The police are called to raid underground fight club known as Knuckledust. What they find inside is seven levels of hell, with each level filled bodies of dead fighters and the only one left standing is a lone fighter known as Hard Eight played by the excellent Moe Dunford. Taken in for questioning, this ex Special Forces officer must use his training to help the police unravel the events of the evening. To keep him and his fiancée Chrissy (Amy Bailey) safe, plus help Chief Inspector Katherine Keaton (Katie Dickie). Locate shady fight club manager Serena (Camille Rowe) Keaton and her team, are racing against the clock to find out who Hard Eight is before Major Vaughn comes to collect his boy Also who is the mysterious Knuckledust owner?
Firstly, while watching this I had to stop the film make myself a brew and come back and restart it. As I couldn't believe how much it jumped from serious action thriller to quirky parody scenes. I did get used to this, but was hoping for the serious thriller that it started out being. Instead it is trying too hard to be a film of two tones. The hard edged action fight film and the sharp humour of say a Guy Ritchie film. Only, I think it really didn’t quite work with all the scenes. Some worked well others not so well and felt out of place, with the more serious tone of the film. There are some tense scenes in the negotiation room between Katie Dikie's Keaton and Moe Dunford`s Hard Eight. One fight in particular stood out for me. This is between Tombstone (Guillaume Delaunay) and Hard Eight when they step into the lift at the club and it`s on. Throughout the film, the relationship between Hard Eight and the deaf Tombstone is developed. Their communication is funny and serious and mean, leading to this brutal exchange. These scenes are very much my favourite of the film.
Actor turned writer director James Kermack has truly created a high octane roller-coaster ride of a film. With some really odd ball characters from Jaime Winstone's Redmond, Phil Davis's Happy, Gethin Anthony's Jeremiah, Sebastien Foucan's Tick Tok to the next best character for me after Tombstone – Chris Patrick-Simpson's Not Now Nigel. As I said it is a British action film, gangster film. Kermack was definitely influenced by Guy Ritchie's work. I wish he spent a little more time ironing out some of the comedy. The more dramatic scenes are perfect. Moe Dunford is a great as Hard Eight – he gets to stretch his acting chops and his fighting ability, he jumps between both flawlessly. You watch a film like Knuckledust for the fights. These do not disappoint – well choreographed and expertly directed. The fights are that well done, at no point do they feel staged. Among these fight scenes is a nice homage to Oldboy`s corridor scene, Kermack clearly had a lot of influences while writing the film.
All in all an enjoyable action fight film. That has put director James Kermack on my list of action movie creators to keep a lookout for…