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5 reasons to watch "Final Score"

Dave Bautista during a daring motorcycle stunt in "Final Score".

"35,000 lives. 90 minutes. No extra time". This is no doubt a classic tagline used to sell an action movie specifically aimed for a "Die Hard"-like premise. And that movie in question is "Final Score", which stars Dave Bautista pulling off a Bruce Willis' John McClane-like lone-hero character trying to save the day from a terrorist attack inside a packed football stadium.


With "Final Score" set to arrive in our local cinemas this 20 September, here are the five reasons why you might want to check out this awesome action movie!

1) A "Die Hard" premise

Dave Bautista and Pierce Brosnan in "Final Score".

There's always something fun about setting up an action movie with a "Die Hard" premise. Thanks to the enormous popularity of John McTiernan's original "Die Hard" back in 1988, Hollywood has never stop churning out different types of "Die Hard"-like action movies in the past decades and even until today. This year alone, they've already given us "Die Hard" in a skyscraper in "Skyscraper" and now, it's "Final Score" -- the latest action thriller in the mould of "Die Hard" in a football stadium. Like any "Die Hard" movie, the formula lies on the hook itself: a lone hero (Dave Bautista's Michael Knox), a confined setting (the football stadium at Upton Park) and of course, heavily-armed terrorist(s).

2) Dave Bautista plays the lone hero

Dave Bautista, all bruised and battered in "Final Score".

Of course, no "Die Hard" movie would be complete without a worthy actor (or actress) playing the lone (or sometimes unlikely) hero saving the day from terrorist(s) attack. In the original "Die Hard" and its subsequent sequels, we have Bruce Willis as the street-smart NYPD cop John McClane. In "Under Siege", we got Steven Seagal playing an ex-Navy SEAL-turn-cook saving the day twice on a battleship and train. As for "Final Score", Dave Bautista plays an ex-military soldier-turned-private contractor, Michael Knox. Bautista, of course, is no stranger to action-oriented roles ranging from Hinx in "Spectre" to Tong Po in "Kickboxer: Vengeance" and Sapper Morton in "Blade Runner 2049". But global audiences and fans know him better as Drax the Destroyer in the "Guardians Of The Galaxy" movies as well as this year's "Avengers: Infinity War". While Bautista often appears in secondary roles, it is no doubt a refreshing change of pace to see the hulking ex-WWE wrestler given a chance to shine in a rare leading role.

3) Director Scott Mann is no stranger to B-movie action mayhem

Director Scott Mann and Dave Bautista on the set of "Final Score".

Sure, "Final Score" doesn't carry a big-studio budget equivalent of the more expensive "Die Hard" franchise, but even a B-grade action movie has its own charm and it's nice to see "Final Score" helmed under Scott Mann's direction. He may falter in 2016's "Heist", which also starred Dave Bautista in one of the supporting roles alongside Robert De Niro and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but let's not forget this is also the same director who gave us that little silly but enormously fun direct-to-DVD actioner called "The Tournament" back in 2009, which proves he has a knack for staging spectacular and violent action set-pieces minus the need of splashing a huge budget.

4) A competent supporting cast

Ray Stevenson plays the movie's main antagonist in "Final Score".

Apart from Dave Bautista, "Final Score" also features Ray Stevenson as the Russian terrorist, Arkady, who also happens to be the movie's main antagonist. Like Bautista, Stevenson is a veteran in action movies, having appeared in the likes of "Punisher: War Zone" as Frank Castle and the "Thor" trilogy as Volstagg.


Pierce Brosnan and Lara Peake in "Final Score".

5) Look out for a fight between Dave Bautista and
"Boyka: Undisputed IV"'s Martyn Ford

Dave Bautista and Martyn Ford on the set of "Final Score".

If you have seen the way Martyn Ford fought in "Boyka: Undisputed IV" co-starring Scott Adkins, you know he's the kind of guy you do not want to mess with. This is especially true, given his intimidating muscle-bound body frame at 6'8" tall. He plays one of the heavies in "Final Score", where he can be seen facing up against Dave Bautista in a brutal kitchen fight. Now, if the words "kitchen fight" and "stadium" sounds familiar, that is because it instantly reminds you of a similar fight in the 1995 Van Damme action movie, "Sudden Death". The only thing missing here is that Martyn Ford doesn't appear in a mascot suit.


Cinema Online, 17 September 2018