By: John M Jerva

The holiday season is in full swing and with it my list of what not to miss in the new year continues as we have three more exciting titles to place under your Christmas tree. Director Jesse V. Johnson and Dominiquie Vandenberg reunite for the off the hook looking action-thriller THE MERCENARY and we also hace a Hong Kong thriller titled S.W.A.T. which looks like it will satisfy everyone’s que for extreme firepower. To finish it up we have the long awaited, and I do mean long, sequel TOP GUN: MAVERICK which features Tom Cruise getting back into the fighter jet for another round of danger Zone action. Lets commence with the festivities!

THE MERCENARY

Maxx, a legionnaire turned mercenary. When a mission in South America goes wrong Maxx is left for dead, but he is nursed back to health and reborn with a new outlook on life. He tries to live tranquility within the confines of his new beliefs surrounded by his new friends at a church. But his peaceful days are short-lived when mercenaries he used to work with cross his path again and he is forced to revisit and face his own demons. His brutal past, war, and violence have come looking for him again. His path to redemption is interrupted and Maxx becomes an avenging warrior using the skills that were his trade.

Director Jesse V. Johnson came onto the scene back in 2005 with the rousing indie slugfest titled Pit Fighter which featured real life ex-French Foreign Legionnaire Dominiquie Vandenberg in the title role of one man seeking retribution with a lot of fisticuffs and a lot of firepower. The ending alone was insanely over the top and extremely satisfying to say the least and fast forward 19 years later and the two are back at it againg with the equaly awesome looking film The Mercenary AKA Legion Maxx.

In terms of plot, it;s pretty much the same as the other with Vandenberg once again seeking retribution for all the wrong that he did although this time, the men he used to fight with are now coming after him in a hail of bullets, expolsions and extreme hand to hand combat.

Louis Mandylor, who starred in Johnson’s The Debt Collector along wit Scott Adkins, is back as well and he’s on a ,missionj to take out Maxx once and for all. The nrecently released Red Band Traiiler for the film serves up enough carnage to keep all action fanatics happy and Vandenberg is literally a one man army of death and destruction so this one is looking like it will become an instant classic upon its release this January on DVD and Digital. Check out the trailer below if you don’t believe me!

RELEASE DATE: January 7th, 2020

S.W.A.T.

The story of S.W.A.T. centers on the Chinese Special Police Unit, from their hard training to their first mission.

From Hong Kong director Ding Sheng comes the all-out action thriller S.W.A.T. which centers on two units of elite Chinese SWAT members who must take on rigerous training as well as ruthless criminals for their first mission and judging from the trailer that dropped a while back, this film has two of my favorite “F” words…Fisticuffs and Firepower! There’s more action in the trailer alone then in some full action flicks so this one is certainly a must see for fans of foreign action because bullets and explosions need no subtitles.

The film stars Ling Xiaosu, Jia Nailiang, Jin Chen and Zhang Yunlong as well as western actors Kevin Lee who was in Wu Jing’s Wolf Warriors and character actor Robert Knepper from the Fox hit series Prison Break and Hard Target 2 with Scott Adkins. Sheng has proven himself in the action genre, helming A Better Tomorrow and Police Story: Lockdown with Jackie Chan.

Technically, this film hits Chinese theaters on December 29th but it surely will hit North America in 2020 thus I have added it to my 2020 Must See Flix. Check out the rousing teaser below!

RELEASE DATE: December 29th in China, Worldwide Releaee TBA

TOP GUN: MAVERICK

Top Gun: Maverick is set in a world of drone technology and fifth generation fighters along with exploring the end of the era of dogfighting. Maverick (once again played by Tom Cruise) is now a flight instructor, who takes Bradley Bradshaw (played by Miles Teller), the son of Maverick’s late partner Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, under his wing.

It’s time to shake off the dust on your fighter jacket and polish up the shades as the nostagia level is about to be turned up to 100 with Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise returning to one of his most iconic roles ever with the upcoming sequel Top Gun: Maverick which features the return of Pete Mitchell who after all these years is still flying into the Danger Zone. This follow up has been in the woks for what seemed like forever but the finish line is almost in sight as the film is due to hit next summer. A thrilling teaser trailer was launced at this year’s SDCC and it was meant with collective cheers from fans all over the world.

Starring alongside Cruise for the highly anticiapated sequel are Jon Hamm, Val Kilmer, Jennifer Connelly, Glen Powell and Ed Harris. Miles Teller also stars as Bradley Bradshaw who is the son of Mitchell’s late flying partner Nick “Goose” Bradshaw.

The trailer, which you can peek at below, was a home run and then some with some awe-inspiring aerial photography and this one looks like it just might surpass the original which I saw in the theaters back in 1985. Do you hear that? I feel the need. The need for speed!

RELEASE DATE: June 26th, 2020

Round 4 is a go and these three titles will serve up more then the recommended daily allowence of action filled entertainment so keep it locked and loaded right here for Round 5 coming your way soon as I will unleash three more films that must be on everyone’s list!

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