Review: PLAN B (2016) – Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival 2017
The 80s were a wonderful decade for fans of action films. The theatres were full of big action stars unleashing all kinds of mayhem on each other. The VHS boom brought us, even more, options for those that didn’t mind a lack of budget or big-name stars. Companies like TransWorld and Cannon kept fans glued to the screen. Now comes PLAN B, from Germany. A loving and absolutely masterful tribute to those action films of the 1980s.
Can (Can Aydin, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum), Cha (Cha-Lee Yoon, Skylines), and Phong (Phong Giang, American Renegades) are best friends and martial artists looking to get their big break in the movies. When their agent, U-Gin (Eugene Boateng) gets them an audition for a major film. U-Gin gets the address wrong and our heroes find themselves in the middle of a mob war.
With Phong held hostage the other three are sent on a mission across Berlin to find the location of a secret dossier belonging to mob boss, Gabriel (Henry Meyer). Add in Robert Kopp (Laurent Daniels), as a hard-boiled cop with a vendetta against Gabriel and we’re ready to rumble. The mission involves going to several locations.
Each of which contains a clue to where the objective is hidden. In addition, each location becomes a tribute to a different 80’s film, with the exception of the graveyard, which is mainly influenced by the music video for Michael Jackson’s THRILLER. These familiar tributes assist the characters in pulling off all manner of fights and situations with their opponents, who range from Satanists to badass female fighters to Asian Triad members.
It’s like Cannon’s Greatest Hits only set in the here and now. The fight scenes are carried out in old-school style, however. No wires, CGI, or sped up camera work. Just some absolutely jaw-dropping choreography. Honestly, other than the language barrier, there’s no reason for these actors not to get a shot in Hollywood. They all have stunt credits on major films and have the looks to go with the moves. PLAN B is like a feature-length demo reel that showcases their talents as actors and action heroes. Their star quality is just as good as that of their American counterparts.
A fun, lively tribute to the golden age of action films, PLAN B truly deserves a wider audience than it’s likely to get. I can’t recommend it enough to fans of the action genre. Especially for those of us who remember when the weekend involved trips to the liquor and video stores.