Monday, January 15, 2024

One More Shot, Scott Adkins Comes Back for More

What did Jack Bauer do after each “day” of 24? Probably, sleep for a very long time. Fortunately, Jake Harris had a very long flight after exfiltrating terrorist financier and prime suspect Amin Mansur from a black site in Poland to the Baltimore airport. The operation cost him the rest of his SEAL team, but he survived—and boy is he angry. However, the same group that arranged the attack in Poland arranges a similar reception stateside in James Nunn’s One More Shot, which releases tomorrow on digital.

One Shot, One More is filmed to feel like one long extended take. Maybe Nunn cheated with some digital editing help, but it looks legit. It also amplifies the intensity of the action sequences even more this time around. An early scene in which Harris and the wounded Agent Hooper (played by Hannah Arterton, Gemma’s sister) is a terrific example.

Since this is the second time Harris walks into an ambush, there must be a mole feeding intel to the bad guys. CIA bigwig blowhard Mike Marshall’s access makes him an early suspect, but Mansur himself has another candidate in mind. Mansur will rely on Harris to keep him and his pregnant estranged wife Niesha safe, in return for information on the dirty bomb he shipped to the same airport.

One More Shot
is another disappointing example of a thriller that uses Islamist terrorists as a red herring, only to reveal that the “real” villains are in fact a cabal of greedy Americans executing a false flag operation. Perhaps Nunn and co-screenwriter James Russell might care to explain to the American and British sailors in the Gulf fending off Houthi missiles that they should really be concerned about a nasty corporation in Fairfax, Virginia?

However, there is no denying the action is first-class all the way. The second film surpasses the first in that respect, by a good measure. It also easily stands alone for those who start here. The airport setting (London’s Stansted) provides many opportunities for action set-pieces that Nunn and his experienced cast fully capitalize on.

Clearly, Adkins is at the absolute top of his game throughout
OMS. He has no time for jokey winking at the camera. He starts the film in a quiet fury and his rage and intensity grows steadily with each scene. Michael Jai White has an excellent third-act fight scene with Adkins, but Nunn’s holds him in reserve for most of the film, just teasing brief appearances of White barking orders into a walky.

Tom Berenger is reliable sleazy as Marshall and Aaron Toney provides a great secondary villain (or primary henchman) as Dunbar (his fights with Adkins are some of the film’s best sequences). However, the “surprise” turncoat cannot convey the appropriate menace, arrogance, or evil glee, despite making an obvious effort that falls flat.

Given how Nunn ends things, it sure looks like he might have a
One Final Shot in mind. Given the quality of the fight direction and Adkins’ work, fans should hope that will be the case. This film delivers, exceeding expectations. Recommended for fans of Adkins, White, and the action genre in general, One More Shot releases tomorrow (1/16) on digital.