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  • Writer's pictureKen B Wild

Showdown In Manila Review: Shitzilla in Manila

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

Dir: Mark Dacascos

Release Date: 2016

“Two Private Investigators on a murder case in Manila find themselves up against a terrorist called ‘The Wraith’ and assemble a team of mercenaries to take him down in his jungle lair”

Wow! What a confusingly enjoyable yet ultimately disappointing piece of work. The 2 main 'stars' and the middle section are awful, but it is all the other cast and the ending which makes this worth a watch.

Some big lunk of a Russian guy (called Nick Peyton - no real muscle definition and a worse accent than early Schwarzenegger) leads a team of cops on a takedown mission of a legendary terrorist called ‘The Wrath’.

He fails miserably and gets his team killed while he also takes a bullet but, sadly, survives.

Matthias Hues is in it as henchman #1 (Dorn) and he still has the long blond hair and muscles, the same Japanese bad guy (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) who plays the big bad guy in every film he is in (his face just makes that happen I guess) is the big bad guy in this as well. If you don’t know who either of these guys are, look them up, recognise them and then slap your own face and the face of the person next to you.

Mark Dacascos himself is in it for a few minutes after the first scene so he can provide the film with some semblance of a plot.

Tia Carrere is also in it, as Dascascos’s’s’s’s wife and she is still looking amazing.

I imagine, if I directed a film, I might also want Tia Carrere to play my wife and she seems to love a good showdown (in Showdown in Little Tokyo, you get to see her topless and I have never recovered from that).

Casper (Starshit Troopers) Van Dien stars alongside the Russian guy, explains he has a sex addiction which they attempt to get some laughs from and they both lurch from one painfully boring/unfunny scene to another.

They get hired by Tia Carrere to find the sonofabitch who killed her husband, and they take the case due to Russian meathead recognising ‘The Wraith’ as the same guy who did that shit in the opening scene.

All of this just ticks over for about another 40 minutes being shit with pointless and badly done punch up/chase scenes, numerous attempts at humour and then, just as we head off for the 'Showdown' itself, something beautiful happens.

A small boat arrives and, in this boat...

Cynthia Rothrock (China O’Brien) shows up Don "The Dragon” Wilson (Bloodfist) shows up Olivier Gruner (Angel Town) shows up.

Some other guy also turns up but nobody knows who the fuck he is except for the big Russian guy so I guess he owed him a favour or something and got him in the film.

It's a joy to behold! After some classically terrible old friend banter, the bargain basement Expendables all slowly jog around the jungle while firing machine guns apparently in random directions, throwing some grenades, doing some quite unnecessarily repeated stabbings and still having time for some terribly choreographed hand to hand fight scenes.

Then, after some more shit banter, they all just get in the small boat and fuck off again.

It is simply breath-taking.

Anyway, the film ends shortly afterwards with Tia Carrere making another gorgeous appearance (she's 53 for fucks sake) and then the usual inane post movie banter between the same two idiots nobody cares about talking about their plans for future adventures..

I was half expecting and fully hoping the credits to have a freeze frame of each character giving us a thumbs up and a freeze frame of them laughing while their name and that of their character appeared, but sadly, it’s just an awful song and usual credit writing.

It’s a shame actually as that would have been the icing on a deliciously shitty action cake.


FAVOURITE MOMENT: The moment that boat pulled up


Dorn - Who the hell are you?

Peyton - You don't remember? You tried to kill me.

Dorn - If that were true, you'd be dead.

Peyton - But I'm not.


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