An intriguing murder mystery action thriller stands tall on streaming
Plenty of movies throw multiple genre elements into the mix in an attempt to concoct a unique cinematic recipe, but it would be an understatement to say the general track record has been decidedly hit-or-miss. That being said, 2020’s Knuckledust did an admirable job, but the end product couldn’t quite live up to a fantastic central conceit.
Writer and director James Kermack sets the stage by having the police discover an illicit fight club for top-level brawlers, consisting of seven levels that go deep underground. Upon diving deeper, they discover a trail of bodies with a sole survivor. But, is Moe Dunford’s Hard Eight really the last one left alive after an unexplainable massacre, or the person responsible?
There are obviously shades of Fight Club and The Raid everywhere you look, as well as inspirations drawn from the works of Quentin Tarantino, Guy Ritchie, and many others, but Kermack does a decent enough job of trying to put his own spin on a twisting, gritty crime thriller that’s wrapped in the cloth of a murder mystery, and perhaps even a touch of horror.
A 57% Rotten Tomatoes score and 43% user rating shows that Knuckledust didn’t quite manage to hit the target to everyone’s satisfaction, but the ambitious effort has managed to find a new lease of life on streaming. As per FlixPatrol, the hard-hitting hybrid sits pretty as the 25th most-watched title on the Prime Video global charts, a fantastic performance for a film that hardly made a splash at all when it first arrived, even if its cult classic potential is beginning to shine through.