When his home in London is attacked, a former federal agent (Scott Adkins, Doctor Strange) must come out of hiding of the witness protection program to protect his daughter. With his true identity exposed to the criminal underworld, he goes on the run with Europe's most dangerous assassin on his trail and must use every trick he knows to keep his family alive. Also starring Wade Barrett, Eliminators is a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride.
"If you've seen one, you've seen them all" is a quaint little aphorism that may be a little too easily applied to action flicks. It's true if the movie is a direct-to-video action movie. It's especially true if said action movie just so happens to star English badass extraordinaire Scott Adkins. With his latest film directed by James Nunn, Adkins hardly reinvents the wheel, but he dispenses his fast feet and furious punches with easy in a fairly routine - but entertaining - thriller.
Thomas (Scott Adkins) works a dead-end job as a security guard. It may not be the most exciting job ever, but it pays the bills and allows him to provide a life for his young daughter Carly (Lily Ann Stubbs). Everything was going along just fine until some stupid drug dealers looking rip off some coke came into the wrong house. As much as Thomas tries to talk them out of it, it isn't before long Thomas' true nature and abilities come roaring back to life. After killing all three men in the blink of an eye, Thomas is taken into custody and charged with murder by the police. Worse than that, his face is all over the news. This is bad news because Thomas is actually a former federal agent in hiding through the witness protection program. Now that his long-time rival Cooper (James Cosmo) knows who and where Thomas is, he's sent a deadly assassin named Bishop (Stu Bennett AKA Wade Barrett) to finish the fight. To save his daughter, Thomas must break out of police custody and take Cooper and Bishop head on with or without the help of his former agency friends.
Really, truly, there is absolutely nothing new or original with 'Eliminators.' In point of fact, I don't even really get the title of the flick beyond it just sounding cool. The idea that the Feds would hide one of their own in London, a place where his accent alone would cause him to stick out like a sore thumb seems completely stupid to me. Part of me wishes there was a prologue to the film just long enough for the audience to sit in on the board meeting of geniuses who thought that plan up. On top of that, we have the world's deadliest assassin who doesn't seem to mind allowing his face to be photographed as he shoots up the city. Then you have the back story connection between Thomas and Cooper that is so silly and random that I don't even want to mention it here because I know it'll be good for a laugh to the audience.
But what the heck am I doing with this review anyway? Why am I even bothering to nitpick a direct to video Scott Adkins movie that was produced by WWE Studios? To be honest, I shouldn't be. Going into a movie of this type you know pretty darn well what you're being served. There aren't any plot surprises. Performances are about par for the course here as most of the cast puts in just enough effort to give the flick some energy. You're there for the action and at least on that level, 'Eliminators' delivers.
It'd be really easy to rale away on this movie and it's cliched script and plot and characters, but that's pointless in the face of the fact that 'Eliminators' is actually kinda fun. It may be stupid, that I will not dispute, but I won't say I was bored. Where this movie gets things right in its pacing and the action that tears across London is that it offers up plenty of inventive locations and scenarios for Adkins to flex his martial arts prowess. After his rather thankless role as silent Minion #2 in this year's 'Dr. Strange,' it's nice to see Adkins headlining things where he's comfortable. There is this part of me that keeps hoping he'll have one big theatrical hit and rise to superstardom, but I don't think that's what he wants or needs. Since 2015 Adkins has been in twelve films with four more coming in 2017. He's gonna be busy for a long time. 'Eliminators' isn't his best, nor is it the worst. It's just good dumb diverting fun. If that's all you're after, 'Eliminators' should put a smile on your face.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Eliminators' arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Universal Home Video and is pressed onto a Region Free BD50 disc. The disc comes housed in a standard sturdy Blu-ray case with identical slipcover. Also included is a Digital HD voucher. The disc loads directly to trailers for other Universal Home Video releases before arriving at a static image main menu with traditional navigations options.
'Eliminators' sports a digitally sourced 1.78:1 1080p transfer that is pretty much the standard operating procedure for a movie of this type. Detail levels are strong throughout offering up plenty of fine facial features, costuming, and set design work to show through. However, a lot of the movie seems to take place in cars at night with the only light coming from the dashboard readouts or a GPS system making the image a little lifeless in places. When there is a decent source of lighting or daylight sequences, the image looks great. Black levels are solid as a rock, rich and inky without any crush issues to speak of. The only real negative that I can say is that there is some apparent video noise in a few spots, but nothing too serious. It's not as lush or beautiful to look at as 'Hard Target 2' but does its job well.
'Eliminators' arrives packed with an English DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix that serves the nature of this movie well. It's not an altogether immersive audio experience, a lot of the side and rear sound effects work can feel canned, but it works. Dialogue comes through crystal clear without any issues. The film's score, sound effects, and ambient effects are well layered and keep to the midranges without any distortion. Imaging is notable and provides some nice channel movement, but again, it really only seems active in the sides and front/center channels. All around this is a fine mix and gets the job done.
Bishop for Hire: (HD 3:22) This is a brief, EPK style bonus feature that looks at actor Stu Bennett AKA Wade Barrett's character Bishop and what it was like filming action scenes like this for the first time.
Hand to Hand Bishop: (HD 6:06) This feature is very brief, very EPK styled but a good bit of fun showcasing the work that went into the fight sequences.
In all honesty, 'Eliminators' is nothing special. But it didn't have to be amazing to deliver some fun and it is certainly entertaining. Scott Adkins fans will no doubt have a blast with it, and those who haven't seen him deliver a high kick to the head, this isn't a bad introduction either. Universal Home Video has done right by this release with a spot on A/V presentation. Bonus features are a bit light considering how interesting it would have been to get a closer, more in-depth look at how they shoot the action sequences. At the end of the day, 'Eliminators' is worth a look - so long as you don't expect much from it.