For those of you who haven’t been following the Undisputed series, it all started out as a prison boxing movie starring Wesley Snipes and Ving Rhames, then it went on with Michael Jai White in the Rhames part and then it was handed off to Scott Adkins who played the villain in part 2 and became the good guy in 3.
Complicated characters, yes?
Scott Adkins, if you know, has been a bright light in the DTV (direct-to-video) market. While that market has been littered with a lot of Steven Seagal efforts (if you can call them that) and blatant rip offs of bigger movies (Transmorphers, anyone?), Adkins has proven to be one of the better action hero stars in the genre.
The man works hard, by the end of 2017 alone he will have 6 movies out.
So in this one, Adkins returns as Yuri Boyka, the “most complete fighter of all time” and still looking like a ‘roided out Ben Affleck from Chasing Amy. This time around he is enjoying time away from the slammer, still fighting but also donating bibles to a nearby church. Now while in the ring he accidentally kills an opponent and feels horrible about it (Boyka, bubby, you fight like a demon, why are you surprised this happened?). So naturally he goes to visit the opponent’s wife to ask forgiveness for what he’s done and of course she turns him away and tells him to stick his forgiveness up his ass. Boyka does a little research on the wife and realizes that she is under the local mob boss’s thumb and now wants to get her out of said mob boss’s debt. The mob boss tells Boyka to fight three fights for him and all is forgiven. You get the theme here, kiddies?
Naturally in a movie like this there is a lot of fighting and one of the good things about this series is the fight scenes. They definitely let you see what’s going on and the camera follows along nicely. The story is what you’d expect from a DTV movie, nothing special here at all but not a bad time killer if you have nothing to do.
Adkins is probably one of the best martial artists in the game right now and has been coined as Jean-Claude Van Damme’s successor but Adkins hasn’t achieved the level of success JCVD had in the 90’s. It’s a shame really, because Adkins is so good at what he does. He’s done some great work with director Isaac Florentine (Undisputed 2 and 3 but not this one) and John Hyams (Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning) but all he needs is to work with a big director like Robert Rodriguez or Joe Carnahan and put him front and center instead of just a side character that gets beat up by a fucking rug like in Doctor Strange (Disney/Marvel had a chance to do something with him and this is what they do, mm-hmm).
All in all, if you’re wanting to kill some time or just check out some cool fight scenes, give this one a look and enjoy.