Scott Adkins is Essentially Playing The Batman’s Penguin in John Wick 4

Scott Adkins’ screen career began in the early 2000s when he turned up in a number of Hong Kong martial arts films. Much like Jackie Chan did for Bruce Lee in “Enter the Dragon” back in the ’70s, Adkins found himself completing the stunt ensembles for the likes of Chan and Jet Li in films like “The Medallion” and “Unleashed.”

When Hollywood came calling, Adkins’ status as a background player was unfortunately left intact, leading to appearances in “The Pink Panther” and “The Bourne Ultimatum” that didn’t allow him to take center stage. The most insulting of these Hollywood efforts came with “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” in which Adkins portrayed Weapon XI. However, Adkins only played the character in the long shots and stunt moments, with Ryan Reynolds getting the close-ups instead.

Fortunately, the more robust world of DTV action cinema came calling, and finally gave Adkins the opportunities he deserves. After appearing with his idol Jean-Claude Van Damme in several films, Adkins was given the opportunity to star in 2012’s “Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.” The film is still a high point for its franchise as well as for action cinema in general, combining elements of David Lynch, Gaspar Noe, and Michael Haneke with bone-crunching punches and lots of gunfire. Adkins, who’s in every scene, carries the entire movie with panache.

Since then, Adkins has bounced between starring roles in DTV flicks and franchises (including the “Ninja” and “Undisputed” series) and smaller roles in Hollywood blockbusters (like “Doctor Strange”). When Adkins appeared in 2019’s “Ip Man 4: The Finale,” he claimed that star Donnie Yen requested him for the film by name, and it’s a testament to both men’s reputations within action cinema that Yen and Adkins appear in “John Wick: Chapter 4.”

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