By: John M Jerva
Today, action phenom Scott Adkins turns 45 and to help celebrate Scott Adkins June here at Action-Flix, I’m throwing down my top 5 all-time fight sequences from his many high-octane flicks. There’s certainly many to choose from but these special 5 (or 6) are my top champions for their insane fight choreography and Adkins dishing out his signature action and skills. Let the birthday countdown commence!
Before Avengement, Adkins delivered a haunting and memorable performance in Director John Hyams action-horror hybrid sequel Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning. The whole movie is like a blood drenched fever dream with Adkins navigating a noirish entry in the hit franchise fueled with intense action in a different league of its own.
The ending is a complete culmination of everything that Adkins’s character John has endured and he finally lets out the beast in an unforgettable display of fighting prowess that mixes some of his signature flash with a more brutal twist. It’s Adkins at his savage best and we get not only a single take action onslaught but also one on one matches with both JCVD and Dolph Lundgren. A true dream matchup if you ask any fan.
It has to be seen to be believed and the fight choreography by Undisputed 3’s Larnell Stovall is a balletic display of violence not seen before in a Scott Adkins flick. Just missing out on my top 5, watch the action phenom get gloriously bloody in the chaotic ending below!
Fans know that Avengement from filmmaker Jesse V. Johnson is one of the best, if not the best, Adkins vehicles of his career as the human highlight reel pours on some serious brutal fights. Each altercation is more bloody and teeth shattering than the last and Adkins is in fine, savage form as Cain Burgess who goes from helpless victim to a barbaric machine of retribution.
Adkins delivers his finest performance to date here and without a doubt, this will be one movie that he’ll be remembered for. A crowning achievement in an already stellar career.
The finale brawl is definitely the highlight of the film as after Burgess has methodically explained why he’s been doing what he’s been doing, he immediately begins to unleash his unbridled anger and rage in a low brow sequence that is viciously one of his best scrapes on film. Is not flashy like Boyka but it’s a polar opposite in its drag down brutality!
It’s Adkins at his most brutal best!
The original Ninja is a hit or miss among Adkins faithful and where that movie might have been perceived as a missed opportunity to many, Director Isaac Florentine and Adkins definitely deliver in the rousing sequel that throws it back to the days of Cannon Films.
Adkins is in fine form as he returns as Casey who this time is out for maxim vengeance for the slaying of his wife. He’s relentless and the fight scenes show it with some of his best choreography to date.
Action maestro Tim Man served up the fight choreography here and also gets to take on Adkins in one of the movie’s best scenes of fisticuffs. The two martial arts masters deliver a master class on how to showcase gravity defying moves and this one is only rivaled by the final smack down between Adkins and Kane Kosugi.
It’s Adkins and Man…enough said!
When I talk about Scott and my favorite films, I always have to include 2003’s Special Forces. From Director Isaac Florentine, this movie is the perfect blend of fisticuffs and firepower and it’s also the first time I saw Adkins do his thing on screen. A wonderful day indeed.
Once Adkins is on screen, he literally takes over and this was the film that introduced me to him so it will always hold a special place in my heart. It also helps that it features Adkins in numerous situations where he gets to show everyone how it’s done in the action department.
With action designed by the Alpha Stunt Team, this is literally Adkins arriving to save the action genre and he’s been doing it ever since.
Adkins gets to do his extreme martial arts throughout but it’s the finale where he really shows his stuff in a dizzying display of Hong Kong style fighting only seen in the eastern fight flicks before this. It’s got everything Adkins fans could want and he does it all here in a rousing display of top tier fight action. The legend had arrived and this was his true introduction to action cinema greatness. When you watched this movie, you knew you were watching greatness in action.
I consider Undisputed 3:Redemption to be one of the best, if not the best, western martial arts films ever. Even if you contest that, you can’t deny that this is Scott Adkins at his peek best. Adkins is Boyka who is probably his most famous creation of the screen and after serving as the villain in the 2nd film, here he is now the quintessential anti-hero.
The movie itself is loaded with spectacular and amazing jaw dropping fights but it’s the finale where Boyka takes on Raul “Dolor” Quiñones played by legendary Chilean martial arts star Mark Zaror. This is simply two of action cinema’s finest going toe to toe in what has become the one scene you show someone when they need to be introduced to Scott Adkins.
The fight is an epic 10 minute plus barrage of furious kicks, punches, manipulations, locks and aerial techniques that have no rival. Both men came to play here and the choreography from famed action director Larnell Stovall gives both men ample opportunity to display the goods and they bring it twice over here in one of the best tournament matches in fight film history.
A true classic…pure and simple.
What scene could take the top of my list over the fight in Undisputed 3? Well it’s Scott Adkins taking on both Iko Uwais and the one and only Tony Jaa in the climatic beat down from the epic ensemble flick Triple Threat from action master Jesse V. Johnson.
Just the title alone is enough to warrant this being number one with no further explanation but I’ll give it to you anyway. Adkins is great as Collins and he chews up the scenery throughout. He doesn’t do much in terms of fighting earlier in the film but he saves it all for the ending where he takes on both Uwais and Jaa in a fan’s wet dream of a fight. Tim Man, once again, puts his signature stamp on the choreography and here, he gives all involved the opportunity to shine.
This fight, which is broken into two chapters, features first the two on one affair with Adkins dazzling the audience with his aerial barrage and Uwais and Jaa are more than ready to match him with moves all their own. It’s literally three of action cinema’s finest going at it.
Once Uwais is out of the picture for the time being, it’s here that two of martial arts action cinema’s finest converge in a fight that has it all and delivers a bone cracking love letter for fans. From Adkins’s kicking flair to Jaa’s devastating elbows, knees and tornado moves, any serious fan has to have this as one of their favorites and for me and it’s my number one all-time pick. Enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed my Top 5 favorite fights of Scott Adkins and please let me know which ones are yours. I will be putting up more in the future so keep a lookout for them. Be sure to check out my Countdown of Scott’s films with Mike Scott of Adkins Undisputed dropping later today. We’re starting out with the honorable mentions followed by 20 to 11 on the list. It’s Essential Adkins for essential fans.
Adkins is without a doubt, one of the premiere actors in action cinema today and he constantly delivers in that department. I’ve been a champion for him to become more of a mainstream star and I will continue to do so as any big budgeted production would be lucky to have him as their lead. Adkins is one of the best kept secrets out there but it’s time for him to take up the mantle alongside other iconic names in the business like Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Norris. He’s definitely put enough blood, sweat, tears and heart into it. It’s time people, pure and simple.
Happy Birthday Scott and here’s to many more years of kicking ass and your legions of fans thank you from the bottom of their hearts for all the thrills and action drenched entertainment you’ve given us.