Sometimes you watch a movie being completely oblivious that it’s a sequel to a movie of the same name and unaware that possibly watching the first installment would have shed a little light on the sequel. There are also times where watching a sequel without seeing the first doesn’t matter because the sequel absolutely stands on its own as its own thing and can carry itself as a standalone film. Well, for the Kirby Brothers, George and Harry, that’s exactly were Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday lands, as it doesn’t appear to be a continuation, doesn’t appear to need any prior knowledge, and sets up what the title says right off the bat.
Thanks to possibly Keanu Reeves and John Wick, it seems there is a resurgence in hitmen-esque movies and the genre itself. Whether these movies seem to be pure action thrillers or a mix of action comedies, there have been more and more hitman-inspired stories in Hollywood than usual. And its not a bad thing, per say, as adrenaline-fueled action flicks are certainly more than welcome, but it is an intriguing observation. The genre didn’t really re-emerge after Taken, outside of roles for Liam Neeson, but post-John Wick, it certainly feels like more assassin-driven action pieces have.
Hitman’s Holiday focuses on Mike Fallon, our accident man, played by Scott Adkins who also wrote the story for the sequel. While Fallon is swearing he’ll get out of the hitman game, he decides to board a plane going anywhere to recluse himself and keep himself, for lack of better words, entertained and content. While doing so, he hires Wong Siu-ling (Sarah Chang) to surprise attack him and keep him on his feet the entire time. While residing off the grid, or so he thinks, he is with one of his best friends, Finicky Fred (Perry Benson), getting into a genuine mixup of hijinks proving the old life cannot leave them too far behind.
Things truly take a turn for Mike though, when the head of a crime syndicate Mrs. Zuuzer (Flaminia Cinque) kidnaps Mike and Fred and delivers an ultimate to the men that neither of them expected. Mike has to find the inept son of Mrs. Zueer, Dante (George Fouracres) and protect him as he’s become the mafia’s most wanted. Otherwise, not only will a hit be placed on Mike, Zueer will kill Fred. Just when you think you’re out, they pull you right back in.
The story for Hitman’s Holiday is a giant pile of whatever generic over-bloated story that makes the audience rather indifferent. However, if you’re coming to an adrenaline-fueled action set piece looking for the next Paul Thomas Anderson, I question what on Earth you are doing. The action pieces throughout Hitman’s Holiday are a total blast, and that clearly comes from one half of the Kirby brothers, in George Kirby, specifically, as he has a background in stunt work. When we have directors who have done stunt work before directing action movies, there is one thing for sure — the absolute chaos and obliteration that is about to be witnessed by the audience is at least guaranteed — and Hitman’s Holiday certainly delivers it on all fronts in that regard.
Moreover, an action movie can have all the best action, chaos, and absolute madness throughout the film, but if the film lacks passion and charisma from its cast then they’re in trouble. Thankfully for the film, Scott Adkins manages to move himself, once again, from the co-star with a few minutes of screen time to leading man and proves that he can carry a movie with him. He’s certainly not doing anything revolutionary, but his performance, while captivating, also possesses some charisma and chemistry with his co-stars. He shares a genuine passion with Perry Benson and Sarah Chang, and since the role demands he has a distain for George Fouracres, it is certainly present that his displeasure for Dante is clear and present. Everyone’s performance in Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday gets the job done. The chemistry shared amongst everyone creates an atmosphere for this action-packed joyride to breathe past the generic action thrillers that deliver all adrenaline and no heart.
Final Score: 3.5 out of 5.
In theaters, on VOD, and digital October 14th, 2022.
For more information, head to Samuel Goldwyn Films’s Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday webpage.