'Skin Trade' [Blu-ray]
(Dolph Lundgren, Tony Jaa, Ron Perlman, et al / Blu ray / R / 2015 / Magnolia Home Entertainment)
Overview: With nothing but vengeance to live for, detective Nick Cassidy (Dolph Lundgren) ransacks his way through the Bangkok underworld in pursuit of Viktor Dragovic (Ron Perlman), the human trafficker who attempted to kill his family. As the crossfire grows more deadly, FBI Agent Eddie Reed (Michael Jai White) is sent to bring Nick home, while Thai detective Tony Vitayakui (Tony Jaa) questions the motives and methods that have brought Nick across the globe.
Blu ray Verdict: "Skin Trade" is the second single from Duran Duran's Notorious album, and the band's 15th single in total. It was released in January 1987, reached #22 on the UK Singles Chart, and barely nudged into the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 ..... hang on, what now ... you say this isn't that hit single ... it's a film ... hmmmm, ok, give me a minute then!
OK, back to the film in hand, Lundgren actually co-wrote and co-stars in this martial arts action flick, alongside Thai superstar Tony Jaa; himself making his American film debut in a lead role. Lundgren and Jaa play NYC and Thai detectives, taking on human traffickers in S.E. Asia. 'Skin Trade' was directed by Ekachai Uekrongtham and written by Lundgren, Gabriel Dowrick, Steven Elder and John Hyams (doing uncredited rewrites). It co-stars Michael Jai White, Ron Perlman, Peter Weller and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and for a low budget B action flick it's pretty well-made; but how can you go wrong with this cast? I mean, come on now, it's an action movie lover's dream!
In truth, 'Skin Trade' does indeed have slicker production values and has more hype surrounding it's release than usual. With a lively supporting cast, 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. 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 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. Oh, and for the fans, when asked to co-star with Tony Jaa in the yet unfinished Thai western 'A Man Will Rise,' Dolph Lundgren made a deal with Jaa in 2013 to be in this film, 'Skin Trade' - his American movie debut in exchange. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1:85.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Behind The Action: Fighting You Can Believe
Making Of Skin Trade
A Look At Director Ekachai Uekrongtham
Commentary With Dolph Lundgrenbr>
Interview With Dolph Lundgren
Blu ray Purchase Link