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  Accident Man Death Is His Business
Year: 2018
Director: Jesse V. Johnson
Stars: Scott Adkins, Ray Stevenson, Ashley Greene, David Paymer, Michael Jai White, Ray Park, Amy Johnston, Perry Benson, Nick Moran, Ross O’Hennessy, Tim Man, Leon Finnan, Brooke Johnston, Stephen Donald, Ravi Aujla, Stu Small, Aaron Thomas Ward
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Mike Fallon (Scott Adkins) is the Accident Man, so-called because he murders people and diverts attention away from himself by making the deaths look like accidents. He's something of an expert in his chosen field, but doesn't do it for fun, he does it for profit as he is a hitman rather than a serial killer, and his latest contract has been lucrative enough to pay for a new motorcycle. His base is in London, and he is part of a coterie of assassins who all assemble to drink at The Oasis, their local watering hole which is run by barman, and ex-hitman, Ray (Ray Stevenson). They are all very good at their jobs, and like to wind each other up, but some things, as Mike discovers, are no laughing matter...

Accident Man was a comic strip that hailed from the now-half-forgotten, early nineties British publication Toxic! which was the result of a bunch of British artists and writers getting together to gain more power over the rights to their characters, a tricky situation in that world where the publishing companies often had the final say in who profited from the creativity of the talents they employed: just ask Alan Moore for the sob stories. Or indeed Pat Mills, for he was the co-creator of Accident Man, though it was his character Marshall Law who had been the main advantage Toxic! had on their roster, an anti-hero who was a murderer of superheroes with the backing of the authorities.

We never did get that Marshall Law movie, probably because it would be too expensive and he has been somewhat lost in the shuffle of late eighties and nineties comic books when the medium experienced an upsurge in visibility. Accident Man was a different proposition, as he was not a science fiction protagonist but instead one who was, ostensibly at least, based in the real world and therefore not needing too much in the way of visual effects to bring him to life. Adkins, that star of B-action flicks whose physical prowess had won him a loyal following, was an ideal choice to play him since for a start he could convincingly handle himself in a fight, as per the combat needs of the storyline.

He may not have dressed in the comic's outfit of black-blue bodystocking and white gloves, but much of the plotting and dialogue was lifted from its pages, for example the explanation of Fallon's PMT - not what you may be thinking, it stood for Post-Murder Tension which he relieves by beating up a pub full of thugs who were harassing a barmaid. Or he could hit his punchbag, if he didn't wish to draw attention to himself. What was satisfying about this, even if you did not know the source, was its adherence to pulp storytelling as if you had been unaware of its comic origins you could take a guess that had been the case, despite the lack of any superpowers. This was not exactly a Marvel rip-off, as it was far more identifiably British, with most of the cast filled out with Brits, though there was a smattering of Americans.

The actors playing the hitmen were familiar from this sort of affair, a graduation from, say, a football hooligan film that cluttered up the DVD shelves of supermarkets for those who still bought them for post-pub entertainment, though you could reason Accident Man was after the same market. Action men like Ray Stevenson and Ray Park mingled among imports like Michael Jai White and Amy Johnston, both of whom had established themselves as stars of their own vehicles in a similar manner to Adkins, and if you were anticipating epic punch-ups between the bad guys and the newly-conscience-stricken Fallon, you would not be disappointed. Director Jesse V. Johnson was a veteran stuntman and knew how to make the best of the budget available: make those fights the highlight, with the gym two on one skirmish and Adkins tussling with Johnston two good motives for checking this out. With a theme acknowledging murder should not be a game as it has real consequences, there was a shade more depth here too; maybe nothing that new, but not bad. Music by Sean Murray.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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