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The Tournament (2009)

Duration 1h 35m Rating (UK) 18
Source of story A sort of original screenplay
Writers/Script Gary Young, Jonathan Frank, Nick Rowntree
Additional Info The film was conceived by Scott Mann, Jonathan Frank and Nick Rowntree when they were at university on Teesside. Funding was difficult and they ran out of money twice, once stranding the director in Bulgaria.
Director Scott Mann
Starring Robert Carlyle, Kelly Hu, Ian Sumerhalder, Liam Cunningham, Ving Rhames, Rachel Grant, Andy Nyman, Scott Adkins
Elevator Pitch A bunch of high rollers sit in a darkened room and bet on events which are controlled by an MC, behind him multiple TV screens. On the screens, out in the town of Middlesborough, 30 skilled assassins take each other on in a kill or be killed competition, winner takes all – in this case $10 million. Each of the competitors has a tracker implanted under their skin, which we are soon to find have the ability also to kill the implantee. An alcoholic priest accidentally imbibes a tracking device, making him part of the game. Despite being protected by a female assassin, his chances of survival seem to be limited.
Content The assassins take each other on with a variety of weapons, including sniper rifles, shot guns, machine guns and pistols, in a variety of locations. Out in the street, in a filling station, and in a night club. There are car chases, and commercial vehicle chases with a lot of tension, some explosions and a lot of blood and guts. Also some female nudity in the night club. The priest drinks quite a bit, and one of the assassins smokes cigars – irritatingly.
A View I liked the idea of a bloodfest in Middlesborough. You’d have to have been there to get that – Rotten Tomatoes billed it as a “small Scottish town” although no critics reviewed it (don’t they have maps?). Not the worst form of this particular genre, but you would have to have a general liking for the format to enjoy it.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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