Newsflash: I spend an abnormal amount of time obsessing about action movies. As a result, I often find myself beating my tiny little white fists against cheap Ikea desks in pure frustration at the lack of quality most modern endeavors possess. Thankfully, there are films like director Ekachai Uekrongtham's Skin Trade to alleviate my endless, self-imposed suffering. Proving yet again that the best modern action movies are made outside of the Hollywood machine, this nifty little VOD film -- co-scripted by Dolph Lundgren, no less -- takes a simple concept and gives it a shot of adrenaline right to the heart. Lundgren stars as Nick Cassidy, a cop who watches helplessly as a seedy human trafficker (Ron Perlman) murders his family in cold blood. Instead of recovering in the hospital, Nick heads off to Thailand to exact revenge. Enter Tony Jaa, a fellow police officer who finds himself tracking Cassidy after the big guy gets framed for murder. What follows is an admittedly weak excuse to string together a series of increasing brutal shoot-outs and fight sequences. And while they're not as well-executed some as Jaa's other like-minded endeavors, there's a rawness to the showdowns that suit the movie's tone extremely well. Besides, where else can you watch Jaa square off against Michael Jai White? Skin Trade has enough balls-out action to please even the most jaded genre fan, even folks who think they've seen it all. 2015 is shaping up to be a fantastic year for action, especially those of us who long for the 80s and 90s.
Recipe For Success: Tony Jaa vs. Dolph Lundgren + Tony Jaa vs. Michael Jai White + Watching Dolph Fight Baddies After Getting Shot, Stabbed, and Stomped