Steve (John Hargreaves) and Rod (Grant Page) first met during the Vietnam war when serving as jungle commandos. After surviving the war, the two continue to have a strong bond and friendship. In the present day, the pair work on various films and commercials as dangerous stuntmen with a reputation as the best in the industry.
One day while Steven and Rod are working, they discover a police chase is in progress. They decide to have some fun and join in, helping bring the criminals to justice. After a lengthy car chase, Steve and Rod successfully catch the crooks and save the day. They discover the car chase was all a test not long after this. Soon Steve and Rod are given the opportunity to be part of a suicide mission. Their mission is to sneak in and destroy the fortress of a dangerous Filipino racketeer. Because the pair can best be described as a pair of adrenaline fanatics seeking the next biggest adventure, they accept the mission no matter the risks.
Deathcheaters is best described as an action-packed film with many moments of random and witty (yet highly cheesy) one-liners. The action scenes are most impressive, especially considering when this film was originally released. It’s stunning to see what the leads were able to achieve, and the many stunts on-screen still hold up in the present day. The cinematography is enjoyable, especially when witnessing the crazy and wild stunts. For those who are not aware, Deathcheaters was directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith, who released this film following on from The Man From Hong Kong (another film that is also packed with impressive stunts).
As for the plot, Deathcheaters has a good premise. Sadly, it drags heavily in the second act, where the plot is pushed aside. Certain plot points feel forced, resulting in opportunities for our leads to do more stunts. Viewers will be eager to see our leads undertake the main mission introduced early on in the film, but sadly, it’s a long wait. While the second act drags, I’m glad to say the film’s third act is loaded with crazy explosions, ending on a stronger point. Sadly, the music score does show it’s age and feels more like repeated elevator music for the vast majority. Thankfully, the Deathcheaters theme is very catchy and enjoyable.
Overall, as super corny and cheesy as Deathcheaters is, there’s still loads of brainless fun to be had. Naturally, given the director and the leads, the best aspects of this film are the stunts. The stunts are most impressive to watch, especially considering when this film was released, and the same could be said about the cinematography. While beginning with a solid premise, the plot soon feels like vague excuses for more stunts to be shown, only to have a finale consisting of plenty of wild explosions. Sadly, the soundtrack has aged, and the comedy here is very corny, packed with one-liners that will make you laugh or roll your eyes. In the end, Deathcheaters is certainly worth checking out, even if it’s just for the action alone. Thanks to Umbrella Entertainment, the recent Blu-ray release also included a new pleasing 4K scan which was truly a delight to witness.