After stealing scenes in John Wick: Chapter 4, we dig into some of the best Scott Adkins movies to watch if you’re new to his work.
With John Wick: Chapter 4 exploding at the box office and Donnie Yen experience a new wave of popularity in North American, now’s the time to look at another of the movie’s stars who’s been around for a long time but is consistently underrated. Of course, that man is the great Scott Adkins! Those who know him, love him. With over 70 movies to his credit, the man has been in at least one thing everyone has seen, from Doctor Strange to X-Men Origins: Wolverine (as Weapon X), The Pink Panther, and so many more, He has been in something for everyone. For us, the highlights of his career are not necessarily the obvious titles when glancing at his resume.
Here are our some of our favorite Scott Adkins movies:
The Expendables 2 (2012)
Admittedly not as good as the first film, The Expendables 2 did bring a few good villains to the screen. As fans of British martial artists, it was fun to see Gary Daniels in the first film and the addition of Scott Adkins as Hector, right hand man to Jean-Claude Van Damme’s super villainous Vilain (yes, that’s the character’s name), Adkins has more screen presence here than some folks who should have outshined him. His part is not all that long, but it’s fun to see him go full bad guy and just have a blast. His fight against Jason Statham in the helicopter hanger introduced many to his signature high kicks.
Close Range (2015)
In this one, Adkins is a rogue soldier who is forced to turn outlaw to save his niece and family from the cartel, a corrupt sheriff, and a family member after an easy payday. The film is pretty solid action throughout and Adkins gets to have a bit more range in his acting while still being allowed to kick some bad guys and get in some gunfights. This one takes place mostly on a ranch type property and some serious carnage is dealt throughout. Adkins gets some solid scenes from the start here with the film getting right into the heart of the action and not really letting up until the credits roll. This one of those that seems to have slipped under the rather for many, something they need to fix asap.
Boyka: Undisputed (2016)
While yes, this is the fourth film in the Undisputed series, it is also arguably the most entertaining (no offense to other cast members), especially when it comes to the Boyka-involved entries. The character of Yuri Boyka first shows up in Undisputed 2: Last Man Standing and he almost upstages Michael Jai White’s George Chambers. He’s the villain here in that one, but there is more to Boyka than meets the eye. So much so that the filmmakers kept the series going with him. Undisputed 3: Redemption was a good follow-up, but Boyka: Undisputed (the fourth entry) is where it’s really at. The character of Boyka gets a more complete arc and it allows Adkins to give a more well-rounded performance. He is rough in this, he’s in top shape, and he’s fighting for something. His work here is all about the fights for some, but there is much more than punches and kicks here, there is an actual performance that requires paying attention to. This is the last film of the series (so far, who knows what the future could bring) and it’s a great closer for a strong MMA series.
Savage Dog (2017)
Written and directed by Jesse V. Johnson, this is one of seven films in which Johnson directed Adkins so far, Savage Dog is a period piece, one where Adkins plays a European prisoner in Vietnam who has been fighting in brutal combat for entertainment while serving his time. As his sentence is coming to an end, those running the fights want to find a way for him to stay or else. Here, Adkins is paired up or faced off with Marko Zaror who costarred in Undisputed III: Redemption before and who is also found in the cast of John Wick: Chapter 4 (check out our interview with him here). These two get to duke it out here in a mano a mano fight that is highly enjoyable to watch. The fights are the center of the film, but there is a bit more, giving Adkins a bit of a different character to play while still being a fighter. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel for his trajectory, but it’s a logical continuation of his work. Savage Dog fits perfectly in the evolution of Scott Adkins’ career as one of the top fighting actors out there.
Accident Man (2018)
Another collaboration between Scott Adkins and Jesse V. Johnson, Accident Man is a comic book adaptation co-written by Adkins with Pat Mills and Stu Small. This one is a bit over-the-top, but it works in its own universe. The violence is dialed up, the stunts are on point, the film is clearly made to showcase what Adkins can do while the character isn’t squeaky clean. The fights here are a major part of the fun, may they be martial arts fights or gun fights. The cast around Adkins, many of whom he gets to fight in the second half of the film. This cast is packed and helps show what Adkins can do on many fronts. His fight against Michael Jai White and Ray Park, yes, he takes on both at once, is a whole lot of fun to watch and it is but one fight in a whole film made to create stunt situations, fights, and other action scenes. This one of those non-stop fun movies and it’s not bad acting-wise either. The sequel to it is not quite as good, but it’s still a whole lot of fun.
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012)
It’s kind of a miracle this film exists. Director John Hyams could have just made another DTV Universal Soldier flick (after having made the surprisingly good Universal Soldier: Regeneration), but instead he made one of the best DTV movies ever made. Indeed, this movie is kind of a masterpiece, with Adkins starring as an amnesiac whose family is killed and is hunting the rogue UniSol’s. Van Damme’s Luc Deveraux is in full Colonel Kurtz mode here, and if you haven’t seen Day of Reckoning, well, you’re in for a treat.
As it stands, Scott Adkins has quite a few films currently in post-production and a few in pre-production, even some unannounced (at least in an official manner), most of which look to be highly entertaining. Hopefully, his turn in John Wick: Chapter 4 should get him a broader appeal and audience. No matter what, action fans will be waiting for his next films and expecting to see better and better work from the man who seems to only be getting better with experience.