Although he has appeared in Day Shift (2022) and Section 8 (2022), Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday actually marks Scott Adkins first leading role of the year. To say that this film has been hotly anticipated is something of an understatement, with the character of Mike Fallon being one of Adkins most popular roles that isn’t called Boyka.
Whilst both Day Shift and Section 8 gave Adkins a chance to show off his skills, fans would have to admit it left them wanting more. They won’t have the same complaints when it comes to Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday which is jam packed with quality fight scenes, with Adkins taking on a plethora of deadly opponents throughout its brisk run time.
The sequel picks up where the original left off, with Mike Fallon (Scott Adkins) hiding out in Malta after the chaos he caused in London. Living it up in the sunshine, Mike has also been taking on the odd job as he realized that Malta has the same amount of people as London just needing to be murdered.
To keep Mike sharp, he employs the expertise of the deadly Wong Siu-ling (Sarah Chang), who on regular occasions shows up out of the blue to beat the shit out of him. She is like the Kato to Mike’s Inspector Clouseau. For a while she is the closest Mike has to a friend, but that all changes when old colleague Finicky Fred (Perry Benson) shows up in town. Together the two of them start working together and pulling off hits.
For a while things are going good for Mike and Fred, that is until they come into contact with crime boss Mrs. Zuuzer (Flamina Cinque) who mistakenly thinks that Mike was involved in an attempted assassination on her deadbeat son Dante (George Fouracres). Although Mike is able to assure Zuuzer that he wasn’t involved, he quickly finds himself working as Dante’s bodyguard, for if he doesn’t Zuuzer will have Fred killed.
This leads to Mike having to face off against a team of the world’s deadliest assassins, all of whom are willing to do whatever it takes to reach their target. Amongst these killers is Mike’s surrogate father Big Ray (Ray Stevenson) who is still holding a grudge from what happened back in London. So not only does Mike have to fight for his life, save his only friend but at the same time repair his already strained relationship with Ray before he too decides to kill him.
Personally, the first Accident Man (2018) is one of my favorite of Adkins solo starring vehicles, and also next to Avengement (2019) his most enjoyable collaboration with director Jesse V. Johnson. I was particularly excited when a sequel was announced as the first movie left things quite open for Mike Fallon’s further adventures.
Hitman’s Holiday is one sequel that almost lives up to the original film. It has everything the first film had, with blistering action scenes, memorable performances and some hilarious dialogue. The change of scenery to Malta also manages to set it apart from the first film, with the Maltese locations also adding a bit of production value to the action.
The only notable drawbacks to the first film is that it isn’t as fresh this time round, which is expected considering its a sequel. The other is that Jesse V. Johnson doesn’t return to the director’s chair, with him sitting this entry out. This isn’t to say that incoming directors The Kirby Brothers don’t do a great job of keeping the action moving, just rather that I’m such a fan of Johnson’s work that it would have been nice to see him and Adkins collaborating once again.
Like Johnson, the Kirby Brothers have a background in stunt work, having recently worked on big budget films like Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021) and The Batman (2022). Judging by their work here, it is clear they know what it takes to put together a quality action scene, with Hitman’s Holiday featuring some of the best martial arts fight scenes of the year.
For the first 40 minutes or so, the film re-introduces you to the characters and sets the scene. During this time there is the odd skirmish but nothing on a grand scale. However that all changes once Fallon’s mission becomes clear, with the action rarely letting up as Fallon has to violently fight his way through multiple opponents, each more deadly than the last.
As expected, Adkins is at his kicking and flipping best. What sets the Fallon character apart from other Adkins roles is that it is clearly one close to his heart. Adkins has spoken previously of how much of a fan he was of Pat Mills and Tony Skinner’s comic which formed the basis of the film.
Here Adkins not only gets to let it rip with the fight scenes but shows off his more dramatic and comedic side, with Adkins getting his fair share of well written dialogue. Like the first film, Adkins was heavily involved in the production, coming up with the story, acting as a producer as well assisting with the fight choreography.
In regards to the fight choreography, it is off the same high standard as the first film. Whereas that film featured the work of the awesome Tim Man, this time round it is mainly the work of Andy Long, with assistance from Hung Dante Dong and Adkins. However, Tim Man was still involved to some extent, with him being listed amongst the additional fight choreographers.
The quality of the choreography is to be expected considering Long’s association with the Jackie Chan Stunt Team. Only last year he created several superbly choreographed fight scenes in Indian actioner Sanak (2021), giving the action a decidedly Hong Kong action movie flavor.
Although the fights here are less like a Jackie Chan film, he certainly puts the cast through their paces, with each of the fight scenes playing to the cast’s strengths as martial artists. Sarah Chang’s wu-shu styled fight scenes are a terrific counterpoint to Adkins more rough and ready bouts, with Chang showing she is a force to be reckoned with. In addition to her fights, Chang’s Siu-ling doesn’t exactly have a typical relationship with Adkins’ Fallon, with the two of them playing off each other well.
As well as Chang, there are also roles for the likes of Faisal Mohammed, Beau Fowler and Peter Lee Thomas, the three of which get to play their own individually demented killers, most memorable being Fowler’s Poco the Killer Clown who seems to have stepped in from another movie, but certainly manages to put Adkins through his paces.
Not all the performers come in the shape of martial artists. Perry Benson’s Finicky Fred creates much of the film’s laughs, with his and Adkins surprisingly being a good double act, with their relationship being the heart of the film.
Ray Stevenson is mostly an extended cameo this time round, with him only appearing in a handful of scenes. Still he brings an air of quality and menace to proceedings, with you never being clear whether he is going to be an ally or villain.
Like he did in the first film, Stu Small once again writes the script, based on a story he and Adkins came up with. The script fills the film with memorable characters and dialogue. One of my favourite parts is Fallon’s confusion that Cadbury’s Maltesers don’t actually come from Malta which shows the level of intelligence we’re dealing with.
I was disappointed that composer Sean Murray wasn’t brought back to create the score, as he always manages to raise productions above typical DTV fare. However John Koutselinis’ score is a decent accompaniment to the action, even if it does slightly pale in comparison to what has come before.
Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday doesn’t change the genre. It is exactly the film you will expect it to be, and this is exactly why it’s a success. Understanding what its audience expects, the film is a non-stop barrage of fight scenes that should keep most martial arts fans entertained, especially fans of the first film who will no doubt get a kick out of catching up once again with Accident Man Mike Fallon.
Plot: 3.5/5 Acting: 4/5 Action: 4.5/5 Overall: 4/5