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- Director: Scott Mann
- Writers: Gary Young, Jonathan Frank
- Stars: Ving Rhames, Robert Carlyle and Kelly Hu
- Release Date: October 2009
- Genre: Action, Thriller
- Run Time: 95 min
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Every seven years in an unsuspecting town, The Tournament takes place. A battle royale between 30 of the world’s deadliest assassins. The last man standing receiving the ,000,000 cash prize and the title of Worlds No 1, which itself carries the legendary million dollar a bullet price tag.
When I decided to check out “The Tournament” the expectations were moderate. Actually I expected it to be a pleasant DTV title with a couple of cool actors.
What I got instead was a thrilling actioner that surpasses most of the theatrical releases of the same genre. The action is hyperkinetic and violent, and Scott Mann has undisputed Hollywood potential.
The plot about the assassin tournament is clean and simple, a lot like “Taken” and when it comes to comparison between these two films, only advantage for “Taken” is Liam Neeson. “The Tournament” provides solid acting but it doen have such a potent star. Actually, if we consider its budget, “The Tournament” is really outstanding in terms of casting because it combines available theatrical-feature actors like Kelly Hu, Liam Cunningham,, Robert Carlyle and Ving Rhames with top DTV names like Scott Adkins. Scott Adkins potential was obvious ever since he first appeared in Isaac Florentine films and in “the Tournament” he is accompanied by Sebastien Foucan, the parkourist we remember from “Casino Royale”.
Fight scenes are marvelously staged, with great fight choreography, but also outstanding gunplay and vehicle stunts. When it comes to the sheer amount of action “The Tournament” gives you the most for bang for the buck. It is very hard to invent some new kinds of action set-pieces and choreographies but in a couple of scenes “Rhe Tournament” does that.
Also, you must bear in mind that action is very violent and gory. The sheer amount of gore is comparable to Neill Blomkamps “District 9”. Bloodletting is stylish and lavish and Scott Mann really has the guts (quite literally) to pull it off.
I am surprised that this film failed to get theatrical release. I mean, its quite obvious that American distributors wouldn release because none of the stars are a draw in the US but I guess it shouldve worked quite well internationally.
Writer Gary Young was lucky to move on into theatrical business with Matthew Vaughn production “Harry Brown”. I hope Scott Mann will accomplish the same.