If you look back through the filmography of director Jesse V. Johnson it doesn't really have anything that marks him out as someone you can rely on to deliver solid film fun. I might be being very unfair there, having not yet actually seen any of his other movies, but that's just how it is. But having now seen Accident Man, and enjoyed it, I may have to give some of his earlier movies a shot.
I decided to give this a go because of Scott Adkins in the main role. Adkins is a decent action star and I hadn't seen him in anything for a while. And it was a Saturday night with nothing planned.
Mike Fallon (Adkins) is a contract killer who specialises in making the deaths look like accidents, or sometimes suicides. He works for a firm that also employs other killers, all with their particular styles (one uses poison, one generally just goes mental with an axe, etc), and all is going well enough until Fallon's ex-girlfriend is murdered. It was obviously a professional job, although made to look like a random burglary gone wrong, and Fallon can't contain his anger, which leads to him questioning the people who work alongside him. And when I say questioning them I actually mean fighting them until he finds out information that leads him to fight someone else.
Based on a comic book, with a screenplay co-written by Adkins and Stu Small, this is an unpretentious little film that should keep action movie fans delighted from start to finish. The humour of the material doesn't always work, which is the fault of both the script and the delivery of the dialogue, and you have to kiss goodbye to any idea of believability, but none of that matters when the fights are happening.
As well as our leading man, you also get Michael Jai White, Ray Park, Ross O'Hennessy, Amy Johnston, and Ray Stevenson all impressing with their physicality onscreen. The most impressive moments involve Adkins, White, and Park, but everyone has at least one decent moment, and Johnston stands out as the lone female who is more than a match for the men around her. There are also roles for David Paymer and Ashley Greene, as well as a cameo for Nick Moran, and they're all decent, if a lot less involved in the punching and kicking sequences.
Johnson doesn't really do much to take this up another notch, although I'm not sure how much more he could do when you consider the limitations of the leading man (Adkins has got the moves but he sometimes falters with other aspects of acting like . . . well . . . acting), but it's also worth noting that he doesn't do anything to ruin the whole experience. Sometimes that is more than enough.
Accident Man has quite a few faults, undeniably, but they're easy to overlook if you're looking specifically for the kind of violent entertainment that this absolutely delivers.
There's a DVD here.
Americans can get a Blu here.