By: John M jerva
Welcome to FOOT FIST FRIDAYS! A weekly dose of fight action where the Action-Flix.com experts share their thoughts on some of the greatest scenes of fisticuffs in action cinema history!
This week in the first edition of FOOT FIST FRIDAYS for 2020, I break from the norm and deliver to you the epic and brutally satisfying finale from Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning which featured action superstar Scott Adkins in one of his most bone crunching and bloody action sequences ever. Not only does it have the glorious fisticuffs that Adkins is known for but it also has immense displays of firepower as well. Check it out and get ready for some major Adkins punishment!
UniSol 4 is one of those rare action flicks that is either loved or loathed by the action community. The film isn’t your average action pic as it can best be described as a fever dream of bloody and brutal retribution. Director John Hyams, who also helmed the more conventional Universal Soldier: Regeneration, tried someting a little different here and went for a more noirish approach where you weren’t sure if it was real or not. What makes the film work in my eyes is the performance from Scott Adkins who was starting to deliver more powerful and dramatic films in his arsenal and was starting to show the world that he was much more than just an action star. Adkins really delivers an awesome “Tour De Force” performance here and sells the movie by that alone.
All that aside, everyone can agree, whether you liked the film ot not, that the extended and blood thirsty finale where Adkins runs a gauntlet of UniSols in an undergound bunker on his way to confront Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Luc Deveraux and Dolph Lundgren’s Andrew Scott is an action fan’s dream come true. The scene shows off Adkins’ awesome and lethal skills and he brings us some of his most punishing fight choreography to date. The scene just radiates bad assery at its finest and Adkins proves once again that he is the King of on screen fighting.
Now what makes the scene or the entire film for that matter even more noteworthy is that Adkins was recovering from a bad injury that he had sustained prior to filming and even though he couldn’t showcase some of his more dramatic aerial moves, he still rose to the occasion and gave his fans all that they could hope for.
The whole sequence is shot without edits or quick cuts which is called a oner and this is one of the hardest action sequences to pull off because there is no room for mistakes because the director doesn’t yell cut. You have to be spot on with the moves from the get go as the camera follows the action in one sweeping motion. When done right, like it is here, the oner is a true thing of brutal beauty and is almost poetic in its execution.
This scene also contains fair amounts of gunplay as well but I still consider it a great addition to FOOT FIST FRIDAYS because it also contains the appropriate amounts of fire induced fisticuffs to have it qualify for this entry. Adkins is simply one of the best and with the action choreographed by Larnell Stovall, who also created the epic fight sequences for Undisputed: Redemption, fans are treated to some of the best Adkins damage ever.
Now in the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan The Destroyer, ” Enough Talk!” It’s time to watch Adkins in action and show everyone why he is simply…the best.