J.B. Spins

Jazz, film, and improvised culture.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Incoming: Scott Adkins Kicks Butt on a Space Station


The world’s superpowers have finally come together in space, but not in a Star Trek kind of way. They have joined forces to rendition the Hell out of six utterly savage terrorists. Of course, no good ever comes from bad guys in space. Scott Adkins wanted to use his inspection to close down the project, but he will have to act more proactively when the terrorists take over the station in Eric Zaragoza’s Incoming (trailer here), which has a special one-night only screening at the Sunset Arena CineLounge this Friday.

The former International Space Station has been retrofitted into a prison, with the British Kingsley serving as the interrogator, warden, and one-man crew. He has nothing to show for the last five years, so the hard-nosed American Reiser is determined to shut him down. To further his cause, he has brought along Dr. Stone, a gullible liberal do-gooder. Unfortunately, she is so appalled by Kingsley’s operation, she allows Argun, the leader of the notorious “Wolf Pack” to escape through a misguided show of pity.

Soon, the terrorists have control of the station and the shuttle, which they intend to use to crash their former prison into Mother Russia, thereby igniting global nuclear war. The only people who can stop them are Reiser, Stone, and their shuttle pilot Bridges, who are all still loose in the station, like John McClane in Nakatomi Plaza.

To an extent, Incoming seems to indict practices of extra-territorial rendition as anti-terrorist practices that violate the core principles of constitutional democracy. On the other hand, it also suggests terrorists will always be terrorists, so any attempt to reason with them will end in tears. Of course, it is probably just a fool’s errand trying to fashion a coherent political statement out of Jorge Saralegui’s threadbare screenplay.

Alas, this is definitely a minor film in the Scott Adkins canon. He chops are as razor sharp as ever, but the film can’t seem to make up its mind whether he should be the sinister villain of Wolf Warrior and Expendables 2 or the brooding hero of Savage Dog and Close Range. Michelle Lehane turns out to be a pleasant surprise, displaying a forceful presence, even though she is working with a lame script and standing next to Adkins most of the time. As Argun, Vahidin Prelic certainly looks the part, but his facility for scenery chewing is so-so at best.

There are a number of entertaining fight sequences, because Adkins is Adkins. Yet, when Dr. Stone explains early on the malnutrition endured by the prisoners lowered their bone density, the inconsistent screenplay primes us for a feast of bone-snapping that never happens. You can find plenty of better Adkins movies available on VOD and DVD, like the free-wheeling Accident Man, but this is the latest. Only for hardcore fans viewing in the comfort of their own homes, Incoming is now available on VOD platforms (including iTunes) and screens this Friday (5/18) in LA, at the Arena CineLounge.

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