From the director of BANGKOK ADRENALINE comes this action thriller where the stakes are high in an all-out war between assassins.
Snakehead (Gordon Liu) is a criminal mastermind who has had Bangkok’s top assassins kidnapped and drugged. They awake in what is called the Killing Chamber. The assassins include Gabriel (Johnny Messner), Som (Ammara Siripong), Carpenter (Joe Lewis), The Kid (Tim Man), Takab (Brahim Achabbakhe), and Black Scorpion (Ice Chongko).
The plan is plain and simple: the group must go through a series of tests and fights to kill each other. If anyone attempts to escape, Snakehead plans to kill them all. However, some of the assassins will attempt to escape and then not only will they have to face each other, but Snakehead’s band of ninjas and henchmen and if they survive that, they will have the chance to face Snakehead himself in the ultimate test of survival.
Well, it is easy to describe Raimund Huber’s BANGKOK ADRENALINE as a film that was little plot and more or less a showreel for its lead stars and their flips and kicks against stuntmen. Sadly, one was only hoping that Huber would improve on a story with his next film and that is not to be. The problem is that the film’s central plot is one that has been beaten to death. A group of assassins forced to fight each other to the death in a locked chamber or go through a series of tests. Think of films like BATTLE ROYALE (2000) and SAW (2004) and that best describes the theme of the central plot.
One of the film’s pluses is that it bodes an international cast, from RING OF DEATH’s Johnny Messner and the late karate legend Joe Lewis to Thai starlet Ammara Siripong to Hong Kong legend Gordon Liu, who plays Jigsaw…errr, Snakehead, the mastermind behind the entire plot. Messner must have continued training in MMA after his 2008 prison flick because he gets to use MMA again in his fight scene against Brahim Achabbakhe. Lewis, in one of his final performances, shows he has not lost a step as he looked quite good for a legend in his action scenes.
The man in charge of fight choreography is Swedish-Chinese martial arts ace Tim Man, who also plays one of the assassins, The Kid. Man is truly is an amazing fighter, dazzling in the film’s opening fight scene. What is interesting about his choreography here is that he makes good use of the skills of the cast members, which can explain why Joe Lewis looks good here as compared to his only Hong Kong film, DEATH CAGE (1988), where he was just completely wasted. Siripong looks lethal here in her fight scenes and as mentioned, Messner resorts to using more MMA and no flash while Man himself shows his amazing kicking skills. Meanwhile, Gordon Liu doesn’t really do much until the finale and even there, it becomes a bit disappointing as many fans would expect Liu to shine here. However, Tim has the definite potential and NINJA 2 (2013) could just be his ticket to becoming a sought-after fight choreographer.
KILL EM ALL is a bit of a disappointment. Despite its pretty well done action scenes, it is sad to see Gordon Liu relegated to not doing much and the plot pretty much suffers from being a “dead horse”. Worth seeing only to appreciate the fight scenes.