Skin Trade (2014) Poster

(2014)

User Reviews

Review this title
55 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
6/10
Strong cast (bit weak on the inside)
kosmasp21 June 2015
Obviously just going through the list of names should and will get people excited (who are into the action genre that is and know their favorites). Having Dolph "team up" with Tony Jaa is a great move. Though it doesn't really matter which side of the law people are, based on the decisions they make during the course of the movie. Which also means, there is quite a bit of fighting ahead of you.

Ron Pearlman does a good job with his accent (playing a Serbian) and there is one particular fight scene (about 20 minutes before the movie ends) that is really good. But there are also cuts in the movie that seem to take note on the "jump cut" book, but don't really work. The overall story is easy to tell, the core of it is something that unfortunately is happening all over the world.

Also Tony Jaas English performance was captured a lot better in Fast 7, there are some weird lines he has to deliver here (not convincingly then). Decently made then, but could've been better
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Another slave trade drama, with a bit better skin
aHere's a movie of it's worn ilk, that comes off better than you think it will, thanks to some nice little plot differences, it's realistic end, a surprise, leaving a kind of sting in your tale. Face it. There's been so many movies on Human Trafficking, almost more than I've had hot dinners. ST is almost a fresh take on these movies. An aging Dolph who heads a task force against human trafficking, butts heads with a slave trade owner (Ron Pearlman, a nice choice of casting) who in an act of family revenge, (think The Punisher) kill's his beautiful half Asian wife (what a waste) and supposedly daughter. Lundgren's not the only aging actor. His boss and friend, is an almost bald Peter Weller, who looks (pardon me) bloody awful. We also don't have a team player in this task force. Lundgren's furious and no holds barred vendetta to kill Pearlman, becomes the driven plot, in what is an engaging and well made action pic, with not just action to boot. Dolph's force is not the only ones with eyes on Perlman. A Japanese task force is also in operation, a female colleague, working undercover as one of the bought girls. Lundgren's rage and wild antics of course, jeopardizes the Asian operation, headed by Tony Laa. When Dolph enters their territory, being mistaken for the guy who shot Laa's partner and close friend, now he too becomes fueled with revenge. Cary Haya Tagawawa co stars as a another corrupt force and we see a familiar Asian face, at the start, we've seen in too many of these movies, again playing a low down pimp. Skin Trade is exciting action entertainment, a few notches better than others in this weathered slave trade/genre. Don't snub it just cause of it's stereotypical appearance.
9 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Dolph is back with a bang in this superior, conscientious action thriller
davideo-219 May 2015
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

Nick (Dolph Lundgren) is assigned to a task force, dedicated to stamping out human trafficking networks, and his latest assignment involves one run by Russian mobster Viktor (Ron Perlman.) During a shoot out, Nick shoots Viktor's son dead, making him a marked man. When his family are killed in retaliation, Nick goes on an international manhunt for Viktor seeking revenge, taking him all the way to the East, where he crosses paths with Vitayakul (Tony Jaa), a similarly unorthodox cop who thinks Nick killed his partner and wants revenge. Nick must convince him of the truth and bring them together to track down the real criminals.

Having enjoyed a little more publicity than your average Dolph Lundgren action vehicle (including Dolph's notable live IMDb chat with fans!) Skin Trade does indeed have slicker production values and has more hype surrounding it's release than usual. With a lively supporting cast, including Perlman, Michael Jai White, Peter Weller and Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa, and a timely, relevant social message at it's core, it's far from a perfect offering, but it's a huge cut above what you'd usually get.

The film matches the dark, heavy themes of it's story (murder, revenge and betrayal) with an equally raw, unflinching delivery of it's action, with it's lead stars going at it hammer and tongs in a collection of brutal, hard hitting martial arts showdowns and action sequences (including a bike chase sequences down the back passages of an Asian market!) While the story's heavy themes are matched by it's clichés, it's no less solid and effective, shining a light on a modern day blight on our world in the shape of human trafficking. It's all the more impressive from Dolph, who may be on the wrong side of fifty now, but is no less a convincing action presence. Likewise, Perlman (a.k.a. Hellboy!) is an impressive villain, with a fine Russian accent. But, leaping and flying around with deranged determination, it's Jaa again who steals the show, the martial arts dynamo simply mesmerizing doing what he does.

It's a touch clichéd, and the story doesn't quite flow with the lucidity to make it great, but it's still a superior, explosive thriller with a social heart. ****
15 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
For us fans of 80s action flicks
Ramascreen10 May 2015
What's extra entertaining about SKIN TRADE is knowing that 57-year old Dolph Lundgren gets to fight Hellboy a.k.a actor Ron Perlman and Spawn a.k.a actor Michael Jai White, and that Ong Bak dude, Tony Jaa, in this one movie. All joking aside, with all of the superpowered superhero movies out there that keep bombarding our theaters every weekend, it's a nice change for us action fans to receive something like SKIN TRADE, a throwback to those 80s R-rated brutal B action flicks that you and I grew up watching.

In this Ekachai Uekrongtham-directed film, co-scripted and co-produced by Lundgren, a tough NY Cop named Nick (Lundgren) is on a task to hunt down Russian mob and human trafficking kingpin Viktor (Ron Perlman) but in the process, Nick kills Viktor's son and of course, that comes with a retaliation, such that forces Nick to go all the way to Bangkok, the hub of Viktor's activities. Meanwhile, a Thai detective (Tony Jaa) is made to believe that Nick is the bad guy until he learns otherwise. Then they team up to terminate Viktor's human trafficking business OK, I admit, the plot is very thin and if you've seen Liam Neeson's "Taken" a thousand times (the first movie, not the sequels that blew) then the concept of SKIN TRADE is nothing new, in both cases you have this very hard pressing and present modern slavery problem as the background, but most of the time, the action takes a front seat. It's a treat to see Lundgren duke it out with Tony because they have different styles, and the fight choreography itself is more intense than Lundgren Vs. Jet Li in "The Expendables" movie. I think the way the production utilizes the streets of Bangkok is very intricate. The sequences are fast-paced and brutal. You can't help but be impressed at the fact that after all these years, even when his better days and better movies are way, way behind him, Dolph Lundgren managed to get something like SKIN TRADE made just to satisfy us old school action fans Read more at Ramascreen.Com
10 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Through and true a hard-hitting B-movie, this union of Dolph Lundgren, Tony Jaa and Michael Jai White is any self-professed action fan's wet dream
moviexclusive16 April 2015
Every inch of 'Skin Trade' feels like a B-movie, but the good thing is that it doesn't try to pretend to be more. A passion project of Dolph Lundgren who started work on its script close to eight years ago, it knows exactly what buttons to push to get its core audience satisfied even as it tries to shed light onto a matter close to his heart, i.e. that of human trafficking. So if you're expecting a very angry Lundgren on a revenge rampage, or a mano-a-mano between Lundgren and Tony Jaa, or a similar one-on-one between Tony Jaa and Michael Jai White, we can reassure you that you won't be disappointed.

A brief prologue establishes the mechanics of Viktor Dragovic's (Ron Perlman) despicable business – under the guise of offering them employment, the former Serbian national's fourth son Janko (Leo Rano) and his accomplices lure gullible village girls from Thailand, Cambodia and Laos to leave their homes and journey to the city, where they are subsequently drugged and shipped to America and Europe to be sold as sex slaves. Lundgren's Newark police detective Nick Cassidy is tracking Viktor's latest shipment in order to apprehend him and his sons, while Jaa plays a Thai police officer Tony who is onto the same case from further down the food chain.

Their paths cross after Viktor is let loose upon diplomatic pressure and skips town, seeking refuge in a corrupt general's mansion near the Cambodian border. Unfortunately for Nick, Viktor's sons manage to get to his family before fleeing town, so after regaining consciousness from an RPG strike on his house, Nick decides to take his quest for revenge to Viktor. Thanks to Michael Jai White's rogue government agent Reed, Nick is framed for the murder of Tony's partner soon after setting foot on Royal Thai soil. Of course, who's good and who's bad will become clear quite quickly, but Lundgren and his co-writers have specifically engineered enough twists and turns precisely to fulfil their audience's expectations to see each one of the marquee action stars have a go at the other.

Much of the heavy lifting here is done by Jaa, whose speed and agility has not dimmed one bit since his 'Tom Yum Goong' and 'Ong Bak' days. While his Hollywood debut in 'Fast and Furious 7' may have been overlooked because of the crowded ensemble, Jaa's lead turn here will definitely not go unnoticed. His one-on-one with Lundgren in an abandoned warehouse is the film's halfway high-water mark, pitting a lean mean warrior against a much hulkier opponent – though there is no question in our minds just who is the one that is the better fighter.

It is no wonder then that Jaa is the one chosen to take on Jai White, the latter a much worthier opponent than Lundgren skilled in the art of kickboxing not unlike Jean Claude Van-Damme in his heydays. The fight between them is brutal and ferocious, choreographed specifically to illustrate the strengths of either actor, and next to the noisy and overblown finale at a remote airstrip that it precedes, is easily the climax that the film deserves to be remembered for. Indeed, while a sizeable amount of the limited budget on which the film is made for has been reserved for explosions and other fireballs, it is the raw thrill of seeing these natural born fighters go at each other knuckle-to-knuckle that is where its charm lies.

And in that regard, Lundgren deserves more credit than what may be apparent. It is no doubt thanks to Lundgren that we get to see Jaa in such a significant capacity – not only in a movie that respects the actor's Oriental roots but also one that gives him a role with both the breadth and depth for Jaa to showcase his abilities as an actor and as an action star. It is probably also thanks to Lundgren that the likes of Jai White, Ron Perlman, Peter Weller and Cary- Hiroyuki Tagawa have come together in the same film, a combination that is any self-professed B-action movie fan's wet dream. And it is Lundgren who manages to pull a movie with so many potential clichés together in a respectable fashion – as the latter scenes demonstrate, its director Ekachai Uekrongtham has a long way to go in learning how to stage a proper action sequence.

Like we said at the beginning, 'Skin Trade' doesn't pretend to be more than what it is – and much as there is a social message in here, it never tries to drive it too hard. Indeed, it is precisely by embracing its B-movie roots that it truly delivers, not just in the fact that it makes no compromises in keeping its action hard- hitting but also by ensuring that its actors are right up there without any doubles performing each and every one of the stunts. More than sex, that is the skin trade which truly matters, and which we suspect its audience will be more than happy to partake in.
27 out of 42 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Negotiation Is Over !!!
ActionFan-Reviews24 April 2015
Expectations are admittedly low for many direct to DVD action titles to star many of the former action heroes from the 80's/90's like Steven Seagal, JCVD and Dolph Lundgren. Skin Trade proves to be one of Dolph's best films to have come out in years and a gem amongst the many B action films you can find at your local Wal Mart bin. Although Dolph kicks ass in the film, the main reason to watch is Tony Jaa. It's good to see him back in action in something worth watching after the atrocious Ong Bak 3. His Acting is surprisingly good and he gets a fair amount of dialogue to practice his English skills and crack one liners. I hope to see him in many more movies like this in the future. Another surprise is the supporting cast of the film. Michael Jai White , Peter Weller and Ron Perlman definitely elevate the film above the typical mediocre status these movies have. Although the story is a bit cliché and familiar, what group of people deserve there comeuppance in an action film more than human traffickers. The movie definitely provides on the hard hitting bloody action that fans will expect. The intense fight sequences pack a solid adrenaline rush. Overall, exceeded my expectations and is a movie that action buffs will enjoy .

7/10
19 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
How can you go wrong with this cast?!
Hellmant5 May 2015
'SKIN TRADE': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

Dolph Lundgren co-wrote and co-stars in this martial arts action flick, alongside Thai superstar Tony Jaa; in his American film debut (in a lead role). Lundgren and Jaa play NYC and Thai detectives, taking on human traffickers in S.E. Asia. The movie was directed by Ekachai Uekrongtham and written by Lundgren, Gabriel Dowrick, Steven Elder and John Hyams (doing uncredited rewrites). It costars Michael Jai White, Ron Perlman, Peter Weller and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. For a low budget B action flick it's pretty well-made; but how can you go wrong with this cast (it's an action movie lover's dream)!

When NYC cop Nick Cassidy (Lundgren) kills the son of a Serbian gangster, Viktor Dragovic (Perlman), his wife and daughter are killed, out of revenge, and Nick ends up in the hospital. When he gets out, he goes rogue and tracks Dragovic to S.E. Asia; the mobster runs a human trafficking ring there. Nick is then pursued by a corrupt F.B.I. agent, named Reed (Jai White), and a Thai Detective, named Tony Vitayakul (Jaa); Tony thinks that Cassidy killed his partner. Nick will stop at nothing to avenge his family and put a stop to the human trafficking network.

The movie reminds me, a lot, of old 80s and 90s buddy B action films; most notably 'SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO' (starring Lundgren and Brandon Lee). It's better made though. With a budget of $9 million, the film has decent enough production values and Uekrongtham's directing is more than adequate. Lundgren did a good enough job writing the script and he's not bad as the action lead either (even at 57-years-old). It's great to see Jaa breaking into American action films as well (between this and 'FURIOUS SEVEN'); hopefully it leads to bigger things. With the additions of Jai White, Weller, Perlman and Tagawa, what more can you really ask for?! It's not a great action film, but it is fun.

Watch our movie review show 'MOVIE TALK' at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUT8JIkuU9Y
20 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Dolph's got himself a real home run with this one. Almost a career best. Pure crack for action lovers!
apmolekyl27 April 2015
I love the big Swede and have always been a fan. I've stuck with him through thick and thin and have suffered through countless turkeys he churned out during his mid 90's career slump, after Johnny Mnemonic tanked (in which Dolph was the only highlight). That said it's no wonder my expectations were... modest when I heard about this project.

Dolph's directed a series of films at this point in his career. Some excellent (Command Performance) and some kind of "meh"(The Defender, Missionary Man). Originally set to star and direct, for Skin Trade Dolph instead takes a producing role besides starring alongside Thai martial arts sensation Tony Jaa. He couldn't have made a better decision to be honest. Producing, directing, writing and starring probably would've spread him a little too thin.

Storywise this is fairly by the books revenge stuff, but it's perfectly paced and the most stylish Dolph Lundgren vehicle I've ever seen. The Thai locations give the film an exciting flair giving the film a beautiful look. It's really well shot. They clearly spent their money well in that regard. The fight scenes are expertly shot flattering the performers to the utmost of their respective abilities. Very exciting stuff. The Jaa/Jai fight is fantastic! The scuffle between Jaa and Lundgren is intense and cool with convincing rage from both combatants. If only the Expendables 1 fight scene between Jet Li and Lundgren had been as well made as this scene.

The acting is what you would expect from these guys. Let's face it neither Dolph, Jaa or Jai White are stellar actors and they never will be. I have to say Tony Jaa comes out on top of the entire cast. His emoting is genuine and he's a convincing brawler when it's time to throw down. Dolph is subdued and performs well. The guy, awesome as he is, can be cheesy sometimes but here he's very good and his anger very believable as he goes after Ron Pearlman and his human trafficking goons. Pearlman is always good value for money but his part is a typical bad guy part.

I was worried at first how they were gonna be able to balance such a serious subject as human trafficking with a balls to the walls action flick extravaganza. That fear was completely unwarranted as this film really works well and fires on all cylinders. Very very much recommended. Go see this in cinemas if you have the chance. The film and Dolph (this has been his pet project for many years) truly deserves it.

For a guy as wasted and talented as Lundgren (he sadly can't catch a break in the business anymore) I'm amazed at his tenacity in getting this off the ground. It's a great ride and his absolute best film in many years. Well performed, expertly photographed and exciting with a gripping story and subject. This belongs on the big screen as a wide release. It's coming to cinemas in the US (I'm guessing in a limited capacity). Go see it if you can. This film kicks all kinds of behind.

If producing and writing his own stuff is what it takes to get out of the cesspool of DTV hell he's been stuck in for the past 15 years, then go for it man! You have my respect and I hope this film will become a success that puts you back on the map again with audiences.
24 out of 40 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
As expected.. Awful!
adamooo16 April 2015
I knew the cast and the IMDb score, giving it a little leeway considering there were fewer than two hundred votes. Turns out most of them must be from the studio because this is just trash. Thankfully, we kind of expected that but I couldn't stop myself from nodding off. Thankfully the loud punches (seriously, they're ridiculous) jolted me up. The action starts out tame and improves as the film goes on. However the plot is bobbins and failed to maintain my interest, despite the fact it kinda takes place here (Cambodia) a little too. It's a dumb film with some half decent fights and terrible acting.

DVD release this should be, however, Asian markets will surely make up most of the cinema takings.
31 out of 59 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Surprisingly fun and entertaining!
nkasherov23 April 2015
OK, I am not a studio guy but whoever tells you this movie is trash is really pretentious. I have seen many B movies and most are just plain boring clichés. This one is not original but is a solid, well made piece of entertainment. Redundant and extra cheesy dialog at times, however action scenes are very good, including the martial arts ones (Tony Jaa and Michael Jai White...enough said). Great cast (Dolph Lundgren and Tony Jaa, Ron Perlman and several other well known names...) with very decent acting at the very least. Production value is excellent.

On the bad side, movie is indeed a cliché with a very formulaic dialog. Acting is ... overacting to wooden at times. However, for what it is - a surprisingly fun and satisfying B movie I give it a 7 with no regrets.
15 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Watchable action flick.
shahidafzal867 May 2015
I'm only writing this review after seeing some of below 5 rating slating this film off. Firstly its a B rated movie with a decent cast in my opinion. It could have been better maybe by giving the characters a little more depth but at the end of the day its an action film with an easy to follow plot and generally entertaining. Some of the fight scenes work well as expected with Tony Jaa. Definitely worth a watch if you like movies with fight sequences(not badly choreograhped might i add!) and although it may not have award winning acting Its still watchable although could have been better with more depth in the plot. Ron Pearlman could have featured more to make this film better and as mentioned the characters don't really offer any empathy.
8 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Flawed Yet Somewhat Entertaining
nebk5 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Skin Trade is an action-packed movie starring Dolph Lundgren, Tony Jaa and Ron Perlman amongst others. It concerns a detective Nick Cassidy (Lundgren) seeking revenge against an Eastern European Human Trafficking Syndicate that murdered his family. The story takes him to East Asia where he teams up with another detective (Tony Jaa) in order to fight the criminals he is chasing. At the same time he is being framed for a murder he didn't commit.

Whilst this movie has all that you would expect from a relatively low budget action flick starring Dolph Lundgren such as gunfights, extended hand-to-hand combat and explosions it also seems much better than the usual Lundgren Fare and actually tries to tackle a real issue that is human trafficking which affects millions of women and children annually. There are however problems with the story, the acting and the soundtrack which to me sounded like a bad TV movie at times. The acting goes from acceptable to mediocre and there are some issues with the story such as the implausibilities of how Lundgren takes out a bar full of criminals after escaping from hospital where he was treated for at least two gunshots to the back, and then goes to East Asia without much of a problem. Unfortunately the acting is most problematic with Lundgren (wooden acting) and Jaa (over acting) and this is a big problem given the fact that they are the main actors. The rest of the cast are also mostly one dimensional.

On the plus side are the fights between the protagonists and their foes. These seem very well done. Some of the effects are a bit dodgy at times but then again most of the time they were better than expected. Overall a 5.5 out of 10. Entertains if you disregard the acting issues and don't want to think too much while watching the movie.
7 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Formulaic storyline elevated by strong cast performing visceral choreography
quincytheodore24 April 2015
Action fans might be familiar with Skin Trade theme or actors. It has mainstay names of the genre and the addition of brazen stunts by Tony Jaa with his vicious stunts. The plot revolves around the titular skin trade or human trafficking as the back drop of high octane combat sequences. It's not an in-depth commentary of the subject nor does it overcome the occasional narrative familiarities, however the fast pace clash of knuckles and barrage of bullets will entertain the genre aficionado.

Story follows two different cops whose interests are aligned as they uncover the a human trafficking industry led by Dragovic (Ron Perlman). Nick (Dolph Lundgren) is a police at New Jersey, he has to resort to unorthodox method as Dragovic is raising the stake as he utilizes brutal methods. Tony (Tony Jaa) works on different angle in Bangkok by performing his own investigation. The direction of story doesn't veer too much from revenge or rescue theme.

There are a lot of subplots that could be explored, but the film focuses on the fundamental premise only. Human trafficking issue is a delicate one, the film takes a safe route and it doesn't always pay off. Sometimes it rehearses the material too often and becomes trapped in hero saving damsel in distress stereotype. Antagonist side has some potential as Dragovic has several sons vying for his approval, however the characters aren't fully fleshed out. One of the sons even snorts cocaine in every scene he's in, almost as a comedic effect.

Fortunately, the veteran actors are robust enough to carry the plot and action. Props to Tony Jaa as he brings a decent performance even in almost entirely English spoken movie. His acting isn't that developed yet, but he's definitely presentable as international action star. Perlman and Lundgren are already famous name, and they deliver what is expected from them. Michael Jai White also has a charismatic presence on screen as he rounds up the cast.

Action is where the movie is at its best. Practically any Tony Jaa's movie has unabashed ferocious stunts. There are many well-choreographed fights here, along with vehicular mayhem and a couple of acrobatic or parkour scenes. It also brings the Rambo carnage at some points with one man army gimmick, the movie is an amalgamation of western and eastern action.

Though the plot might be simplified and familiar, the collision of big names in bigger brawls is a spectacle for genre fans.
10 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Excellent action movie!
mattia-kevin8 May 2015
Two things are worth to be underlined here: this movie is incredibly solid in keeping the action constant for the whole duration. There are no boring moments. Second thing: Dolph Lundgren, surprisingly enough, seems here a good actor as opposed to all his recent appearances in other recent movies. Last but not least: Tony Jaa is the new Jackie Chan. There is no doubt about it. He has a nice face, viewers knows since the beginning that he will make the right thing in the end, despite he's not sure if Dolph is an enemy or can become an alliate. If you are looking for an independent non major action movie, I will definitely recommend this one.
13 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
This is just another Lundgren movie. Overall, fans of Dolph will like this, otherwise I would avoid it. I give it a C.
cosmo_tiger23 July 2015
"How do you sleep at night. How can you do this?" Nick Cassidy's (Lundgren) family has just been killed by an international criminal syndicate. His quest for revenge leads him to Thailand where he teams up with Tony (Jaa) a Thai detective who is investigating a human trafficking network. When they realize they are looking for the same group they join forces and try to put an end to the all of it. I have said before these are hard movies to review. Movies with Segal, Van Damme or Lundgren are essentially all the same. Same plot, same idea, same acting. This one is no different, either you like these movies or you don't. That holds true for this one. The biggest problem with this one is that is seemed like the middle part of a 3 part series. The movie opens to what feels like halfway through the actual story. There is really no intro to what is going on and you are trying to play catch up throughout. The way the movie ends felt like, we are out of money, if we can't get more funding we will end it here. There is still more that could have happened to tie it all up but it left you hanging. All that said, most people don't watch these movies for the story or acting and the action is decent enough to keep them interested. As for me, this is just another Lundgren movie. Overall, fans of Dolph will like this, otherwise I would avoid it. I give it a C.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
A poor cliché film
alindsay-al28 September 2015
I am a fan of action movies and this film has some star power in it so I thought I would give it a go. The premise of this film sees a star cop take down a Russian mobster but after losing everything he has to get revenge. Dolph lundgren has done some good films in the past and he is alright in this film. He is pretty good in the action scenes in this film but I felt like his character wasn't developed much in this film. He was the grade b Bryan mills from taken because his relationship with his family wasn't explored so you didn't care about what he was doing. There is an Asian cop that he teams up with and he was really good in the action scenes even though his character development wasn't great. Michael jai white was decent in the film, especially in the action scenes. Now I like the show arrow which has Celina jade in it but she was completely pointless in this film and didn't add anything. But by far the worst performance in this film is ron perlman as the villain. He has a stupid Russian accent and actually disappears in this movie for about an hour and you actually forget about him. The story is a simple revenge film but it just doesn't work. You don't know enough about the characters to care about the situation. Also the actual premise of the film on the IMDb page is literally only the last 20 minutes of this movie and this film sequel bates really really badly. The script is not good with cringeworthy dialogue that really doesn't help the characters at all. The style of the action scenes is pretty great to be honest for the majority of the movie. However, the final confrontation between lundgren and perlman is a shaky cam fest and slow motion that if is impossible to tell what is happening. Overall this is a bad movie that isn't worth a watch.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Click your heels together 3 times and repeat...
"There is no such thing as a bad Tony Jaa movie." Well this could be the exception.

On paper this was a "dream team" movie and I was anxious to see it.

Lundgrin both produced and wrote. That sounded very promising.

Not only is Tony Jaa in the film but he speaks English and his character is named "Tony." Also very promising.

Also starring Michael Jai White. In my review of Falcon Rising I called him "the most under-used action hero" in the business. Very very promising.

But here the total is less than the sum of its parts:

1. Lundgren wrote himself into a part meant for a 40 year old and he himself is pushing 60. Not cool.

2. Jai White is completely wasted (again!) and wears a suit all the time...?

3. The script is weak and the direction is terrible. Even the action scenes seem "off" by a few seconds here and a few seconds there.

Could have been so much more. The opening is the best part and is downhill from there. Perlman is great. but he never gives less than a great performance anyway.
12 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Disneyland for Action Hero Fans
DareDevilKid23 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Reviewed by: Dare Devil Kid (DDK)

Rating: 3.9/5 stars

Nick Cassidy (Lundgren), a tough NYC cop, runs afoul of the Russian mob engaged in human trafficking, and they end up killing his wife and daughter for revenge. Determined to make them pay, he follows the kingpin to Bangkok - the hub of their activities. Circumstances lead him to team up with a Thai detective, Tony Vitayakul (Jaa), and, together they decide to wipe out the entire organization and terminate their business entirely.

Dolph Lundgren, Tony Jaa, and Michael Jai White together in one movie in a bone-crunching, adrenaline-pumping, absolutely sublime display of lethal martial arts, thrilling chase sequences, jaw- dropping stunts, and brawny charisma. Throw in an engaging screenplay, well-executed in a grim, gripping tone by Director Ekachai Uekrongtham, and a strong supporting cast including veterans such as Ron Perlman and Peter Weller, and what more could a fan of these action heroes ask for.

Though past his prime now, this is Dolph's best movie in years (it's a pity that he didn't do a few more films like this and "Missionary Man" in his younger days, when he looked more convincing and agile in action scenes) and also gives Tony Jaa fans a reason to cheer after a few lackluster outings, along with continuing the hot streak of Jai White after last year's brilliant "Falcon Rising".
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Brilliant Pure Action Film
MoviesReviews10123 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Skin Trade is a film that I went into not expecting anything amazing but the cast make enjoyable action films so this had to be watch. What is got was a pleasant surprise with a great story that enters into the realm of reality (without the endless bullets part) where we have a real look into the horrors of the human trafficking business. I maybe well be slightly biased towards action films but I must say this one pulls you in early and simply never lets you go. We do get a few generic traits in both good and bad guys but hey, this film isn't going to be about character building it is about fighting. I am willing to say this is the best storyline in an action film that I have seen this year. (9/10)

Actor Review

Ron Perlman: Viktor Dragovic is the Serbian mobster who runs a human trafficking ring around the world. When he gets captured and his son is killed he takes out the man responsible before going into hiding. Ron makes for a great villain with his blank stares when he comes face to face with Nick that show he really has no fear or regret for his characters action. (8/10)

Tony Jaa: Tony Vitayakul is the Tokyo agent trying to stop the human trafficking working with his connection in the US to stop it. Tony teams up with Nick to take down Viktor after losing his partner to one of Viktor's men. Tony kicks serious butt here showing he is ready to take the US market by storm. (8/10)

Dolph Lundgren: Nick Cassidy is the good cop who finally gets to take down Viktor but due to a technicality ends up on his bad side when Viktor takes out his family leaving him for dead. Nick sets out on a one man crusade to kill anyone working with Viktor and anyone who gets in his way. Dolph does a great job apart from when he is running where he looks like he is showing his age. (7/10)

Michael Jai White: Reed is the FBI agent who gets involved in trying to take down the human trafficking ring offering help where it is needed, but he is really staying close to inform Viktor about investigations. Michael does a solid job in the supporting role where he gets to have a great fight with Tony Jaa. (6/10)

Support Cast: Skin Trade has a supporting cast that includes the victims of the Skin Trade as well as the people involved in dealing in it or preventing it.

Director Review: Ekachai Uekrongtham – He does a great job directing this all out action film that never seems to let you take a breath. (8/10)

Action: Skin Trade is filled with hand to hand combat, chases and firefights to keep the action rolling throughout. (9/10) Thriller: Skin Trade starts off making you interested but by the end of the film I was at the edge of my seat waiting for what will happen next. (10/10) Settings: Skin Trade takes the action all over the world showing just how widespread the human trafficking really is. (9/10) Suggestion: Skin Trade is an absolute must watch for any action fan out there, dare I say action film of the year? (Action MUST Watch)

Best Part: Jaa & Lundgren together. Worst Part: Lundgren running. Action Scene Of The Film: Jaa versus White.

Believability: The idea behind what is going on is a very real problem but the action side it not. (5/10) Chances of Tears: No (0/10) Chances of Sequel: It could have a sequel. Post Credits Scene: No Similar Too: Taken

Overall: When it comes to Action Skin Trade is packed with everything you want and then some, being the action surprise film of the year.

Check out more reviews on moviesreviews101.com
9 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Horrible, how did this have 6.3
elam110126 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The acting is sub par. The action sequence is horrific. I've seen better on YouTube.

I know it's meant to be a no brain watching action flick with some martial arts. But, Good God, this is horrible. And what, all of a sudden the daughter goes missing?

The review said it had to be 10 lines. Not sure how they think they're editing will allow things to fall in to place. The story telling is not very good.

Of course, I can't film anything this good. Sorry for tearing it apart, but you asked for a review and you got one.
11 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
What happened?
cousbrojs25 April 2015
Okay, I was intrigued with the cast when I first heard of the film. Saw a few trailers, snapshots and promotional pictures and I started getting excited for the movie. Well, too bad. The movie turned out to be a tour de force of just bad, sadly.

The script, the acting, the dialogue, the pacing, the directing, it was just so bad! The first half hour was just so jumbled it was confusing to even tell what was going on. The action, although decent, just wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. There is one great fight sequence near the end but that was the only decent one.

There are also a few times in the movie where it tries to make you care about these characters, the sad thing was is that there was little to no character development for that to happen. Sad music plays and people cry, is that even dramatic effect? Come on!

The movie tackles the whole human trafficking theme but it's execution isn't as good. Although it is portrayed in a negative manner, it wasn't fully realized in the film.

I know it sounds like I've just crapped all over the film, but it's necessary. It was a missed opportunity to make something great but it just had the worst execution. There's a definite sequel bait at the end of the film, but I hope that if there is a sequel, just make sure the pacing and editing is done right. I don't mind cheesy, bad acted films as long as things fall into place right. For now, I'll be very kind, since I just watched this after watching something much worse.

6/10 (I'm just being so damn kind right now)
8 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
The deep serious theme of the movie is let down by the b-grade acting.
minh_le27 April 2015
The Plot: Skin trade is a film that deals with the serious / tragic world of sex trafficking. It's a pretty heavy theme that requires a great deal of emotional range from the actors. Sadly, all of the actors in this movie are horrific ( with the exception of Ron Perlman and Peter Weller, who were "ok" in the acting dept.) Watching Dolph lundgren try to act brings a certain pain to me. It just amazes me that someone with so much experience under his belt hasn't improved his ability to convey emotion. Some of his line deliveries were atrocious. For example, this one scene where he berates a near dead thug to tell him where the final bad guy is.. It's a scene that has been done to death in so many other movies, that any half decent script writer would have immediately omitted this scene. Tony Jaa is no better in the acting dept either. I applaud his effort to speak English in this movie but his acting still leaves a lot to be desired. He has a tendency to always be in "Super hyper angry mode" or "super sad forlorn mode". Tony needs to learn how to express emotion in a more subtle fashion rather than contorting his face in an expression akin to extreme constipation, whenever someone looks at him the wrong way.

The action: There was some decent fighting to be had but nothing as creative or enjoyable to watch as tony's previous movies. The one fight with Michael Jai White was good though, but aside from that, the fighting was really poor. This was partly because many of Tony's opponents were awful. Dolph Lundgren looks to be channeling a WWE wrestler with his lumbering oaf like movement.

This movie tries to tackle a serious topic but with such terrible actors and atrocious script, it's really hard to watch. I enjoyed watching another recent Thai movie far more , called Vengeance of an Assassin. That had unbearable plot/acting but the action was way more entertaining.
6 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Done in by poor writing and spotty direction
brchthethird2 October 2015
The level of quality of a film determines how much effort I'll put into reviewing it, so this one will be brief. As Dolph Lundgren's long-gestating passion project, I had reasonably high hopes that this would be an entertaining, but hard-hitting, b-movie. While the film does address the problem of human trafficking, it never really felt organic to the plot, bringing the narrative to a standstill to comment on the issue at hand. From a writing standpoint, the film is in shambles, even for a b-grade action movie. There's too many characters and plot threads going on at the same time, with not enough development for any of them, let alone believable character motivation. One moment we're introduced to a character and then they're blown away in the next. Even the action isn't without fault here. Dolph Lundgren has never been an action star with a cool fighting style, usually just beating his opponents to a pulp. Same thing here, but that really isn't the core problem. It's the choice of the director/cinematographer/editor to shoot and edit some scenes in a quick-cut manner that doesn't let the audience get a good look at what is going on a lot of the time. Fortunately, Tony Jaa's scenes are better, in particular one extended sequence where he faces off against Michael Jai White. The acting is about what you'd expect from actors of this caliber. Overall, though, I was disappointed by how disjointed and unmotivated the story was, human trafficking angle or not. With the cast assembled, and how close the subject was to Dolph Lundgren's heart, I expected a little more.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
That's what I'm Talking about!!
subxerogravity2 July 2015
When I saw that this movie was coming out, I waited patiently for it to come out in theaters, but then I discovered it was coming out only on Video on Demand, I could not wait for it to be released on Netflix, so for the first time I rented a movie using VOD.

How could I not? Dolph Lundgren teaming up with Tony Jaa to stop human trafficking! What more could you want? I tell you what more, Michael Jai white is what more. The idea that White and Jaa may battle each other alone is worth the seven bucks (totally worth the seven bucks). Big and clunky action oldie Lundgren even gets an impressive shot at Jaa worth seeing.

Rounding out the all-star cast that screams good action movie is originally Robocop Peter Weller as the bad ass captain of the police force, and the great Ron Pearlman as the head of the Siberian mafia. It's the first time I've seen a movie that showcases the Siberian mob so that was something unique they brought to an action movie.

I'll admit, the movie exploits some issues of bringing Jaa to a more international (American) Market. Lucky for us, that only met that he had to lay out the best cheesy one-liners his lack of English can articulate

It reminds me of The Protector, not Jaa's movie but one of Jackie Chan's first attempts at coming to America, but unlike Chan, Jaa did not have to wait until Rush Hour for the western world to get what he's doing. Instead with Skintrade, they just added what he does to the mix of over bloated testosterone loaded Hollywood action, similar to his role in Furious 7.

Great action flick!
4 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
For fans of Lundgren and Asian revenge thrillers
Horst_In_Translation26 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Here we have a 90-minute (without credits) movie from last year that got its wide release in 2015. It stars Scandinavion action hero Dolph Lundgren and Tony Jaa who you may or may not have seen in the "Ong Bak" films. I personally thought the first half of this film was the best part, even if it just some kind of prologue with Lundgren's character almost being killed before he goes on his revenge path. Afterward, every cliché is somewhat included. Corrupt cops, ruthless revenge, Asisnas fighting in martial arts, the Asian and the Scandinavion guy fighting side-by-side after initially going against each other.

For me, the best part was probably Ron Perlman, but I am a bit biased here. I hope we will get a 3rd Hellboy film one day. "Skin Trade" ended a bit on a cliffhanger, so maybe they will make a sequel at some point where he keeps looking for his daughter. I am not so sure if I will watch it though. Perlman's character is gone and I will probably only give it a go if they include another great villain that I like, Mel Gibson for example. Four people worked on the screenplay (including Lundgren himself for the first time in 5 years) and it is a bit generic and uncreative for that I have to say. Also I did not like the final message displayed about human trafficking, which somehow implies that the movie takes itself far more seriously than it should. Hands down, this could never have turned out as a quality drama or thriller movie, so this felt a bit unwarranted. Still, it's not a totally bad watch by any means. It has its moments for sure. But not enough of these to let me recommend it. The second half of the film drifts too deep into action sequences with fighting and shooting etc. and the story is hurt by it. Not recommended.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed