Sunday, 15 November 2009

The Tournament ... Kill Or Die !

The Tournament

''Are you out of bullets ?. Here have some of mine !''
Every seven years, in an ordinary town, there is a tournament, a Battle Royale. The very elite of killers from around the globe gather for the thrill of the kill, the right to be crowned number one. It’s kill or be killed. Last one standing claims the right to be revered as the greatest killer of them all. The prize $10,000,000. The goal, to stay alive in order to spend it. To reap the benefit you have to cull the competition, and killing season starts just as soon as The Tournament begins !. Seven years later, Middlesborough, United Kingdom, The Tournament is about to begin !. An industrial backdrop of mountainous stone chimney construct, spewing out the ashen remnants of its labourers as a smoke strewn cloud climbing upwards into a sky choking on its charcoaled bile, desperate for a surgical mask to protect its once naturally blue hue. Below an unsuspecting populace is about to become collateral damage as part of a battleground taken to by the planets killer elite.
The suburban slumber of Middlesborough soon turns into hells highway of gun totting, body breaking, death dealing highly trained killers all looking to be number one. Robert Carlyle is a fallen priest, lost in the bottomless pit of a bottle and about to scrape the very lowest ebb betwixt life and death as he unwittingly gets embroiled into The Tournament. Drink may be his misbegotten angel of self despair but his darkest hours are soon upon him as a cruel twist of fate has him targeted as one of the competitors after one of the entrants manages to cut out his tracking device. Carlyle’s Father Macavoy is at the mercy of those within the game until Kelly Hu’s feisty femme fatale Lai Lai Zhen as his guardian angel. The lord may well have mercy upon his soul as this babe is as fiery as a ninja nymph from Hades but as pretty as an angel posing for Playboy. If Hugh Heffner be the guardian into the gates of heaven, in an alternate universe, then may Kelly Hu be the field to furrow on route.
The Tournament is an adrenalin fuelled free for all that pays out like a one armed bandit being mounted by a porcupine dosed up on Viagra. An unashamed ‘B’ movie High Noon of an epic where a stare down is brief, and a mono brow comes compliments of a .45 burn just before the bullet nestles into the cerebral cortex, on its way to exiting the back of the skull. Purchase a ticket, place your bet, and reap the rewards as The Tournament delivers.

Review Paul Cooke

The Tournament (2009)
With Ving Rhames, Kelly Hu, Robert Carlyle,
Ian Somerhalder, Scott Adkins, Liam Cunningham,
Rachel Grant & John Lynch
The CCTV main frame is up-linked to a controlled pay per view satellite feed for an audience rich enough to afford their kicks at the expense of others. An underground magnate of gamblers willing to bet hundreds of thousands of dollars on a roster of thirty cold blooded killers, all a part of a dangerous game where stepping onto the playing field means you are not a member of any team !. Thirty combatants are entered into this tournament, each electronically tagged so that both viewers and fellow contestants are able to lock into there position. There is no where to hide. These professional killers elite have twenty four hours to take out the opposition, remain the last one alive and claim the ten million dollar prize fund. Each individuals odds come down along with each kill that takes place during the game of death.Joshua Harlow is the very first retired returning champion to The Tournament. His purpose for return is not the defence of his title, but for revenge. He has been informed that the murderer of his wife in recent months is a competitor in the event, and that is reason enough for him to step back into the most savage arena to apply his trade one last time with personal intent. It’s a darkly delicious double dose of Escape From New York (1981) spliced with The Most Dangerous Game (1932) in this lethal cocktail where the bullets have twenty nine potential names etched into their very casing.

Lai Lai Zhen soon figures out that the fallen priest is not a part of the tournament’s faithless flock. Her ultimatum from her overseeing sponsors is to carry him or kill him !.Tarantino-esque stand offs and one particular blood bath face down plays out in a titty bar, where nine killers are gathered. When all is exposed the bullets fly and the bar tab is filled with pints of blood. It’s time to ‘rack’ and roll. Winner takes the booby prize !.Body parts fly and the arterial vino bursts forth with great regularity with ever audacious rapture. The abandonment of belief is gleefully put to one side by Director Scott Mann in crowd pleasing preference to entertain. This is an Ebola filled balloon filled to burst and readily induced by a stumped at the wrist proctologist eager to fist for all its worth.
Beginning at the end of the last tournament, Ving Rhames character, Joshua Harlow, takes out the last two competitors in a blood drench slaughter house. He leaves one mean hombre with just some twitching neck cartilage, as a shot gun blast blows his head into smithereens from close range. Harlow has run the gauntlet and remained last man standing. In his wake lays a trail of dead bodies in varying degrees of remain. The only recognisable competitor is Harlow and that suits him just fine.


  1. Great Movie! Every action was well-put together and exciting.

  2. Agreed, this was an exemplary example of delivering the goods on a reasonable budget with a mid fame cast & baked from the UK. A highly enjoyable outing & suitably bloody with the right balance of Action & dark humour.
    Thanks for stopping by Ty, and for all of your input here in response. I appreciate it.

  3. No problem Paul. Happy to comment on your posts.

    The Tournament is definitely a fun action movie that really should have gotten a theatrical release!