A Hitman in London, 2015.
Directed by Ara Paiaya.
Starring Gary Daniels, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Michael Madsen and Darryl Hannah.
This dark tale of redemption set amongst the denizens of London’s underworld, pits one man’s angst against those who would destroy him. Gary Daniel’s is that man. Can he get to the truth before that guilt eats him up from the inside?
Kickboxing champions who segue into acting fill me with fear. Uttering dialogue with all the skill of a Ketamine addict, they punch, kick and threaten their way through movie after movie. Filming on digital in real locations to keep costs down, these productions have all the class of a Seventies sex education short. Featuring pay cheque performances the actors hope no one sees, produced by companies who finance and liquidate in the same afternoon. One such gem birthed into this world is A Hitman in London starring Gary Daniels.
Hailing from Woking in deepest suburban Surrey, Daniels has made a career from bitch slapping his way through numerous B-movie bone crunchers. Like a poor man’s Daniel Craig with the high kicking action chops of Cynthia Rothrock, Daniel’s steely eyed presence and medicated delivery is the stuff of movie legend. A legacy which gets one more nail in the blockbuster coffin with this piece of car crash cinema.
A thinly plotted chopsockathon which gives Daniels ample opportunity to pulverise people, while comic relief is supplied by shambolic accents and helpless street walkers. Looking bewildered opposite this personality vacuum is an incoherent Mickey Rourke. Like a refugee from Man On Fire wearing John Inman’s hairpiece, this shameless coasting is an embarrassment. Hannah and Madsen fair no better. Looking moody in a bad nightclub set delivering hastily scribbled lines, with less passion than a government health warning. While technicians more used to working with rubber sheets, wipe clean window dressing and permanently aroused performers pop pills in between set ups. For them you sense the money was never going to be enough here.
Eric Roberts meanwhile has fallen further and faster than the rest. Squeezed into a cheap office set looking smug, he aims for sinister but pulls off extreme indigestion. With years of whoring etched into every moment of this Sideshow Bob pastiche, his ill-fitting suit and clear discomfort make things virtually unwatchable. In on a joke no one else understands, Roberts does nothing to raise the quality here. Whereas Alan Ford’s foul mouthed tirade only serves to remind me how good Snatch really was.
With original music by the absurdly named Sefi Carmel, A Hitman in London deafens using excessive orchestration and incidental music lifted straight off a ‘Bodyform’ advert. With lines like ‘It’s a terrible thing what I do’, or my personal favourite ‘some people just need killing’, writer Adam Davidson skilfully destroys a burgeoning career, while Mr Daniels continues riding high on the plaudits which will surely follow this unique performance. There are of course other ways to describe this film, many of which will become apparent should you decide to watch this masterpiece.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★