From the makers of ‘Bangkok Adrenaline’ (wait, come back!), ‘Kill ‘Em All’ has perhaps one of the most streamlined action plots ever. A group of international assassins (including Johnny Messner, Zom Ammara and Tim Man) are captured by some lunatic called Snakehead (Gordon Liu) and are forced to fight each other to the death in some underground compound somewhere. So for a while, ‘Kill ‘Em All’ sets itself up as a tournament fight film: all good and well and some cool fights abound. However, some of the said assassins decide this isn’t right and stage a breakout, the film then turning into a running escape as the remaining assassins attempt to flee, fight off hordes of ninjas (and other crazy looking fighters: cool!) and go after Snakehead to make him pay. And, well, that’s it.
It takes all of 30 seconds before the first fight erupts on screen when Tim Man (‘Ninja 2’) flexes his impressive fight skills as he assassinates some unfortunate dudes. From then on and for the next 80 minutes it’s fight, after fight, after fight, after fight, as ‘Kill ‘Em All’ is basically just a showcase for some striking screen fighters to cut loose. Fair enough and on its own low budget terms and want to entertain with fight action, ‘Kill ‘Em All’ is a hoot. Sparse of budget and meaningful dialogue, the film instead sticks to its high-kicking guns and delivers a surfeit of high impact fight scenes. All well staged and shot, with choreography handled by stars Tim Man and Brahim Achabbakhe (‘Tekken 2’, ‘Pound of Flesh’), what ‘Kill ‘Em All’ lacks in budget, plot and finesse makes up for in solid fight action: not least when Tim Man and Zom Ammara (Chocolate) get to fight various foes, which they do, a lot. Former world karate champion and Jaguar Lives star Joe Lewis gets a couple of decent scraps and the likes of Achabbakhe and the great Gordon Liu (‘The 36th Chamber of Shaolin’, ‘Kill Bill’) also get their chance to shine in the fight action.
Only lead Johnny Messner (‘Running Scared’) looks a bit lost as to what-the-hay is going on and the low budget does give the film a somewhat cheap and grubby look which may be off putting. Those with a penchant for dense plot and characterisation will no doubt poo-poo this film within its first 5 minutes (and have many feathers to spit about it!) but those who are just in the mood for unfussy (and very violent) fight action, then ‘Kill ‘Em All’ is a swift, cheesy and fight filled fun time.
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