Kick'em In The Ghoulies

"It's The Only Way To Survive"

Film Review  - SHOWDOWN in MANILA  - 2016


Showdown in Manila – 2016/ 2018

If your on this site then your probably a fan of those 80's and 90'S American and American co -productions that so many of the 80's and 90's Martial art stars featured in.

From films like Bloodsport , Perfect weapon,China 'O Brien and many many more.

Well shooting to present day for this review of a film produced in 2016 , released in Russia in the same year and released in the USA in 2018 you may be wondering , what's the connection !

Well for all intense and purposes this is one of those films that's caught in a time warp because it looks and sounds just like a 80's Action B-movie just like the ones we all loved and still do.

The highlight of the film is the bringing together of many of those stars of those 80's /90's Martial art action B-movies.

With a cast sounding like the Expendables 4 ( well maybe not quite but it's pretty cool) first off the film stars Alexander Nevsky the Russian Bodybuilder ,Actor and film producer.

Co-starring with him is Casper Van Dien ( Starship Troopers , Alita Battle Angel) , the pair play Nick and Charlie who are private investigators who run a agency in Manila in the Philippines.

The film starts with a small backstory where Nick who is part of a special tactical force called the VDU .

On a mission to capture a known terrorist known as the Wrath Nick's entire force is wiped out and Nick left for dead.

The film then shoots two years in the future to the present day , Nick now works with Charlie in their Investigation business ,they take on missing persons and small cases ,nothing to serious .

But that's all about to change

Matthew Wells and his wife are on Holiday when Matthew a former FBI agent ( played by the Director of this film Mark Dacascos ) spots a old adversary and gets into a confrontation and gets killed basically , Yes Mark Dacascos has about 3 minutes on camera but he does go out fighting .

His Wife Mrs Wells ( Tia Carrere ) is witness to all this and gets a good look at the man and his cohorts .

After Mrs wells go to the Police and shows a sketch she did of the culprit she is advised to go along with a fellow detective and is introduced to Nick and Charlie who are believed can help her.

When Nick sees the picture he knows who it is , it's the Wrath ( played by ''Your Soul is Mine'' Cary Hiroyuki -Tagawa) , after agreeing to take the case Nick and Charlie get about tracking down The Wrath and some good action scenes arise from this ,but nothing to elaborate.

One of the Wrath's cohorts is Dorn ( played by Matthias Hues ) , a confrontation ensues.

But after careful consideration Nick knows he will need help from his former Military unit , he asks for them to be tracked down.

It's known that the Wrath has a operation in the Jungle and Nick and Charlie must infiltrate the base to capture the Wrath and destroy his operations .

Arriving on scene Nick and Charlie are met by his old Military unit who consist of Haines ( Cynthia Rothrock) , Dillion ( Don The Dragon Wilson) , Ford ( Olivier Gruner) and Victor ( Dmitri Dyuzhev) .

So now the team have to infiltrate the Jungle camp and get the bad guys.

This is the part of the film which you have all been waiting for , the last big scene where these action stars get to bust loose.

But there's a problem , there's much reliance on gun play and not all of it is very well shot. Some scenes look dynamic but others look muddled and it's like no ones aiming at anything , there just shooting air.

As they get closer into camp , bullets run out and more hand to hand comes into play, some of this is very well done for a film on a budget and probably a tight schedule.

All the stars get to show they still have the moves and Cynthia gets to do some neat double stick work . But overall I thought there was not enough of it.

To much time was spent on the shooting scenes and not the hand to hand.

Also the film makes a big mistake of not having Matthias Hues in the last big scene , he would have made a great adversary for a multiple fight battle .

OK we know the films hero is supposed to be Nick ( Alexander Nevsky) but in all intense and purposes many fans are here watching for the iconic martial art stars . Alexander Nevsky is OK to watch but does have a Schwarzenegger like persona going on , and there's only one Austrian Oak in my world.

Also I did expect more from Mark Dacascos in the action department as far as choreography was concerned.

But it's no to say I didn't enjoy watching the film , it was a just like going back in time with cheesy lines , explosions , car chases and all.

I also understand that these type of films are hard to get funded and released nowadays.

Though Released in Russia in 2016 , the USA release was no till 2018.

Where in the UK and have known about the film for sometime , but have only just been able to watch it thanks to Amazon Video who have it for the UK.

Showdown in Manila is fun in the end , mostly due to all the players and if your a diehard fan of any of the stars in the film your going to want to see it.

But if your younger and don't know these Icons of 80's and 90's action cinema then you may not be so impressed.

But for this viewer it was good to see some of my favourite action stars on screen together .

Review Date : 19-03-2020

Review By : Sertes Nake


Alternate Posters and stills



Directed by Mark Dacascos

Produced by  Mark Dacascos

Alexander Nevsky

Andzej Bartkowaik

Alexnader Izotov

Christopher R Santiago

Year : 2016

Country : USA / Philippines

Poster and Picture Copyright (c) Hollywood Storm / CineTel Films  2016 /2018