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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews Accident Man

January 30th, 2018 by Marc 1 Comment

Accident Man (15)
Director: Jesse V. Johnson
Stars: Scott Adkins, Ray Stevenson & Ashley Greene 
Running time: 1hr 41mins

Mike Fallon, the Accident Man, is a stone cold killer whose methodical hits baffle the police and delight his clients. He is the best at what he does. But when a loved one is dragged into the London underworld and murdered by his own crew, Fallon is forced to rip apart the life he knew in order to hold those accountable and avenge the one person who actually meant something to him.

Ok, before I start this review, I just want to say: “Holy crap! There’s an Accident Man movie and I honestly had no idea!!!”

Ok, got that off my chest, so let’s get into it.

Accident Man was a comic strip that appeared in an awesome weekly British comic called Toxic! that ran from March to October 2001 and featured some of the best up-and-coming talent in the British comic industry. Although its most notable success story was Kev O’Neill’s superbly black Marshal Law, for me the strip that really grabbed my attention was Pat Mills and Tony Skinner’s Accident Man.

The comic told the story of assassin Mike Fallon, here played by Scott Adkins, a highly paid murderer who specialised in making his hits look like either accidents or suicides. In the early weeks of the comic strip Fallon was a pretty down and dirty character who lived in the London East End but loved the high life – later the character enjoyed a limited series at Dark Horse which, while still brilliant, saw Fallon become more of a murderous Bruce Wayne.

It’s the down and dirty version of the character we get here in what is almost a direct adaptation of Fallon’s first appearance in the pages of Toxic!

We interviewed co-creator Pat Mills a few years ago (here) and he revealed that a movie was a real possibility (here) and at the time he told us that they were looking at an actor “who’s put an offer on the table which we’re looking at. He’s a black belt in karate and all the rest of it. He grew up reading Accident Man,” so we’re prepared to guess that that was Adkins since the action star receives a writing credit here and the plot is pretty faithful.

So there’s pros and cons with this movie.

The movie itself is rough and ready but has a lot of heart, coming across as a Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels meets John Wick type outing, populated by the crazy b@#tards right off the page, but sadly lacks in many other areas. For one thing, while we do see Fallon kill someone, we only see him really arrange an accident once… for something that created a lot of the cleverness and fun in the comics and with such a short running time, it wouldn’t have killed them to fire a few more in.

The direction is pretty standard, relying on jump cuts and quick edits between scenes that was probably imagined as being the British version of Smokin’ Aces, but honestly not really making much of itself. The score is atrocious and sounds like royalty free music for the most part; and the performances, while there is some genuine talent in here including Thor and Punisher: Warzone star Ray Stevens as well as Get Shorty’s David Paymer, fall pretty flat and aren’t helped out by the direction.

The movie looks like it was made for £30 and, while this is undoubtedly where most of its shortcomings come from, it also works in the movie’s favour, giving it a curious low down, dirty charm.

Also, it has a scene where Adkins fights Darth Maul himself, Ray Park and The Dark Knight’s Michael Jai White, so it’s not all bad.

Overall, it’s genuinely hard to rate this one.

Is it a good movie? No, not really; in fact, it’s pretty bad… that said, it was so nice to see a character as nasty as Fallon put on screen so faithfully but, as great as Adkins is in the action scenes, he doesn’t quite hit the mark on the performance, though his passion for the character and his effort is all there and for that he should be commended, however, a better actor in the role and a few more quid in the budget and this could go beyond cult oddity to serious franchise contender.

I will say this, Accident Man, to me, doesn’t real feel like a movie that someone will watch without knowing much about the character and particularly enjoy (unless corny, shoestring action is your thing – and nothing wrong with that), but if, like me, you grew up reading this character, then you just might enjoy the familiar underlying horribleness of this world (while also realising how much John Wick owes this character).

But when all is said and down, in a world dominated by Marvel characters, it’s nice to know that out there Mike Fallon is waiting to drop you off a ledge to buy himself a new motorbike.

3 out of 5 Nerds – it gets an extra point for effort.

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Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….