Fans of martial artist Michael Jai White might be left feeling a little angry and confused with Kevin Carraway’s latest action movie, Deadly Target, a direct-to-DVD disgrace that completely disregards the concept of post-production.
Originally titled Chain of Command in the US, Deadly Target stars Jai White as James Webster, an ex-Special Ops soldier who is on the hunt for his brother’s killer. As he tries to find answers, Webster finds himself embroiled in a huge government conspiracy as a number of highly-skilled men attempt to take him down.
Starring alongside Michael Jai White is Max Ryan and former wrestler Steve Austin, who both attempt to deliver some of the awful dialogue in the film. Despite Deadly Target’s story having an interesting hook, Carraway’s script is laden with exposition and boring dialogue, allowing for a brutal showcase of Steve Austin’s acting abilities.
Mixing in an unpleasant blend of poorly put together CGI and sound design, Deadly Target completely wastes the potential of Michael Jai White. Known for his charisma and martial arts expertise, Jai White stumbles throughout the film, looking completely disinterested in every scene. Unfortunately for fans of his previous work, this is arguably his worst performance to date.
Post-production is a necessity in filmmaking, but apparently Carraway has forgotten the importance of a decent FX team. Gunshots and wounds have all been superimposed in Deadly Target, as if Carraway forgot about the existence of fake blood. Instead, we have some of the worst CGI blood that has ever been witnessed in film history, which looks unappealing in every frame it’s used.
It can be debated as to whether or not Deadly Target can fall under the action genre because almost every single fight sequence is appalling. There’s hardly any choreography or care put into these fights, as keen-eyed viewers will even notice the use of safety mattresses. It’s a crying shame too, because the last punch-up actually reminds viewers of the lost potential.
As the hour and a half running length slogs on, there are some laughably bad segments to find some small enjoyment in. A hilariously misplaced war flashback in the beginning of the film may receive a laugh, and one scene that focuses on a character exiting a vehicle from the backseat is so unnecessary that it warrants a groan. However, it’s just enough for Deadly Target to achieve that certain cult status.
It’s a struggle to determine a reason for this film’s conception as the three main leads really phone it in. It appears that the shooting location during the final confrontation must have been stone cold, because steam completely covers the majority of the shot. Again, it’s just another indication that there was no care put into the development of this film.
This DVD release has no extra features, other than the original trailer. Deadly Target did have clear promise, but its shoddy production and lack of professionalism makes for a disappointing waste of time.
DEADLY TARGET / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: KEVIN CARRAWAY / SCREENPLAY: KEVIN CARRAWAY, LAWRENCE SARA / STARRING: MICHAEL JAI WHITE, MAX RYAN, STEVE AUSTIN, ALLEN YATES / RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 16TH