The Tournament [Blu-ray]
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The story opens seven years ago with Ving Rhames character in a final bloodbath in a sordid meat packing company with two other assassins vying for the title of "World's Greatest Assassin". The scene is ultra sadistic, chaotic and bullets are flying like candy from an out of control mechanical Pez dispenser. As soon as Ving wins the battle, the environment rapidly shifts forward to the present day and the next tournament begins.
The present day battle, taking place in England, centers on 30 contestants all vying for a 10 million dollar prize and a chance to be hailed as the "World's Greatest Assassin". Each of the contestants is fitted with a two way tracking device which not only allows them to be seen by the game's ringleader, but also to be tracked by each other, on a blackberry type gadget. There are street cams, sat cams which are logged in with real time feeds to record the action for high stakes gamblers relaxing comfortably in front of jumbo screens surveying this game of death.
Each one of the devices contains a personal explosive as in the movie FORTRESS. The devises are heat sensitive and the tracking lights go out when either removed or the person expires. This is never fully explained, nor is it consistent. This fact is a major incongruity and contradiction, while also rather confusing.Read more ›
If you enjoy some solid acting in between the fights, this had it. The fights are well choreographed and fun to watch if you don't mind a pretty high splatter rate.
Top marks to Kelly Hui and Robert Carlyle for making the characters interesting so I cared about what happened to them.
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.
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
This was a gift for my fiancé. It was what he wanted, it worked and he loved it. If he's happy then I'm happy.Published 3 months ago by S. Lee
After reading some of the bad reviews of this movie, I wasn't expecting much. To be honest, I rented it b/c I wanted to see Robert Carlyle. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Susan C. McConnell