Far fetched and highly entertaining

by Nav Qateel

While investigating human trafficking, Detective Nick Cassidy (Dolph Lundgren) is forced to kill a Serbian mobster’s son during a raid. As payback, Serbian mobster Viktor Dragovic (Ron Perlman), has his men kill Nick’s wife, kidnap his daughter and leave him for dead.

The critically wounded Nick, doesn’t let facial disfigurement and two bullets in the back, stop him from sneaking out of the hospital, torturing people and fighting with martial arts experts to get his revenge on Viktor. Hell no!

Dolph Lundgren (“I must break you.”) teams up with Tony Jaa (Ong Bak), Michael Jai White (Spawn) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy), in the Ekachai Uekrongtham directed actioner, Skin Trade. The film is an action-packed, digital free, thrill-ride, filled with some incredible fight choreography and impressive practical effects.

Skin Trade
Directed by
Ekachai Uekrongtham
Dolph Lundgren, Tony Jaa, Ron Perlman, Michael Jai White
Release Date
23 April 2015
Nav’s Grade: B

I’ve been quite impressed by Dolph’s acting in recent years. And while he’ll never be on stage accepting an Oscar from the likes of Tom Hanks or Daniel-Day Lewis, as an action star, Lungren can now command a reasonable sized viewing audience, and one would assume, a healthy sized dollar figure per movie. He’s part of the new breed of “mature” action star, and this is in part, thanks to the hard work of Sly Stallone and his The Expendables franchise. At 58 years old, the huge Swede still has it in spades, and even next to the rapid fighting of Tony Jaa and Michael Jai White, Dolph managed to hold his own, and those guys are the real deal.

Skin Trade covers the very serious problem of human trafficking, and rather than treat the subject lightly, the writers (four of them, Lungren included) have given a lot of thought to this heinous crime, adding a certain amount of gravitas, that was as welcome as it was surprising. This is the first effort I’ve seen from director Ekachai Uekrongtham, and after taking much pleasure from Skin Trade, I doubt very much it’ll be my last.

As far fetched as a lot of this film is, it was also a fantastic martial arts experience. Tony Jaa getting to perform his trademark reverse flip heel strike, and Michael Jai White demonstrating unparalleled fighting ability. Lundgren got to show off the number of bullets he could take without stopping. I counted 5 serious wounds, including one in the leg that would have maimed an elephant. But he just shrugged them off, as only Dolph can.

If action is your thing, you’ll most definitely want some of this.