With a British action film, you’re either expecting something either a bit tongue in cheek like Kingsman: The Golden Circle or a Roger Moore Bon movie, or something down to earth and gritty like early Guy Ritchie films Snatch or Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Well, that’s what you hope for anyway. Immediately Final Score disappoints with a bottom of the barrel lead actor Dave Bautista playing Michael Knox.

With a British director attached in Scott Mann you might hope for some realism, however, if you’ve seen either of his two previous feature credits, you’ll see he is a purveyor of severely average action movies.

The film opens strong with some scenes from the fictional uprising in Sukopia, Russia led by the Belav brothers, the brains Dimitri and the enforcer Arkady (Ray Stevenson). With the death toll increasing, Dimitri is killed and Arkady is soon captured. A scene follows years later with a man being chased down and then tortured by Arkady, who is looking for someone.

The grit of the scenes in Russia is quickly followed with unusually jolly scenes of London. Knox arrives on a blue-skied sunny day and his cheesy dialogue with the taxi driver sets up the poor attempts at humor the viewer will spend the next hour and half cringing at.

The only respite from the cringy dialogue is the introduction of comic relief in the form of the inept Faisal (Amit Shah), who provides the everyman reaction to the situation he finds himself in, reacting with fear and cowardice.

Final Score

However even Faisal can’t pull off some of the dialogue. Upon Knox and Faisal dumping their first kill in a toilet cubicle, Faisal remarks “Dead on the shitter, just like Elvis.” I’m not sure whether that was an attempt at comic relief but felt clunky and unnecessary.

I think what jars the most is football. It doesn’t sit right. Firstly, West Ham United in the semi-finals of the European Cup, sorry, no. Secondly, a Russian team getting to the semi-finals of the European Cup, again, no.

The shots in the stadium of the West Ham fans just sitting down through the whole game. And I know Knox is American and is bound to call it ‘soccer’ but the number of British characters calling it that is unforgivable. How this got past Scott Mann, I don’t know, it’s as if he’s never even seen a football match in his life.

Final Score

Having ranted and raved about the storyline and the dialogue, we can now talk about the fight scenes and the action. This is where creativity wins the day.

The first piece of gold being the conflict between Knox and Andrei (Lee Charles) in the lift, as poor Faisal gets knocked around in whatever little space is left amongst the two behemoths going at it.

This close-range action is shot beautifully in close up for most of the fight to make the viewer understand the small space available and the constraints that provide and how there is no escape.