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The Tournament [Blu-ray]
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British fantasy action thriller starring Robert Carlyle and Ving Rhames. Every seven years, a deadly tournament is held in which 30 of the world's most lethal assassins gather in a secret location and battle it out for a cash prize of ten million dollars. Returning champion Joshau Harlow (Rhames) has a very personal reason for attending this year's tournament: he has been informed that one of his fellow contestants was responsible for the death of his wife, and he wants revenge at any cost.
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Robert Carlyle plays a washed-up priest who is caught up in a once-every-seven-years competition in which 30 of the world's best hitmen are pitted against each other in an unsuspecting, random town. The location this time is Middlesborough, England and the 24-hour bloodbath paints the town red before the climactic last-man-standing finale. Among the many hitmen are the gorgeous Kelly Hu and the burly Ving Rhames. There's not much time for character development, but the main trio work well off each other in between the brutal action scenes.
The Tournament does use some CGI blood effects in a few shots, not as awful as it usually is, but most of the gore is good, old-fashioned make-up. And when I said they paint the town red I really do mean it. The film is wonderfully gory in a way we just don't see in action movies anymore. Plus the stunts are all done for real in front of the camera, which makes it all the more visceral and visually appealing.
Don't write-off the Tournament. It delivers everything it promises. It doesn't rewrite the rules or set any new, genre-defining standard, but it's still better than modern, family-friendly 'action'.
The Blu Ray looks good in 1.78:1 1080p with DTS HD-MA sound. There are no extras.
I was expecting a low-brow Americanised Battle Royale rip-off, but there is a more European feel to this action adventure, which is akin to The Running Man, or to use a non-film comparison, it's a glossier version of The Button Man, a comic series written by John Wagner for 2000AD. While it isn't as satirical or political as Battle Royale, it is no less enjoyable and manages to keep the fast pace going throughout the movie, as well as introducing dynamic fight sequences throughout. I particularly liked the scene with the French Free-Runner as he attempted to kill the two main characters in the police car.
There are few notable names starring in this movie - Kelly Hu stars as the sympathetic hit-woman, Lei Lei, with Robert Carlyle as the reluctant priest, forced to participate in the deadly games. Ving Rhames and Ian Somerhalder also put in some memorable time as their roles, with Rhames as the world-weary assassin, tricked back into the game and Somerhalder's crazy Texan scenery-chewer, who is a far cry from his appearance as Boone in LOST.Read more ›
In brief, worth the price.
This review is from: The Tournament (DVD)
Every seven years the world's greatest assassins assemble in a small city (different one each time) for a "cage match." The winner gets $10,000 and the 29 losers all die. Ving Rhames wins the one before the opening credits. He comes out of retirement because one of the assassins in the tournament murdered his wife. Some of the action is watched on closed circuit TV by rich people who make bets. Some of the characters are introduced by the emcee of the game. Tracking devices are surgically placed inside all the contestants, who can all track each other.
There isn't much in the way of developing characters. The premise is awful. However, if you like a fast paced movie with killing and exploding heads, this is the one. Now to make things interesting not every assassin plays by the same set of rules. Kelly Hu plays another favored assassin. Robert Carlyle plays a drunkard priest, who is not a player, but is a wild card in the game. There is a "mystery" as to who killed Rhames wife, which we find out rather quickly, and then there is the "why" as in "Why do we care?"
Roof top jumping, some CG type of fighting, impossible stunts, explosions, and a man who just enjoys killing...even dogs. Bullets that can pierce armor, but not a bar room table (where do they get those tables?)Borders on grindhouse.
F-bomb, strip club nudity (not Kelly)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Awesome action, love the fight scenes, car and chases scenes, blood and gore! Considering this is Scott Mann's first film I can't wait to see what he can do with a big budget and... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
A trashy, well worn plot of hitmen out to kill each other is given breath of fresh air, by staging it in a British town setting and by delivering some truly great stunts on a... Read morePublished 4 months ago by chelios1981
Nice film but the preview is definitely better than the entire film. great action sequences though.Published 10 months ago by Jeffrey Douglas