 for entertainment value, but that’s just because of the frequency and insanely high quality of the fights – Casey Bowman is still as dull and empty a character as they come.

    So I keep asking myself, why not just write better scripts? Just make sure you’ve got something written down that makes even a tiny lick of sense before you get the cameras rolling. I know you need money and time to build an insane action sequence, but there is no excuse for the scripts being THIS crap. Jesus, just write a good character for the guy that he can go all out with, write a gripping story and build some fucking drama into it. You don’t need so many explosions if you’ve got a good story, meaning you can save budget and shooting days for one or two truly amazing fight sequences that will stick in people’s minds, instead of making sure someone’s getting kicked every two minutes but because it’s all rushed, not one of those kicks is truly memorable.

    I’m actually playing with the idea now of writing a script for Adkins myself, just for the hell of it, taking into account the issues related to this type of rushed, low-budget DTV style of shooting. It’ll be a fun project, even if I never even try to get it to him.

  6. Vosloo’s character doesn’t actually shoot the arrow gun in the first one. I just watched it the other night (an uncut print from Russia that restores the MPAA trims for violence). It’s another bald rich guy that shoots them.

  7. Yeah Picks weapon of choice was a shotgun and never used an arrow.

  8. Pick was a surgeon with that shotgun Sternshein.

    “Randal Randal Randal….you were gonna leave without saying goodbye.”

  9. More like a poet if you ask me. He painted that car window so beautifully red.

  10. Love the little smirk to himself afterwards as well. Sort of a “….well even I thought that was a bit much, but it was hilarious!” kind of look.

    In regards to Hard Target 2 though, I’ll probably skip it. What made the original such a classic was the gonzo Woo style and the fact that everyone got shot at least 8 times. This one sounds a lot more straight forward and, I’m sorry to say, despite liking the guy, I find Adkins to be a bit of a charisma free zone.

  11. At this very moment I have cracked open a beer and put HARD TARGET 2 in my blu ray. Shit is on.

  12. It just occured to me how much Scott Adkins resemble Wade Barrett.

  13. What did you think, Shoot?

  14. This is an enjoyible DTV sequel/reboot. I agree with Vern that it is not a good as the UNDISPUTED sequels, or the Hyams UNISOL films but it is a solid entry to the genre with nice some pulpy touches that makes the most of its budget.

  15. Doogula, Adkin’s character is pretty generic especially compared to JCVD’s Chance in the original, but as Vern mentioned in his review the films Features some pretty fun and memorable villains to add some personality to the film.

  16. karlos- it was solid. And it is always good to see a DTV that has some production values to it, let alone none of the convoluted narratively confusing nonsense that plague most of contemporary Seagal.

  17. Count D – I come back here again…. I cut me a steak!

  18. I watched the beginning before I had to do something else and I loved that one HK style stunt with the guy falling down and hitting like 4 floors on the way down.

  19. Winchester – Love it. Pick, the only henchman to make a turtleneck look imposing.

    Sternshein – Based on your stunt synopsis above, I’ll check it out. I don’t want to be the asshole lamenting the lack of stunt work in today’s films but at the same time not supporting them.

    Overall though, all this talk of Pick has got me thinking that maybe one of the big problems with recent action movies is the lack of decent henchmen or the classic “Fuck up the henchman then proceed to fuck up the lead villain” in that order

    The last Unisol got it right, with the Lundgren followed up by Van Damme fight. Any others anyone can think of?

  20. Baseball bat boy and Hammer girl from THE RAID 2 are pretty awesome henchmen/women

  21. Also, Daniel Bernhard played a decent henchman in JOHN WICK. Had a couple of good fights with Wick

  22. Actually yeah, good call, Bernhard was great.

  23. Bought this yesterday just across the border in Sweden (it’s kind of like our version of Mexico) and watched it last night. I had just seen the new brilliant show QUARRY on HBO so it had a lot to live up to, but I liked it. We could be looking at a new franchise here.

  24. You talk shit, despite being colonized by both Danish and Swedes. Damn dirty Norwegian!

  25. You guys getting any traction on building that wall around Sweden? Sadly, that is probably a real idea someone out there has.

  26. Skani- someone in my hometown made a serious suggestion of building a dome to protect the town from foreign influences. But noone else took it seriously.

  27. I’ll view take that as a sanity triumphs over fear story. #winning

  28. If they do build a wall, Shoot, it will be to keep you guys in.

  29. The good thing is that we already had our wall, so while I won’t rule out that it won’t happen again, it will be less likely over here.

  30. Why did you guys already have a wall? Was it the trolls? Was it a troll wall?

  31. If by trolls, you mean russians.

  32. I did enjoy this one, as I enjoy any chance to see Scott Adkins kick people in the face, but there was one action faux pas that was massively disappointing. I was okay with the female lead killing Rhona Mitra ( with a pretty awesome finishing move) but they introduce a bullfighter villain, with a trademark sword no less, and Adkins doesn’t even get to fight him!!! He’s busy having a boat chase!!!

  33. City On Fire has an important article for us Action Fans.

  34. Here’s the link.

  35. Felix, try again.

  36. cityonfire.com/the-real-hard-target-martial-arts-cinema-piracy/

  37. That shit is so depressing. Not just the “we don’t have the money to make our movies because you keep stealing them” aspect, but how those other fuckers believe that it’s their right to have everything for free. I stopped downloading shit in 2008, mostly because of fear of getting caught, but over the years I also realized that it’s a shitty thing to do.

  38. Even a misantropic asshole like me purchased HARD TARGET 2. I hate these fuckers!

  39. Sure, downloaders are scum. But sadly I don’t think it’s that simple. The situation for movies is pretty much the same as it is for newspapers, comics, TV etc, in that the people who invest in them are taking way too much profit out of circulation. One of the commenters is mentioning money laundring and that’s certainly a part of the problem, but plain old capitalism is the biggest enemy of all art. UNDISPUTED III have 10 producers. Imagine what is left when all them have made a profit…

  40. I’ve noticed in many interviews with action stars and directors the last few years that they complain about having shorter schedules than they used to because the budgets are lower, and not being able to do the type of action they want to. By pirating movies you are contributing to the degradation of the artform of the fight scene. YOU are responsible for Jason Statham and Scott Adkins fighting in EXPENDABLES 2 but only getting an afternoon to prepare the fight. You have wronged me and I will have my revenge.

  41. Vern, are you sure that that particular example isn’t down to another big problem in the genre, stars with huge egos who also produce?

  42. Oh, there is no doubt that the “too many producers” syndrome is another important piece of the puzzle. In the last few years many articles have been written about how German TV licence fees are split up among dozens of suits and “producers”, before the spare leftovers are given to the people, who actually produce something and I can imagine the problem in the world of DTV Action movies is pretty much the same. But it’s hard to find any producers at all, if not enough people pay to see your product.

  43. That’s why, even when I’m not nuts about a new action movie I just bought, I’m still glad I bought it because at least I’m contributing to the machine that will hopefully produce the next one that I do like.

  44. I just don’t know why people pirate anymore. At one time it was actually difficult to get a hold of work by certain artists, either because it was hard to get or too expensive. With some exceptions, you can access anything for relatively cheap. Go to the library, Amazon.com, Netflix streaming, Netflix DVD, Crackle, (legitimate) Youtube channels, your local video rental store (if you still have one near you). I’m a long way from rich, but I like to spend what money I have to help artists so they can keep on making great work. Are people pirating just because they’re lazy? What the hell is going on here?

  45. When you look at the list of the most pirated movies of 2015, they’re all well-known blockbusters. So I would say that it’s a combination of wanting to view stuff in our own home and the fact that a lot of people simply can’t afford going to the cinema anymore.

  46. I’m not trying to justify my actions, but I mostly download stuff that’s out of print or import-only or simply too far out of my price range for how much the movie’s worth to me. I never download new stuff no matter the cost, because I want to support working filmmakers so they will continue to do the kind of work I enjoy. That said, if I had to spend money on every old movie I wanted, I’d be living with my massive movie collection in a refrigerator box under an overpass with no way to watch them. Maybe you think I should just go without, but that’s not putting any money in the filmmakers’ or distributors’ pockets either. I don’t see why my limited income should also limit my exposure to cinema. Sure, there are other methods, but they don’t suit me. Official downloads and digital rentals are overpriced and constricting, and streaming can fuck right off. A movie comes on Netflix and then disappears just as fast. I don’t want any corporate entity dictating when and where and for how long I can watch a movie.

    In any case, I do way more than my fair share for the legitimate video industry. Except for cost-of-living stuff, Blu-rays and DVDs are my #1 expense. Not even counting all the studio stuff I get as a matter of course, I probably gave Shout Factory and Arrow Films a combined $200 in the past month, because they do great work and I want to see them thrive. I am not without sin but I’m also not part of the problem.

  47. To be fair, some of the digital rights management is fucked up. I wanted to watch the pilot of Jean Claude Van Johnson, but I could not find a legal way to do it on Amazon, even if I purchase films there regularly. I found the pilot on Youtube, so I could watch it there. But clearly, I should have been able to watch it legally like most folks in Europe.

    The di

  48. And those restrictions are probably gonna get worse now that we finally got TISA and TTIP off the table. USA strikes back!

  49. It´s not easy being eurotrash, when there are so many different copyright laws in which all this Amazon non-streaming bullshit for Nordic citizens adhers to

  50. Yeah, I don’t want to get holier than thou, because I’ve certainly downloaded stuff illegally in my lifetime. I just rarely have a reason anymore. For $22 a month I can stream everything from Netflix and get two DVDs at a time. The vast majority of music I want to listen to is available legally. Of course, that doesn’t mean that everything is accessible legally, and this doesn’t solve the problem of making sure artists are paid a fair amount.

    Also, I watched Hard Target 2 last night. It has some great action and is all around a solid film worthy of its name. I thought the dude who played the villain was pretty damn good at being a prick. You got a sense that aside from the fact that Aldrich was hunting him down, Scott Atkins still would kind of hate the guy’s guts.

  51. The Netflix over here sucks for the same reason I mentioned above. So the streaming services are not doing a very good job of what they should be doing. Now, they mostly serve the most basic needs. On Netflix over here you get pretty much jack shit.

  52. Does it help Scott Adkins in any way if everybody who has Netflix just leaves it playing HARD TARGET 2 over and over again? Serious question.

  53. Not in Europe. Remember they used to have NINJA but anymore. EU Netflix barely recognize Adkins anymore in the search engine.

  54. That’s not a bad idea. I do remember once reading about some band who created a completely silent album with the hopes that their fans would stream it at night and they would use the money to tour and put on some free concerts. I’m pretty sure Spotify shut it down relatively quickly.

  55. Not sure if it would help, Vern, but getting a deal with Netflix or one of the other streaming stations could maybe help Adkins become a bigger name.

  56. It helps because what if Hard Target and other of his movies do well then they can make more movies with him.

  57. Just read an interview with Avi Lerner where he said that he estimates the bugdet on a movie after what he expect they will earn back. And this is a man who has famously said that he views movie making as just business. So maybe Adkins needs to get some other backers to really hit the big time. If that’s what we really want..?

  58. Vern, this might shed a little bit of light on your question. I would think if Scott Adkins movies did enough views on Netflix that they might be willing to help fund a movie he’s in. I learned this information from an article in the Hollywood Reporter

    The Netflix Backlash: Why Hollywood Fears a Content Monopoly

    The streaming service is spending $6 billion a year on content, choking basic cable and brusquely rattling the relationship business of the town as fears of a Google- or Apple-sized dominance send a chill down the entertainment industry's spine.

    “Netflix also is making smaller movies that otherwise might be homeless. “As sellers, we’re glad they’re on the block,” says producer Michael De Luca, who recently set up a film based on Sarah Pinborough’s YA novel 13 Minutes at Netflix. On such projects, says another film producer, Netflix buys out the backend and offers about 20 percent over production costs — “equivalent to what [profit participants] would have gotten from a studio on a modest hit.”

    With Netflix offering no metrics, it’s impossible to know whether the upfront compensation is a windfall or falls short of what a film would have earned through a conventional theatrical release. The upside is that money is assured and there is no risk of reading horrifying box-office numbers on a Saturday morning. But for some filmmakers, a theatrical run still has meaning, and a deal with Netflix means giving that up. Unlike Amazon, Netflix has refused to open up an exclusive window for exhibitors — one reason why Nate Parker chose to sell The Birth of a Nation to Fox Searchlight in a Sundance auction even though Netflix offered millions more.”

  59. Speaking of “ways to support Scott Adkins’ career,” he posted an official Boyka t-shirt, only for sale for 2 weeks.

    https://represent.com/scottadkins

  60. I’m on my way to Scandinavia’s Mexico now, and I’m gonna buy every Scott Adkins dvd/blueray I see…

  61. What, are they banned for heresy against the Blood Gods of Norway or something?

  62. You know, I’ve learned about a lot of things on this sight, but I think the Scandinavian-on-Scandinavian racism is the most adorable.

  63. I’m back from my little safari in the dark dungeons of the Swedish market place called Svinesund (believe it or not, but that means Bay of Pigs in English). This is the place Norwegians have travelled to in hordes since the early 70’s to buy cheap alcohol, bacon, porn and firecrackers. These days it’s just alcohol and bacon left. And apparently no Adkins dvds I don’t already own.

    Majestyk, we may joke about our former occupiers (we could joke about the Danes too, but there’s absolutely nothing funny about that country), but the fact is most Norwegians love Sweden to bits.

  64. Yeah, beside their paganistic church burning rituals, Norwegians are pretty cool

  65. Hey, we killed all the aristocrats 500 years ago, what’s wrong with a little church burning?

  66. Almost forgot, I bought the first HARD TARGET on blueray.

  67. Pegsman, while not a full directors cut, it has most of the cut violence put back in.

  68. Yeah, it looked good. Hadn’t seen it in a while, and it was even better than I remembered.

  69. This was some primo A-grade quality, B-grade DTV shit, with a decent amount of love and respect for Woo’s classic. The doves, the slo-mo, some slick violence. I liked the weird touches like Adkins rolling across rocks on a waterfall then tumbling down a hill into a herd of elephants, as you might in the Thai jungle.

    Some unintentional weirdness and laughs, as I’m 99.5% sure this is just my warped head, but when the lead villain says to the hero “You killed your best friend in the ring”, I can’t keep a straight face.

    Knepper was a great villain, he not only looks like Henriksen but seemed to be channelling him. Some of his quips sounded exactly the same as Lance’s from HT – “Primo”, “Abso-Fuckin-Lutely”. But I might be confusing that with another movie.

    The closing credits sequence was strange – Adkins walking around Thai city streets, hitching a ride on cargo trains, all the while eerie music playing on the score. I expected some action to kick in, maybe some associates of Knepper arriving to finish the job and set up HARD TARGET 3 – ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK. But no dice.

  70. Hard Target 2 was pretty good. The first Hard Target is, of course, probably the worst movie ever made.

    However, the lady in this movie definitely does not “hold her own” in the fight with Scott Adkins. She looked ridiculous.

    Re: piracy/downloading. I can’t justify piracy. But I will say that, personally, it is very frustrating living in the Caribbean and not having any way to pay for on-demand rentals or purchases of movies that I want to see and am willing to pay for. Netflix streaming is very limited here but fortunately has a lot of JCVD/Scott Adkins/Dolph Lundgren flicks to watch. And I buy DVDs when I am in the US or Canada. But I would much rather pay to stream movies online and studios are missing out on a lot of money by not allowing everyone to do that from anywhere. As an example, I caught Redeemer on Netflix a few weeks ago and immediately set out to watch Marko Zaror’s other Chilean movies (I have Undisputed III on dvd). I spent about three hours trying to find a way to watch them online (using a roku) and could not find a way without being in the US and/or having a US credit card. I was hoping to rent them (around $5 each) but that wouldn’t work so I tried buying digital copies (around $10 each). I will probably end up ordering one or two of those DVDs off Amazon Canada at some point when I am visiting family but the DVDs are imports and cost around $20 each. So instead of me immediately buying 3 movies for $10 each, I might end up buying one for $20 or, more likely, just watching something else that I can get on Netflix or that I find randomly in a store. Again, I’m not justifying piracy, but it really pisses me off when I have to bend over backwards to try and pay money to support artists that I like (and it still doesn’t work). So I can understand why some people might download movies without paying for them. I don’t understand the people that are defiant about pirating and refuse to see the problem with it.

    Can someone here point me to a site to legally pay to stream movies internationally (without using a VPN)?

  71. Hallsy, I don’t think I’ve ever hated another outlawvern poster more than I do you right now. You apologize RIGHT NOW for calling Hard Target the worst movie ever. :)

    Seriously though, you suck. :)

  72. Adkins’ movies are coming thick and fast now. But as long as they are as good as they are who’s complaining? I really liked ELIMINATORS.

  73. The Undefeated Gaul

    February 2nd, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Anyone watching Taboo? Is it me or is Tom Hardy really rocking the Boyka look on that show? Wonder if he’ll break out a guyver kick during that duel next episode…

  74. After a disastrous rewatch of Hard Target 1 which made me question everything I’ve ever known, I decided to dive right in to Hard Target 2 and well, it’s not bad but its aggressive competence and adequateness honestly kinda made me miss the wacko touches that I just got done complaining about in Part 1.

    Part 2 probably has a “better” script – there’s no wheel-spinning first half before the chase begins, the whole hunting operation is a bit more fleshed out, the characters are more well-rounded with actual arcs and background stories, etc.. I thought it was a great idea to differentiate itself from the first one by making it more like Surviving the Game (in the case of the father/son hunting duo – LITERALLY like Surviving the Game!) – I like how you never knew if the bullfighter guy was some kind of noble warrior or just an asshole, and Rhona Mitra’s villainess is an immediately interesting character – too bad she’s not in it very much and looks incredibly awkward in the fight scenes which is weird since I feel like all of her movies are action movies.

    Knepper is excellent even though he’s nowhere as good as he is on Prison Break, but then again that’s a role of a lifetime so I didn’t expect him to be. Atkins shows a glimmer of charisma now and then but I still think he needs a few more acting lessons or a better written character before he can take his career to the next level. (Physically however, he’s pretty much the best DTV star we have going now).

    FYI, like Poeface I didn’t understand the end credit cookie/sequence at all – in fact *SPOILER* I wasn’t sure Temeura Morrison even had a definitive death, so I thought Atkins was stalking him to break up his new hunting ring, which would segue into the pre-title sequence where Morrison shoots at the guy and it cuts to “6 Months Earlier” for the rest of the movie. I somehow didn’t notice that guy from the beginning was the girl’s brother later on (I guess I’m racist), but you have to admit starting a movie with a flash forward, cutting back to a flash back, and never really explaining when you get back to the present time isn’t the best way to do things unless you’re trying to confuse people on purpose.

  75. When Atkins plays it straight i find him boring but I think he is as awesome when he plays a character.

    Also, I will pray for you. I’m sorry you have been cursed to not like Hard Target anymore.

  76. Correct, Sternshein – Adkins is always perfectly enjoyable an actor in his roles but when he plays Boyka it makes him go deeper.

    It’s his fucking Hamlet.

  77. That reminds me. I need to rewatch BOYKA.

  78. Reine is moving up in the world as he is the director of the Inhumans pilot they shot using Imax cameras.

  79. I was also a bit bamboozled watching the end credits, thinking it would go somewhere, but my wife – who has no pedigree in action movie watching – kept insisting that it was just extra footage of Baylor’s ordinary Bangkok routine which they’d shot and didn’t want to waste. I kept waiting for it to go somewhere and prove her wrong, but ultimately I’d have to agree with her.

    A solid effort, but without the memorable quirks of the original. And it could just as easily be called SURVIVING THE GAME 2; I don’t really remember much about the degenerate rich guys in HARD TARGET – other than that Sven-Ole Thorsen was one of them and one didn’t know to take the safety off before shooting – whereas they were a big feature of STG. I enjoyed that here; I would have enjoyed more of it. (I must confess to liking STG more than HT.)

    I really did feel like Knepper was going for a Henriksen impersonation at times, but didn’t quite pull it off. How could he? But thanks for trying! Morrison’s character was a bit disappointing – they seemed to be building him up as a real badass, like Pik, but in the end he didn’t get all that much to do.

    Nevertheless, I liked it. I’ll watch it again.

  80. I kind of feel bad for Roel Reine. He finally gets a shot at the big time by directing the Imax Inhumans TV pilot and everybody is shitting on it. Everybody is talking about how cheap it looks and it does look like what a DTV Marvel movie would look like. I hope if it doesn’t do well at all and just continues to get shit on that it makes it even harder for DTV directors to get a shot at the big time.

  81. I have no skin in the INHUMANS game but at least ’round parts such as these I can’t help but feel that part of the issue is that there are much better DTV action directors than Reine who we’d like to see get such a a big shot instead. I’m actually okay with Reine as he gets the job done most of the time. Over all though I agree with you, we should stick together even with the ‘lesser’ ones in hopes that the Floreteins, Hyams, and Whites etc. can have a shot of getting at the big time*.

    *And have their talents and voices diluted and produce movies we probably won’t like as much

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