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Scott Adkins returns to whup ass in “Undisputed III: Redemption”. If you don’t know the name Scott Adkins by now, then you’ve been missing out on some really good old school action, and I suggest you get on Netflix or Amazon and rectify that right now, buddy. His latest is “Redemption”, and it hurricane kicks its way onto DVD, Blu-Ray, Combo Pack, and On Demand June 1, 2010 from Warner Bros. Home Video Entertainment.
Eight elite fighters — prisoners from maximum security prisons around the world — are brought together by a powerful underground gambling syndicate for a secret, survival-of-the-fiercest battle competition. The prize: freedom for the champion — and a payday of millions to the organizers. Except the syndicate really doesn’t plan on allowing anyone to walk free.
Scott Adkins (the fearsome Weapon XI in X-Men Origins: Wolverine) returns as Boyka in a spin-kicking, iron-fisted, ground-and-pound fury of martial arts mastery. With the odds against him overwhelming, Boyka will take on the syndicate his way. If his gambit works, it might send the whole scheme crashing down around them.
Along with director Isaac Florentine (who also directed Adkins in last year’s “Ninja” and “Undisputed II”), Scott Adkins is bringing back old style martial arts movies to the masses, the kind that used to dominate videostore shelves and cable everywhere in the late ’80s and ’90s. Nowadays the genre is mostly confined to the direct-to-DVD market, which isn’t really such a bad thing. The lack of theatrical release and profile allows Florentine to go as far as he needs to with the asskicking because let’s face it, you’re not going to stumble onto a movie like “Undisputed III” unless you’re looking for it, so there’s not a whole lot of limitations when it comes to onscreen brutality, of which there are plenty in “Undisputed III”.
The film itself is everything you can want from a Scott Adkins martial arts movie. If you’re a fan of the man’s brand of mayhem, “Undisputed” is a pretty impressive addition to his growing resume. With part three, Adkins’ battling Russian con Boyka takes over the spotlight from Wesley Snipes in the first movie and Michael Jae White in the first sequel. His Boyka is a broken man when we first see him, but thanks to some movie magic, quickly returns to form as the badass from the second movie, now determined to win a big ol tournament in order to gain his freedom. The combination of brutal action and athletic moves on show from Adkins is impressive.
Mykel Shannon Jenkins as the predictably loud and braggart Turbo lends able support, and yeah, you’ll have a hard time understanding a lot of the other castmembers. The film was shot overseas with a mostly non-English speaking cast forced to speak English, so that’s to be expected. Mind you, not that you’ll care. The film is basically one big excuse for Scott Adkins to kick people’s asses in a variety of ways. And in that respect, it delivers for its entire 90 minute run.
Does “none” count as a special feature? It’s barebones, folks, sorry. All you get is some language options. On the plus side, the picture quality is top notch and Florentine has really grown as an action director. Of course it helps to have a human pinball machine like Adkins jumping around onscreen.