Hitman’s Holiday’ has head-popping fun in Malta

Come for the action, stay for the killer Ben Affleck joke.

action in Accident Man Hitman's Holiday

Destination movie

By Rob Hunter · Published on October 10, 2022

Ask fans to name the best action star of the day, and while the answers may vary, you’ll find a large contingent responding with Scott Adkins. As an actor and/or stunt artist, he has appeared in several major Hollywood productions, but it is typically in the smaller films where he shines best. His action chops are undisputed with a resume that includes high-energy fight sequences such as Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012), Ninja: Shadow of a Tear (2013), Eliminators (2016), Revenge (2019), and One shot (2021). However, he is something of a triple threat, as in addition to his fighting skills, Adkins can also act and has charisma for days. Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday is a film that knows how to use all three, resulting in a fun, messy and exciting action/comedy.

Mike Fallon (Adkins) is an assassin who used to work for an organization back in London that staged murders to look like accidents, but when a twisted turn of events led to him slaughtering every other assassin in the city, he decided to move forward and never look back. Malta is his home now, and his only acquaintance is a Clouseau/Cato-like sidekick named Siu-ling (Sarah Chang), who keeps Mike on his toes by surprising him once a week. However, his past catches up with him when old acquaintances arrive on the island and Mike is tasked with protecting the vile son (George Fouracres) of a crime lord (Flaminia Five) from a rogues gallery of eclectic assassins.

During 2018 Accidental man is more directly inspired by Pat Mills’ source comic, Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday ser Adkins and author Stu Small take the character in their own direction. It dabbles briefly in the art of killing staged as accidents, but the main action here sees Mike facing an increasingly dangerous group of assassins in his efforts to protect Dante (Fouracres). The result is a film extremely light on plot and character that instead succeeds almost entirely on the strength of Adkins’ presence and its fight sequences. It’s not necessarily ideal, but as a ninety-minute trifle it more than satisfies with strong action and a sense of humor that lands more often than not. (There’s a “crappy” interruption of a fight scene that probably should have been trimmed.)

Adkins is a funny and talented actor, and as an action star, he’s not afraid to be self-effacing with his co-stars. From being told he looks like “a melted Ben Affleck” to having his ass (and nads) kicked multiple times by Chang, it’s clear he’s fine with being the punching bag. And while the film is closer to a broad comedy at times, there are one or two slightly more serious beats with Adkins showing off his dramatic skills to a mutton mince Ray Stevenson. The focus, however, is action and comedy, and Adkins does well on both fronts.

The incoming killers are once again an over the top bunch given their own illustrated title cards, and while they can be downright unbelievable in the real world – these clowns could never sneak around undetected – they make entertaining foils in the over-the-top world of Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday. The costumed assassins vary in their fighting style from hammers to hands, but two stand out. Beau Fowler‘s Poco the Killer Clown is a freakish adversary, both visually and as a character who is incapable of feeling pain, and so Andy Long‘s Oyumi shines with some blistering fighting skills. Richard C. Bell‘s camerawork also impresses with its energetic movements in the moment, especially during the fights with both.

The fights are strong and entertaining throughout, good news as they are the literal backbone of the film and provide a sense of fun alongside the choreographed thrills. They’re mostly impressive too, apart from some missteps in spatial geography – there are several instances where the depth of a shot fails to convince that a fist or foot was anywhere near the target it supposedly hit. Styles and weapon choices are varied, and there’s a good mix of grace and aggression. Most of the fights are to the death, but even Adkins’ more playful fights with Chang bring the goods with speed, style and lots of broken furniture.

But it’s not all sunshine and smiles. While the first film was directed by Adkin regular Jesse V. Johnson, Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday is the solo debut of the Kirby brothers (George Kirby & Harry Kirby) who do not necessarily put their best foot forward here. There is a dilapidated feel at times as scenes can feel thrown together and transitions seem rushed. The film’s first act is particularly heavy-handed with some heavy storytelling (also a problem with the first film) and gruesome CG effects, but fans will want to stick with it as things tie into the remaining hour, providing plenty of action and fun . It also helps that the film was shot in Malta, as the island nation brings an immense beauty that not even the Kirbys can destroy.

Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday won’t set the DTV action landscape on fire, but it’s another entertaining and exciting entry in Adkins’ growing filmography. The guy is in his late forties – not that you’d know it by the fists and flying kicks – and it’s nice to know that when his body eventually starts to slow down, his wit, charm and acting talents will still be there.

Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday opens October 14 in theaters and on VOD.

Related Topics: Action

Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird since he’s so damn young. He is our chief film critic and associate editor and lists ‘Broadcast News’ as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.

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