This past week was cause for celebration amongst action fans. After an eight-year long wait, everyone’s favorite Russian prison fighter has returned to the ring in Boyka: Undisputed. The reason for the long wait has been well documented (rampant piracy) and if fans don’t support this film, we may never see Boyka again. To all the fans who supported this film by buying it on disc, you are awesome people and we appreciate you for fighting the good fight. But our work as fans doesn’t end there, the war must be fought on a new front; we need to make this a hit on Netflix!
A Genre Against the Ropes?
It’s no secret that the career of Scott Adkins (and by extension, the entire DTV Action genre) has been undercut by internet piracy. It’s lead to lower budgets, tighter schedules and has prevented the hard working filmmakers and action stars from gaining any ground in their careers. These are people making some of the best pure action movies in the American film market but the films are often DOA before they even hit shelves (Boyka: Undisputed has been on YouTube for MONTHS). Since the release of 2013’s Ninja: Shadow of a Tear, many of Adkins’ films have been hitting Netflix day and date with their Blu Ray release. This is most likely done to undercut piracy any way they can but it may also be a golden opportunity for the talent who make these movies possible.
Netflix is Watching… Take Advantage of It
Netflix gathers ALL THE ANALYTICS! They know what you watch, when you watch it, how much of it you watch, and even know how long your bathroom breaks are. Using this insane amount of data, they managed to create audience targeted shows like House of Cards and Fuller House. Adam Sandler owes his career to the fact that people watched the hell out of his movies on the service; they recently DOUBLED the number of movies they plan to make with him. Netflix likes to make their own content, and this could be a brave new world for the DTV Action market.
Even if you purchased the film on disc (because you’re an awesome person), it’s important to watch Boyka: Undisputed on Netflix and add it to your list. Get everyone you know to do the same. Challenge them to watch the first 10 minutes of the film; if its display of film combat nirvana doesn’t hook them in for the long haul, then they clearly aren’t this film’s intended audience.
The DTV market has been on a steady decline for the last decade, threatened by streaming services and ravaged by piracy. A service like Netflix (or Amazon, or Hulu) may create new opportunities for performers like Adkins, Zaror and White as well as filmmakers like Florentine, Hyams, and Rein; but first there needs to be an audience to deliver to.
The Underdog Genre
Is this a longshot? Sure it is; but I refuse to watch a genre with so much potential whither away. This December, Netflix is set to release a $90 million fantasy action movie called Bright; a film where Will Smith plays an LA cop whose new partner is a goddamn Orc played by Joel Edgerton. They find a magic wand and have to get it away from evil forces because it’s “like a nuclear device that grants wishes”! No studio in their right mind wanted to make that movie but Netflix did; longshots are kinda their bread and butter.
Keep fighting the good fight!