A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to talk with Scott Adkins, the actor, martial arts specialist and bona fide cult star. The audio recorder app on my phone went on the fritz, throwing me off somewhat and, while I didn’t know it as I tried to carry on regardless, none of our conversation was being saved.
So I quickly scribbled down notes and impressions as soon as I could. As such, I’m not able to quote Adkins directly – I really don’t want to put words into his mouth – but I can at least tell you what we talked about and what Adkins’ take on it was.
As Adkins’ new movie Ninja: Shadow of a Tear was rapidly heading towards DVD, this took up a good portion of our chat. The film is a sequel to 2009’s Ninja, and shares that film’s director, Isaac Florentine.
Adkins noted that Florentine is the director who best understands him, knows how to use him in a film. What’s more, Adkins heaped praise on the way Florentine conceives, stages and shoots the action, and also specifically mentioned the editing. It’s true – between them, they’ve created some atypically old-school action, the kind of thing that would have had the much-missed Impact Magazine turning cartwheels.
I asked Adkins one of my regular questions, about the lack of Academy recognition for the stunt units that actually put their lives in danger to make movies. He was certainly not pleased by this oversight on the Academy’s part, and thinks that Oscars for stunts are definitely well-deserved. But wouldn’t this just encourage stunt performers to push harder and try to out-do one another, putting their lives in danger? Adkins says that’s already the case.
Adkins is a firm believer that good action needs to be shot and edited properly to have the impact it should. This was something he stressed clearly to me, and I agreed wholeheartedly. For an idea of just what he means by this, he of course recommends Ninja: Shadow of a Tear.
The film is out on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK today. Here are a few short trailers. Oh, and by the way, I’ve changed my technique for recording interviews now after three went wrong on the same day so this won’t happen again. Hopefully I’ll get another chance to speak with Adkins before too long.