Two of the hardest working actors in the business collaborate for the 4th time, in a film with a killer concept, which despite getting tripped up by exposition, delivers thrills and decent action.
Scott Adkins is Mike Wade, a failed MMA star who is forced to take a job helping prepare Castle Falls hospital for destruction. Mike discovers a bag full of money and returns to retrieve it before the building is blown up. Surprise, surprise, he isn’t the only one who is aware of the cash. Dolph Lundgren’s prison guard - Richard Ericson, desperately needs the mula to pay for his sick daughter’s hospital treatment, whereas the owner of the money (currently incarcerated in Richard’s prison) has sent his brother to retrieve it. So we have a trio of parties, trying to get the loot before the building blows, exciting stuff! For such a simple but effective set-up, Lundgren, who also directs, makes things unnecessarily messy and convoluted, typing characters’ names on screen and telling us the day of the week, for no discernible reason. In a smash-and-grab 90 minutes movie, we don’t have the time or inclination to get to know the supporting cast.
Once the action kicks off in the last third of the film, however, it’s loads of fun. Adkins delivers his modern blend of taekwondo kicks and MMA techniques with gusto, and the gunfights and battles are relentless until the end. Lundgren and Adkins work really well together, Dolph’s world-weariness complimenting Scott’s energy and determinism. You will be cheering this bromance on until the credits roll, they just needed to be on-screen together a little earlier.
Castle Falls is available in the US on December 3rd. The UK can find it on digital platforms from December 20th and Blu-ray/DVD on January 10th, 2022.