Michael Merino and Daniel Zirilli (director)
06 April 2020 (released)
04 April 2020
Dolph Lundgren leads a cast of action-thriller veterans in Michael Merino and Daniel Zirilli’s, Acceleration. The story follows Rhona Zyocki, a hired gun, played by Natalie Burn whose son has been kidnapped by one of LA’s most feared gangsters, Vladik Zorich, (Lundgren.) In this quest-driven adventure Rhona has to race against the clock, throughout the night, to settle scores with Vladik’s enemies, in order to secure her son’s safe return.
This is no flashy, souped-up car heist as the title suggests. The high-performance vehicle in question is used primarily to get the character of Rhona from one hit job to the next, albeit with nostalgic neon lasers and sped-up visual effects, splashed all over them.
The plot is thin and formulaic. Hoodlums and heavies lurk in the shadows of doorways and warehouses – some more believable than others. When the fight scenes arrive, they lack artistry. Some of them adopt a similar style to the fast-jerky editing techniques of the car sequences and miss the mark dramatically, looking ill-staged and non-violent. Danny Trejo (From Dusk Till Dawn) who plays Santos, a criminal data supplier, is given little to do, other than deliver the lines required to get Natalie Burn’s character set up in her next location and task.
Pleasing moments include Sean Patrick Flannery’s portrayal of Kane, the local criminal kingpin and Vladik’s nemesis, who is suitably creepy and menacing throughout. There is also the occasional scene with Lundgren when the filmmakers appear to gently parody his hard-man image, cue: a shot of him sipping from a dainty sherry glass.
Dark humour is employed during a stylised, intimate cocaine-fest, with perhaps more than a reverential nod to Spud Murphy’s drug-fuelled job interview in Trainspotting. The narrative builds up to several reveals towards the end and neatly ties up all loose threads.
Strictly for die-hard, retro action fans who enjoy a healthy dose of film pastiche and irony.
Acceleration will be released across all digital platforms from 6th April.