Clad in black leather, Rhona Mitra says to Scott Adkins, "They tell me you like punishment." Mr. Adkins replies, "You're not my type." To which Ms. Mitra replies, in an offended manor, "I'm everyone's type." I gotta agree with her. In what may be termed as a demented version of "The Quiet Man," 2016's "Hard Target 2" has so much going for it. For us guys, Rhona Mitra in leather with a crossbow. For you gals, Scott Adkins, his abs, and will to survive.
After killing his best friend in a UFC type fight in Vegas, Wes (Adkins), stricken with guilt, heads to Thailand. Now in an underground circuit, our protagonist continues fighting. He catches the attention of ex-CIA renegade, Aldrich (Robert Knepper). Aldrich makes him an offer he can't refuse. For a million dollars, Wes believes he's signing up for one more fight. Aldrich has something else in mind. He lures Wes into the jungle and assembles several hunters who have paid lots of dough to hunt human prey. The most colorful of these psychos is Sofia (Mitra) who loves crossbows and leather. With a two minute head start, the game is quickly on.
As Wes has some close calls, he begins picking off the hunters. The hunters are armed with M16s, crossbows, RPGs, and pistols. Sofia and Wes do meet up, and Wes knocks the snot out of her. The femme fatale escapes, however. Wes befriends a lovely elephant herder, Tha (Ann Truong). Tha's brother was hunted six months earlier and she helps Wes toward the border. Uh oh, Adkins is a step ahead of these two soon-to-be lovebirds. So is Sofia, as she desires a rematch. Now Adkins tells his surviving hunters that Tha is fair game also. Now saddled with a beautiful elephant herder, does Adkins have a chance to outwit the psycho CIA cast-out? Does he have a chance at redemption for killing his best buddy? Will Tha and Sofia engage in a cat-fight? The answer to this third question is yes, and in surprisingly vicious fashion, I may add.
Some may say this film is stupid and hokey. Perhaps, but it is still a lot of fun and a lot more intellectual than those stupid superhero films like "Thor" and "Iron Man." Mr. Adkins and Ms. Mitra are terrific on the screen and play their characters well. Shot in Thailand, the scenery in "Hard Target 2" (directed by Roel Reine) is beautiful. If the dialog contained in the first paragraph appeals to you, this is a film you need to see. This action thriller is available on Netflix.