Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday (2022)

Posted in Reviews by - November 13, 2022
Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday (2022)

The somewhat inevitable return of beer-swilling, punch-throwing, bike-riding alpha-idiot Mike Fallon (Scott Adkins), an assassin who makes his kills look like accidents. Following his self-destructive escapades in the first film, Mike winds up in Malta for some R and R, only to return to his old tricks when he bumps into ‘Finicky Fred’ (Perry Benson). The two strike-up an unlikely bromance, cooking up new ways to accidentally kill their targets, mostly in increasingly bizarre and gruesome ways (one of the film’s many nods to the work of Edgar Wright, clearly a big influence on the film’s directors, the brothers George Kirby and Harry Kirby, making their feature film debuts). When Fred is kidnapped by Maltese thugs as a ploy to use Mike to protect the entitled, annoying son of a crime boss, he dutifully accepts in a bid to save his buddy. Things get hairy when a bounty is placed on the son’s head, attracting all manner of zany killers to take a swipe at him, including the fierce ‘Big Ray’ (a scene-stealing Ray Stevenson), eager to settle old scores. At a time when Adkins can move between headlining UK indies (Max Cloud, One Shot, etc.) and memorable supporting roles in Hollywood action fare (Section 8, Day Shift, etc.), this movie – his best so far at capturing the pace and excitement of the golden age of Hong Kong action cinema – proves that he still remains untouchable as a leading man in the independent fight market, turning in remarkable results on limited budgets and schedules. As producer, star, co-writer and fight choreographer, this ‘labour of love’ could quite easily have denigrated into pure vanity, but it is salvaged by a number of selfless acts. Adkins’ use of an expletive-filled script – co-written by his childhood friend, Stu Small – shows a propensity for self-deprecation, not to mention a verbal dexterity, which really works in the film’s favour. (Mike Fallon, described at one point as a “melted Ben Affleck”, is a lone man-child stuck behind a mockney, Guy Ritchie-like bravado, arguing with Maltese shop keepers for not selling Maltesers, and angry at his broken television for losing eight seasons of Bake Off). He even gives some of the best lines to his co-stars;Perry Benson has a winning presence, and comedian George Fouracres is broad and brash as the bratty son. As the action lead, Adkins is not above providing ample space for his co-stars to shine, hiring first-class stunt performers and martial artists who can take the hits as well as deliver the acting beats. Sarah Chang is given her best role to date as a wise-cracking Cantonese “Kato” to Mike Fallon’s Inspector Clouseau, leaping out of closets and behind the sofa to test Fallon’s fight skills. Andy Long – who has worked with Adkins previously on Boyka: Undisputed and Max Cloud – is exceptional; a blur of youthful energy, blonde hair, backflips and flying limbs who gives Adkins a serious contest as the film’s end boss. The two spin and crash and tumble in surely one of the most exciting kung fu fights of recent times. The convicted sex offender Zara Phythian (uncredited and removed from all of the film’s publicity) plays a tactical, gun-toting mercenary throwing knives and hand grenades in her final film performance before starting an eight-year jail term. Her appearance in the film is controversial – Sony allegedly refusing to provide the money needed for her scenes to be removed or edited – and makes for uncomfortable viewing given the magnitude of her crimes. The talented Beau Fowler brings a sense of pathos to his role as a killer clown, a role which should, in theory, be completely two-dimensional. Unlike the first film, the story is not related to any specific comic book in the Accident Man series, and coupled with Malta’s sun-soaked, laid-back disposition (also chosen for its budget implications), the film winds up acquiring a unique tone all of its own – distinctly breezier than it’s predecessor, but just as barbed and politically incorrect as before. On the second time of asking, it seems Adkins’ dream project is now hitting its stride.

AKA: Accident Man 2.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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