It’s been a busy year for Scott Adkins, THE DEBT COLLECTOR is his third film to come out, following THE ACCIDENT MAN and INCOMING. It’s also his fourth collaboration with director Jesse V. Johnson, THE ACCIDENT MAN being their most recent.
French (Scott Adkins) is a great martial arts instructor, but a lousy businessman. His dojo is going broke and so is he. He gets a job working as a collector for Tommy (Vladimir Kulich THE EQUALIZER, LIVE EVIL) and is paired up with veteran collector Sue (Louis Mandylor BATTLE DRONE, HOTEL OF THE DAMNED).
Things go well, if somewhat violently for the duo at first. But then Tommy gets an offer from Barbosa (Tony Todd WORTH, WEST OF HELL) to find an employee who’s been stealing from him. He hires them out to take care of it and they soon find themselves in dark and dangerous circumstances.
Don’t expect a humorous film along the lines of Adkins and Johnson’s last team up. THE DEBT COLLECTOR may start out with a buddy comedy vibe but it quickly turns serious. By the end, the film is actually very grim, to the point of incorporating actual slaughterhouse footage. And while I’m under no illusions about where my burger came from I find using footage like that just to make a point unnecessary and distasteful.
That objection aside, THE DEBT COLLECTOR is a good film, with plenty of action. Adkins gets to throw more punches here than in his last few films combined. Apart from the fight in his dojo, he doesn’t get to cut loose with a lot of fancy moves, however. The fights are more realistic, with plenty of close in striking and grappling.
This suits the mood of the film which straddles the line between an action film and a more serious crime film. While Johnson seems to be going back to his roots here, Adkins is continuing to expand into roles with more depth. He gives a good performance as the desperate and conflicted French. He’s helped by a good supporting cast too. Mandylor does a great job as his partner. His channeling of a younger Mickey Rourke is a great contrast to Adkins character. It’s refreshing to see Todd in something other than a horror film and he makes a great heavy here. Also watch for Michael Pare (STREETS OF FIRE, ASTRO) in a cameo.
A solid, well-grounded film, THE DEBT COLLECTOR is worth seeing although the slaughterhouse footage may be a deal breaker for some.
THE DEBT COLLECTOR will be released on DVD June 5th from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.