When you think of UK cinema, the genre of martial arts comedy doesn’t spring to mind. Filmmaker Scott Adkins hails from England and has carved out a reputation as a phenomenal martial artist and a decent actor; he has almost single-handedly kept the market for direct-to-DVD action films alive. Accident Man and its sequel are his passion projects, combining cartoonish comedy with cutting-edge martial artistry.
Mike Fallon (Adkins) is a hitman with a difference: he makes his hits look like accidents. After messing up his working life in London, he relocates to Malta, and when his old mate Fred arrives the two begin to work together. Fred is captured, and now Fallon must protect Dante, the eccentric son of gangster Flaminia, in order to get him back alive.
Adkins is now 46, but as soon as the action starts, you know he’s still one of the best screen fighters of the last decade or so. In an inspired move, he brought in former Jackie Chan stunt team member and actor/choreographer Andy Long Nguyen to arrange the fights and face off against him in the final battle. If you’re into seeing the visual poetry at play in fantastical martial arts fights, look no further than this sequence, and the film as a whole.
Based on a comic strip that started in the early 90s, Accident Man 2 has lashings of cartoon violence, crude humour with scatological one-liners and low-budget computer effects. Arthouse, this ain’t. B-movie throwback with perhaps the best martial arts scenes in any UK movie, this is.
Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday is streaming now