2 out of 10
Release Date: 6th July 2015 (DVD Premiere)
Director: Ara Paiaya (The Supressor / Maximum Impact (2008) / Death List)
Cast: Gary Daniels, Dominique Swain, Eric Roberts, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, Alan Ford, Jerry Anderson, Max Cavenham, Ara Paiaya, Ron Smoorenburg, Angie Simms with Jeff Fahey and Mickey Rourke
Writer: Alan Davidson
Trailer: A HITMAN IN LONDON
How the mighty have fallen. Almost without exception, each of the top billing ‘stars’ of this pitiful action film have put in more than one excellent performance elsewhere. We even have an Oscar nominee present like Mickey Rourke (THE WRESTLER). Somehow, all these actors have aligned to put in some very bad work for martial arts film director Ara Paiaya. Of all the dimmed stars only Jeff Fahey (IRON MAZE) seems to care about getting his lines right, although he remains seated throughout the entire film.
A Hitman In London could have been called A Kangaroo in Surrey or An Ewok in Halifax for all it has to do with the title. UK action-plank Gary Daniels (THE EXPENDABLES) stars as the titular hitman (called Bradley), who after bollocksing up a hit on Mickey Rourke retires to the same street which Paul Tanter and Jonathan Sothcott shoot all their dodgy movies. He hides out opposite a whore house and eats Chinese food in the dim hope his former employers won’t find him. He’s that far off the grid you see. After some Russian pimps steal his takeaway and duff up Dominique Swain (FACE/OFF) for a fourth time, Hitman Bradley decides enough is enough and kills everybody. This leads to his discovery by the whorehouse owners (DARYL HANNAH who tries hard and MICHAEL MADSEN who somehow manages to out-shit his last shit performance) who are connected to Hitman Bradley’s shadowy former employers – The Executive – ran by an on form but bored looking ERIC ROBERTS). Madsen and Hannah’s scenes seem to have been shot seperately (Richard Driscoll-style) possibly in America, because their paths never cross Hitman Bradley’s. It’s as if they’re scenes could be lifted out of this film and place wholesale into another cheap actioner – it could happen – really! Poor Dominique Swain‘s Ho has a sister who is working in another whore house called The School House which doubles as a Conservative Party Gentleman’s Club. So he goes on a rampage trail that leads him all the way to the top. A confusing, half finished back-plot is played like a conspiracy thriller with a Poundland budget, and nothing gets resolved. Michael Madsen and Jeff Fahey just drop out of the story line unexplained and a dead Mickey Rourke pops up to make threats about pissing in someone’s eye socket. Pity Alan Ford (THE SMOKE) who can do his role standing on his head, but he’s misdirected and fucks up a string of standard Alan Ford invented cliches, so even he can’t be relied on here.
So what of our hero Gary Daniels? He’s been around for years but this soft-spoken embarrasment to wooden objects has only graced UK cinema screens once in a reasonable role as secondary henchman to Eric Roberts in The Expendables. He’s not a great actor and his fight-work is badly choreographed and shot. He looks uncomfortable having to shoulder all the heavy lifting too, especially with so many formerly cool name actors in the same room as him. He actually makes the likes of Scott Adkins look like Laurence Olivier. Maybe he’s better in other films, but I’ve not seen any of them.
For fun look out for the director’s cameo (ARA PAIAYA) as a sped-up henchman, X, in the ‘penultimate’ fight complete with helicopter blades and disappearing body parts! Also giggle at the henchman in the barn who gets hit on the head with a plastic bucket and then a plank of wood, whilst everyone else gets butchered or shot. Slim pickings, indeed, enjoyment wise you have to lower yourself to pisstaking.
There’s very little to recommend about this shoddy actioner. It’s forgettable, rushed, cheap and only worth a look to see some former greats take the money and run. A Hitman In London is the graveyard of vanities.
2 out of 10 – A Shit Film in London.
Second review below!
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Gary Daniels: Zero Tolerance, Tekken 2, Game of Death (2010), The Expendables, Tekken, Fist of the North Star, American Streetfighter, Blood Fist 4
- Dominique Swain: Alpha Dog, Girl (1998), Lolita (1999), Face/Off
- Eric Roberts: The Human Centipede 3, Suits (TV), Inherent Vice, Assault On Wall Street, Sharktopus, The Expendables, Heroes (TV), The Dark Knight, DOA – Dead or Alive, A Guide To Recognising Your Saints, National Security, Spun, The Prophecy 2, Most Wanted, The Cable Guy, Heaven’s Prisoners, Dr Who (TV), It’s My Party, The Specialist, Love Cheat & Steal, Best of the Best 2, Final Analysis, By The Sword, The Ambulance, Best of the Best, Blood Red, Runaway Train, The Coca Cola Kid, The Pope of Greenwich Village, King of the Gypsies
- Michael Madsen: Dystopia (TV), 2047, The Hateful 8, Diamond Heist, The Big I Am, Highway To Hell (2013), Strength & Honour, Not Another Not Another Movie, Scary Movie 4, The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (voice), Sin City, Kill Bill, James Bond – Die Another Day, Species 1 & 2, Donnie Brasco, The Winner, Mulholland Falls, Free Willy 1 & 2, Wyatt Earp, Final Combination, The Getaway (1994), Fixing The Shadow, Reservoir Dogs, Thelma & Louise, The Doors
- Daryl Hannah: 2047, Highway To Hell (2013), Silver City, Northfork, Kill Bill 1 & 2, Dancing At The Blue Iguana, My Favourite Martian, The Gingerbread Man, The Real Blonde, Grumpy Old Men 2, The Tie That Binds, The Little Rascals, Grumpy Old Men, Attack Of The 50ft Woman, Memoirs Of An Invisible Man, At Play In The Fields Of The Lord, Crazy People, Steel Magnolias, Crimes and Misdemeanours, High Spirits, Wall Street, Roxanne, Legal Eagles, Splash, Blade Runner, Hard Country
- Alan Ford: Lilyhammer (TV), The Smoke, The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, Cockneys Vs. Zombies, The Sweeney, Airborne (2012), Strippers Vs. Werewolves, Jack Falls, Dead Man Running, Snatch, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Exorcist: The Beginning, The Long Good Friday
- Jerry Anderson: Fear No Evil, Bonded By Blood 2, Cryptic, Full English Breakfast
- Ara Paiaya: The Supressor (dir), Maximum Impact (2008) (dir), Death List (dir)
- Ron Smoorenburg: Never Back Down 3, Tekken 2, Vikingdom, Who Am I?
- Jeff Fahey: Under The Dome (TV), Highway To Hell (2013), Machete, Planet Terror, Wyatt Earp, The Lawnmower Man, Iron Maze, White Hunter Black Heart, Blue Heat, Psycho 3, Silverado
- Mickey Rourke: War Pigs, Sin City 2, Immortals, Passion Play, The Expendables, Iron Man 2, 13, The Informers, The Wrestler, Alex Rider – Stormbreaker, Domino, Sin City, Man On Fire, Once Upon a Time In Mexico, Spun, The Pledge, Get Carter (2000), Animal Factory, Buffalo 66, The Rainmaker, Another 9 1/2 Weeks, Double Team, Fall Time, White Sands, Harley Davidson and The Marlboro Man, Desperate Hours, Wild Orchid, Johnny Handsome, Homeboy, A Prayer For The Dying, Bar Fly, Angel Heart, 9 1/2 Weeks, Year of the Dragon, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Rumblefish, Diner, Body Heat, Heaven’s Gate, 1941