Abduction Review: Scott’s Got Bills To Pay!
Updated: Apr 17
Dir: Ernie Barbarash
Release Date: 2019
“A man finds himself in Vietnam with no recollection of who he is or how he got there must piece together his past while being pursued by shadowy and dangerous figures”
I bloody love Scott Adkins films with his Undisputed series being a joy to behold while Avengement is sheer beautiful brutality.
His Martial Arts abilities are undeniable, and his good looks and physique don’t harm him much either. His acting is also improving with each film.
And then, he releases this.
I guess this was a space filler in his schedule as it is quite a mess and nowhere near his better efforts. Saying that, the fight scenes are still quality and there are not many boring parts even if the whole premise of the film is totally ridiculous.
Buckle up, here we go…….
We join big Scott (playing Quinn) in some kind of Hostel style dungeon with a fat man wearing a leather apron and no shirt walking along a line of prone people. Quinn wakes up and runs off. He enters a large chamber where people are caged. His daughter is one of them! The captives all have spider things on the back of their necks and some sort of Emperor Palpatine character kindly explains in a distorted voice that if the spider is removed, the person will die. He then, not so kindly, sets his henchmen/women on Quinn and they have green flashing eyes. Naturally, Quinn beats them all up with a pipe and whatever else they were armed with, removes their neck spiders and turns his focus onto this robed guy.
Not one to run from a fight, Mr Robes (not his character name) just punches Quinn in the stomach.
Punches him clean through the wall.
Out of a castle.
In the sky.
He falls a great height and lands in some water. He surfaces and finds himself in a fountain in a park in Vietnam.
He is immediately sick.
Still with me? I’m not even 10 minutes into the film yet and already I had to grab my notepad! Trust me when I tell you that the rest does not get any more coherent or realistic as we jump from place to place with rapid fire scene cuts.
We flip to the other character soon to join the adventure. Conner, played by Andy On, also a martial artist, he is an ex-forces turned assassin for hire who has massive subtitles and beats Russian guys up for wearing tracksuits or something.
We pan out and see that everyone is dead.
Even people in front of him. No idea how he did that but hey, ex-forces right?
Back to Quinn who puts on a jacket even Steven Seagal wouldn’t wear and mumbles to himself that he doesn’t remember anything.
Back to Conner who, with his large subtitles, tells his boss he is out and that was the last hit. The right hand man (who ironically doesn’t have a right hand) of the boss appears to not like Conner a great deal which he makes clear by looking at him with either a look of disdain or boredom.
Quinn is now stumbling around the city with a quite terrible stutter so he can barely say British Embassy to people. There is no reason for this stutter and it just goes away a bit later.
Frankly, it annoyed the Hell out of me.
An old woman slaps his face and he can suddenly talk again. Maybe it was just an attempt at a comedy value device? Either way, it is awful.
Conner goes home and, even though he returns with a briefcase chock full of cash, his moody wife still gives him shit about killing people.
Even though Quinn managed to speak, clearly nobody told him where the British Embassy was as he is sleeping in the street when 2 cops move him on. He asks them where the Embassy is but ends up almost apologetically beating them both up until he is tasered. 3 times!
Conner is sleeping on the sofa when his radio comes on. He goes to check on his wife and finds that she is chained on all fours, wearing a Hannibal Lecter mask while hooded figures just kind of look at her. He goes towards them and Mr Robes throws some green other dimension shit at him that makes him get further away in an impressively rubbish CGI manner. Conner then wakes up like it was all a nightmare but finds his wife is missing. Thankfully, he has no time to dwell on that as a group of ski masked guys attack him. You can tell they are Russians due to the tracksuits they all wear. Conner runs up the stairs to a delightful potted plant area and proceeds to destroy it by killing everyone. He is eventually captured and sits before a suited Russian who carefully opens a case of cliché torture weapons.
These weapons are among the rustiest I have ever seen. With the care he reveals them, you’d think he’d spend a bit of time cleaning them after indulging in some torture. Have some pride, torturers!
“You have balls, I’ll give you that”, he says before being killed.
Quinn is now in a hospital for some reason where a beautiful female doctor talks in heavily accented English and demands Scott is to be looked after which is pretty much what you would expect from a doctor, especially in a hospital.
Conner heads off to see his boss and hook hand (who appears to have an Australian accent) to find out what is happening. The boss suggests his wife just left and that’s the best he can think of. Conner leaves and they talk about being the ones who set it all up and that this will be the last payment, but wait….. Conner left a bugging device and knows all!!
The attractive doctor is interviewing Quinn who has the stutter back but slaps his own face and it goes away.
Still pointless but they clearly thought it was funny enough to throw it in again.
As the doctor makes notes, we get a close up on the pad as she writes and she appears to have the hand of an elderly gentleman. I assume it was just an editing error and nothing to do with the story but it made me laugh and I rewound the film to check it out a second time. He says he is looking for his daughter who vanished and that it must have been in the papers. She says she remembers the case and we move on again.
Hook hand goes to the payment drop followed by Conner and meets Mr Robes again. He gets some diamonds and asks for more because he gave him the woman. Robes gets a bag literally from up his sleeve and pours some shit onto the hook. It turns into a new hand.
Conner comes out from hiding at this point (he was behind a box) and holds them at gunpoint. Robes disarms him by using The Force or some shit but still indulges in some hand to hand combat because maybe he had some time to spare. He then just fucks off vertically into the air.
Doctor finds the newspaper report she said she remembered but it turns out it was from 1985! How old that makes her is uncertain and not addressed.
Conner beats up the newly acquired Right Hand Man.
The Doctor goes to meet her old mentor and tells him this nonsensical tale about Quinn not having aged since 1985. Her mentor, not to be outdone in the nonsense stakes tells her that maybe the 1985 Quinn is the father of the Quinn she knows and he has taken his identity confusing daughter with sister. He rounds it all off by declaring, “It’s a classic case of transference”, ignoring the sheer lunacy of what he is actually saying.
Conner and the Doctor meet at the fountain in the park and chat about shit. Conner agrees to meet Quinn back at the hospital. There is a good fight when 2 assassins turn up looking nothing like Embassy officials and Quinn and Conner get to do their thing, occasionally shooting people in the head and neck until the spiders come off again and the threat is nullified. Quinn is hypnotised and we get a flashback to a Chinese guy called Dr Gong (bit racist?) and his theories about it all which involves Feng Shui and Qi (pronounced CHI). We meet the guy and he bangs on about the same and extra terrestrial compasses whatever that means. Bad guys in hoods turn up and breathes smoke everywhere which results in a classic, “You led them right to me!”, line.
We go back to the leather apron and no shirt Hostel guy where Dr Gong sacrifices himself by acting as a distraction even though he really didn’t need to and Quinn is temporarily made a bad guy with the neck spider thing.
The subsequent fight between Quinn and Conner is impressive and probably the highlight of the film. So much so that, when Quinn recovers, he even comments that it was a good fight.
The sexy doctor is now 3 people in hoods as they seem to have lost the guy playing Mr Robes. They make her old for some reason. Quinn says, “Keep them talking”, while right in front of them and then side-steps away as if they can’t see him while we are treated to some more awful green neon CGI.
Daughter and wife are confirmed as in attendance as we see more people in cages while the ‘Aliens’ harvest their Qi so they can get home.
Qi, by the way, is apparently a fluorescent green liquid which pours out of you when properly harvested and makes you have the same old face as a social media app does.
Conner utters a stupidly heroic line to himself, performs a totally impossible somersault and then shoulder charges the robed sexy doctor through numerous green things, either releasing or killing everyone. I’m not really sure of which they wanted us to think.
Caption of 8 months later gives us a needless scene of Conner’s wife alone when her radio comes on and she asks, “Is that you?”. The end.
While being a step back in quality for Scott, it is still a film where he gets to go toe to toe with another talented martial artist and the fights are worth a watch even if the film is massively over complicated and ultimately pointless.
If he keeps making them, I’ll keep watching them.
You can purchase the film HERE
FAVOURITE CHARACTER: Scott as Quinn, obviously
FAVOURITE MOMENT: Not having a clue what this film was supposed to be about
“It’s a classic case of transference”
FAVOURITE DEATH: Multiple gun shots to the face.