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Boyka: Undisputed IV (2016), basically Scott Adkins versus a giant hulking monster.

September 8, 2017

MY CALL:  This (along with part III) isn’t a very good sequel; the story isn’t good and the writing sucks. But we do get MORE ADKINS AS BOYKA, and I’m pretty sure that’s all we really wanted.  MORE MOVIES LIKE Boyka: Undisputed IVWell, you should absolutely Undisputed (2002) and the sequels all the way through Undisputed III (2010), but part II (introducing Adkins as Boyka) was by far the best. I’d also recommend most other Adkins movies referenced herein as well as Blood and Bone (2009).

Ever since we first met Scott Adkins (Doctor Strange, Ninja: Shadow of a Tear, The Expendables 2Universal Solder: Day of Reckoning, El Gringo, Assassination Games, Hard Target 2) and his flair for technical stunts and martial arts fight choreography, we’ve wanted to see him in more significant action movie roles.  The last several years have been kind to Adkins’ fans, but we all still wanted more of the role that truly made him famous: BOYKA!

After killing a fighter in the ring, Boyka (Scott Adkins) seeks to redeem himself by paying off his dead opponent’s widow’s (Teodora Duhovnikova) debts to a Russian gangster by agreeing to three profitable organized fights.

Director Todor Chapkanov doesn’t have much experience at the helm and it shows.  The frame rate makes Boyka look too fast to look credible (Adkins is fast enough on his own) and the photography isn’t exactly top notch. On top of that, the dialogue is terrible and loaded with soap operatic melodrama…and did you know that apparently everyone in the Ukraine and Russia speaks English all the time?  Don’t even get me started on this plot.  But what this director does right is he gives us more of Adkins as Boyka. And no matter what general filmmaking flaws surround him, Adkins knows how to please his fans!

Adkins continues to deliver his trademark stunts featured in long shots featuring upwards of ten techniques between cuts—the way martial arts should be filmed.  His fights are varied and abundant and this highly unrealistic movie builds to when Boyka is forced to fight Koshmar (Martyn Ford), a 6’8” monstrosity of tattoos, muscle and rage. Unfortunately, there’s basically no build-up to this crescendo.  It just sort of feels like “the next fight” in a series of fights—maybe with less anticipation than the other fights as well.  This “final fight” happens after what Boyka thought was the “final fight” and yet it hardly seems to matter.  Again, the writing and direction were not exactly awesome.

Waddya think? Same weight class, right?

Watching Koshmar fight is akin to Nathan Jones in The Protector (2005); a brutal, hulking, smashing menace. But the fight doesn’t last very long and his best trick seems to be being huge.  For some reason Boyka defeats this beast faster than any of his other opponents…I guess it’s because he literally had a plane to catch.

In the end, this “movie experience” paled in comparison to Undisputed 2 (2006).  Maybe it was the novelty of it all back then.  But this movie is still a lot of fun and a satisfying ride for Adkins fans. I love watching him do 540s and 720s and throwing three kicks in one jump.  I could watch it all day.

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