For some, it was his earlier TV appearances like in Mutant X or EastEnders. For others, it was through his burgeoning film career in titles like The Accidental Spy or Extreme Challenge, or eventually emerging as a more standout actor in films like Black Mask 2: City Of Masks or Isaac Florentine’s Special Forces.
It was the latter for me. Certainly, it was one of the handful of VHS tapes and DVDs I rented back when video stores were a thing – some of which at the time were converted to DVD rentals. It was a time from before and after I landed in the hospital for six months in and out in 2003, due to residual injuries resulting from pedestrian accident in which a car ran me down on the sidewalk and broke my leg in six places down to my foot, when most of my time was spent renting, if not eventually collecting DVDs. Inevitably, Isaac Florentine’s Special Forces was one of them.
For me, it was a turning point in my level of expectations for DTV movies in America – just next to U.S. Seals 2: The Ultimate Force, another film that blew me the fuck away at the time. It put director Isaac Florentine on the map for me; Moreover, it effectively cemented Adkins as a star to keep in mind for posterity as a future action star.
To date, the most brilliant fight scene Adkins has ever done was opposite Vladaslavas Jacukevicius in Special Forces. Choreographed by Akihiro “Yuji” Noguchi, whose engagement with the trailblazing exploits with Koichi Sakamoto and their Alpha Stunts team did wonders in casting a spotlight on signature Hong Kong-stylized action for many a film and TV production in the Western world – from shows like Power Rangers to films like Cold Harvest, Steve Wang’s Drive, Johnny Yong Bosch headliners Wicked Game, Shunichi Nagasaki’s Kuro Obi and Joe Lynch’s Everly their fight finale bodes with kinetic, explosive excitement in vigor throughout its pacing and delivery, aptly emulating the kind of brilliance I became so fond of watching Chan go toe-to-toe with Benny “The Jet” Urquidez in Wheels On Meals.
I’ve actually waited to see Adkins in a fight scene that matched up to the same tone and tambre in his other movies in my own pursuits of listing fight scene favorites of the genre. It hasn’t happened for me, personally, though it doesn’t take away from the top-tier caliber he exudes on screen with every moment of fanservice, nitpicks aside. The DTV Undisputed sequels comprise some of the best screenfighting fanfare ever shot, juxtaposed to his unyielding will to expand as a forthright actor capable of flexing his drama muscles to match his action performability, and proving himself to be more than capable in several instances, namely Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning, The Debt Collector, The Debt Collectors, and Avengement. It’s a mixed bag for all fans in this regard, so to each his/her/their own.
Save for other projects which I’m also looking forward to, including J.J. Perry’s Day Shift, and any plans there might be for an Accident Man sequel, really the only franchise I wanna see continued is the Ninja series with Adkins back as Casey Bowman, previously drenched in revenge in Florentine’s 2013 Ninja sequel, Shadow Of A Tear, with Kane Kosugi and Shun Sugata. I honestly feel there’s more Ninja to be told in that saga, and if done right, we can have a proper Ninja trilogy on our hands. Like a solid trilogy. No Casey Bowman TV spin-offs, just a trilogy… one that can fully bring Casey’s story to a proper close.
That’s my hope at least while I still have this platform going. It’s really another goal that I’ve set while writing, especially now that Mortal Kombat has happened and any and all potential for a third Raid film or a reboot is a moot topic until it actually becomes a reality, if that.
At any rate though, I was inspired to write this much after spotting that it was Adkins’s birthday today. I don’t routinely do these posts, but I’m coming off of a heavy spell of writer’s bloc and depression that I’ve been battling for a long time now, including and especially since April. To be honest, I actually have World Film Geek’s Albert Valentin to thank for tweeting about it, otherwise I wouldn’t have had an Adkins-anything to write about, particularly considering the fruition that’s happening with Mike Scott’s Adkins Undisputed, which Adkins himself joins in on occasion, as well as Florentine’s latest Verbal Nectar interview at The Movie Dojo.
Alas, I figured it was worth the rant to wish the man a happy birthday on this website, if only just once. And hey…if Joey Ansah finally gets to live out his dream of a World Warrior sequel with Adkins in the role of Guile, that wouldn’t be too terrible either.
Happy Birthday, Boyka!