review by Bobby Blakey
I love martial arts films more than just about any and Scott Adkins is one of my favorite martial arts stars out there. His latest Savage Dog has him teaming up with two others I love in MMA champion Cung Le and action star Marko Zaror with Green Street Hooligans 2 and the upcoming Triple Threat director Jesse V. Johnson at the helm. With a great team like this could this offer up yet another great martial arts flick or will it fail to hit its mark?
The film follows a Wild West town controlled by the criminal class: Vietnamese warlords and European war criminals in Indochina in 1959 . Den-Dhin-Chan Labor Camp is run by four such dangerous men. The worst prison in the land, it is here that a European, former-champion boxer Martin Tilman (Scott Adkins) has made a name for himself fighting tournaments, on which wealthy criminals gamble in high stakes events. When Tilman is due for release, he just wants to return home, but the corrupt forces running the jail will do everything in their power to keep him locked down. When all that Tilman holds dear is taken away in a vicious act of violence, he is forced to confront the five men responsible and take his revenge. This film takes fans of the genre back to the vibe of the 80s and 90s martial arts flicks wrapped up in a period piece. The story is pretty slim by design with just enough depth to give it purpose, but not so much to try and make it anything more than it is which is a great martial arts film.
The cast are all fine with Adkins leading the charge, but you watch a film like this for the action and it wastes no time on delivering it in spades. While there are some of the expected trick moves sprinkled throughout they took special note to remember the time period that it is in and tried to make the fights fit with that while still being dynamic. Anytime you get to see Adkins in action you know its going to at least be a great action film, but add to the mix the always amazing Marko Zaror who already faced off with Adkins in Undisputed III then you know you are in for a treat. As if that wasn’t already awesome enough you also get MMA icon Cung Le who brings his own style to the film and offers up a great fight with Adkins as well. This is a violent martial arts action flick that does not disappoint.
Check out this old school martial arts flick Savage Dog available now in theaters and then on August 8th on VOD and iTunes from XLrator Media.