Movies & TV / Reviews

Debt Collectors Review

July 30, 2020 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Debt Collectors
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Debt Collectors Review  

Debt Collectors Review

Scott Adkins– French
Louis Mandylor– Sue
Marina Sirtis– Mal Reese
Ski Carr– Molly
Vladimir Kulich– Tommy
Charity Collins– Felix
Cuete Yeska– Esteban Madrid
Vernon Wells– Cyrus Skinner

(check out the rest of the cast here)

Directed by Jesse V. Johnson
Screenplay by Jesse V. Johnson and Stu Small

Distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films

Not Rated
Runtime– 97 minutes

Buy it here


Debt Collectors, also known as Payback in some parts of the world, is the unbelievable sequel to the badass action flick from 2018 (check out my review of that movie here). Now, the reason I say Debt Collectors is unbelievable is because, with the way The Debt Collector ended, I didn’t think there would ever be a sequel. I mean, how could there be? French and Sue, as played by Scott Adkins and Louis Mandylor, were essentially dead at the end of the first movie. How the hell does someone come back from being dead?

Well, director and co-writer Jesse V. Johnson, along with fellow co-writer Stu Small, figured out how to bring back French and Sue, and the world now has a The Debt Collector sequel, Debt Collectors. Awesome? You bet your ass it is.

Debt Collectors starts with the still very alive Sue walking down the street in Los Angeles, looking for a bar that he suspects the still also very alive French works in. Sue wants to ask French to come work with him again on a debt collection scheme, just like the old days (the first movie). When Sue finds the bar and asks French to come work with him again, French refuses. French doesn’t want to get caught up in the same situation he was in the last time. French also likes working at the bar. However, French gets fired from that job after engaging in a full scale brawl with a bunch of assholes in the bar (the owner doesn’t want fighting inside the bar), and suddenly Sue’s proposition looks like a good idea. So after a quick breakfast meeting where they explain to one another how they’re both not dead, French and Sue embark on their big debt collection scheme. They have to pick up three outstanding debts for their old boss Tommy (the returning Vladimir Kulich), and the first pick up is in Las Vegas.

Now, while heading to Vegas, French and Sue are followed by two heavily armed men in a black SUV. Why are they following our heroes? Because this debt collection scheme isn’t just some easy in and out project. There’s something bigger happening. Much, much bigger.

Now, while in Vegas, French and Sue meet with Mal Reese (Marina Sirtis), a badass female mob leader that has a hilarious sexual history with Sue (their back and forth over this old encounter is very funny stuff). French and Sue then beat up a group of heavily armed thugs on the side of the road, and then they head to a hotel and try to get some rest because they’ve clearly been through some shit. While resting, Sue talks about some of his emotions and the shit he’s personally going through. He doesn’t want to fight anyone anymore and he’s stopped drinking. That all seems very odd, especially considering the job he has at the moment and the life he leads, but Sue insists on maintaining his new self.

The next day, French and Sue head back to Los Angeles for their next pick up, at a boxing club run by a guy named Esteban Madrid (Cuete Yeska). While in the club, Sue is forced to break his “I don’t want to fight any more” life goal and get his ass kicked by an amateur boxer. French then beats the shit out of several people and they finally pick up their next collection.

It’s at this point in the story that we find out that Tommy is in trouble with the sadistic gangster known as Molly (Ski Carr) and that if French and Sue don’t complete their task Tommy will be killed. What the hell? That ups the dramatic ante, doesn’t it?

So French and Sue go to collect their third and final debt, from a guy named Cyrus Skinner (a brilliantly profane Vernon Wells), and it’s at this point that French and Sue’s partnership starts to fall apart. French wants to take the money from the debts they’ve collected and run away and disappear. French never really liked Tommy, and he sees no reason to do any more for him. Sue is old friends with Tommy and wants to keep him alive. And so a massive alley brawl ensues between French and Sue, with Sue once again getting his ass kicked. After the brawl, French runs off with the third collection, and Sue has to figure out what to do next. Can he come up with the necessary money from somewhere else? Can he save his old friend Tommy?

Debt Collectors is a damn good buddy action flick and one of the better sequels in recent memory. The story isn’t as satisfying as the first movie, but the movie watching experience is still something to celebrate. It’s great to have French and Sue back in action, and you want to see how their latest adventure is going to turn out. Adkins and Mandylor still have amazing chemistry, and they are the main reason to see the movie. There’s also plenty of terrific action, from gun battles to copious amounts of hand-to-hand combat, all under the direction of action master Johnson. There isn’t a wasted movement or moment in the movie.

The only real glaring issue with the movie is the way French and Sue explain how they didn’t actually die at the end of the first movie. We don’t need to see everything that happened directly after the end of the first movie, but it would have been nice to see a little something from that period of time. I don’t think I want to leave all that to my imagination. I mean, what Johnson and company do for this part of the movie is fine and it works, but I would have liked to see a little more about it.

Scott Adkins is in top form, again, as French. A total badass but also very funny, Adkins shows that he can do pretty much anything. He can act, he can make you laugh, and he can beat the crap out of anyone put in his way. His opening sequence bar fight is comedy gold. It’s also a hoot to listen to Adkins swear in his native accent. I ask this all of the time but how the hell isn’t he a bigger star? Why isn’t he in the running to be the next James Bond? It just makes no sense.

Louis Mandylor once again rocks as Sue. It’s awesome how Mandylor makes Sue even more world weary than he was in the first movie, something I didn’t think would be possible. Mandylor’s performance doesn’t seem as deep as it was in the first movie, but pay attention to the last quarter or so of the movie. His performance builds up to a certain moment involving Vladimir Kulich’s Tommy and it’s heartbreaking. Mandylor also shows that he can throw down with the best of them in the action department and is a top notch adversary for Adkins’ French during the big They Live homage in the alley. Great stuff again. I also want to commend Mandylor for making Sue’s love for his old car that’s now long gone both funny as hell and sad as fuck. Very few actors can pull that kind of thing off and make it work.

Ski Carr is quite the rat bastard as Molly. He’s just a terrible person. At the same time, Molly is also the kind of awful villain that you want to keep watching because you want to see what he’s going to do next. You love to hate the guy. It’s a shame that he didn’t get a bigger final scene, but Carr does a great job and you will remember him. Sometimes that’s the best kind of villain. And kudos to Charity Collins as Felix, Molly’s main henchman. She is one of the scariest henchmen in recent action movie history. Holy crap.

Vladimir Kulich pops in again as Tommy. He doesn’t have much to do until the end of the movie, but, as he always does, Kulich makes the most out of what he’s given and does a fantastic job with it. Pay attention to his final scene with Mandylor’s Sue. Just great, great stuff. And Vernon Wells isn’t in the movie for all that long, either, but he has a nice scene and gets to use some choice profanity. That’s always cool.

And Marina Sirtis is brilliant as the somewhat mysterious Mal Reese. She’s sensual and devious at the same time, and you’re never quite sure what her real deal is. You know she can be a killer, but is that what she’s all about managing her club in Las Vegas? Sirtis also has electric chemistry with Mandylor. Just what sort of weird relationship did they have over the years? You just know that there’s more going on there than the movie actually reveals. I think that could be the Debt Collector prequel.

So, should there be a third French and Sue adventure? Absolutely. And it doesn’t really matter if the third one directly follows the events of the ending of Debt Collectors or if the next one is something else entirely. As long as French and Sue are back together again, kicking ass and taking names. That’s all that really matters.

And let them keep the car. That car is awesome.

See Debt Collectors. See it, see it, see it!


So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 10+

Explosions: A few small ones.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: A guy in a Hawaiian shirt walking the street, attempted oatmeal eating, a full on bar brawl, pool cue hooey, job loss, an explanation that the audience is dying to hear, a giant wad of cash, a very small car, a hot babe woman walking down a hallway, a bit of backstory, a weird sexual encounter, gas station hooey, Las Vegas, night club hooey, a weird kiss, two guys with machine guns in a van, rifle breaking, a serious beat down, night stick hooey, hotel rest, attempted alcohol drinking, an embarrassing “small penis in the cold” story, boxing club hooey, serious macho tough guy bullshit, an unexpected ass kicking, serious arm breaking, diner hooey, shotgun hooey, a shocking beating, a foot chase, a big fucking fight, beer bottle punching, a double punch to the face, the most epic kick to the balls in movie history, a wicked punch to the balls, a wicked face plant with exploding face, booze drinking, Taser hooey, head stomping, torture, machine gun hooey, a big shootout, grenade launcher attack, a funeral, and the prospect of a third movie.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: Louis Mandylor, Louis Mandylor wearing a Hawaiian shirt, Scott Adkins, Scott Adkins trying to eat breakfast, mild homophobia, a verbal attack on the British monarchy, a bar band continuing to play music in the midst of an epic brawl, Louis Mandylor using ketchup, Louis Mandylor and Scott Adkins eating breakfast, Louis Mandylor drinking Gatorade, Vladimir Kulich, a framed picture on the wall in Las Vegas of Elvis Pressley in Jailhouse Rock, Louis Mandylor putting a handkerchief over his eyes to help him sleep, an argument about which is better, boxing or MMA, Louis Mandylor hitting a heavy bag, Louis Mandylor using a pay phone, Vladimir Kulich lighting his cigar before putting it in his mouth to smoke, Vernon Wells, Vernon Wells, saying “cunt” and “cocksucker,” the L.A. water basin, Scott Adkins talking about how being a stuntman is dangerous, a They Live homage, a western theme on the soundtrack, “bite the wood,” an alternate 2020 (you’ll see), and the prospect of a third movie.

Best lines: “Fuck off, Harry Styles! This doesn’t concern you!,” “Like good old King George used to say, come and fucking get it!,” “I fucking love this place!,” “Come on, Frenchy. It’s still French, by the way,” “I fucking hate Vegas,” “He’s walking his ass over here!,” “Why the fuck would we run away with the money, mate?,” “Check out the thighs on that, mate,” “Does the English shoe salesman know who he’s talking to and what I do to bad little boys who talk out of turn?,” “What is your name, little boy?,” “And besides, they’re only boxers, right?,” “You know, if you’re serious about boxing you should never fight out of your weight division,” “I think he moved a bullet,” “I’ll tell you what, Frenchy. You’ve changed and you’ve got a tone,” “I’m sorry, Tommy. I tried,” “Jesus Christ!,” “You fucking hit me!,” “I’m taking that bag, Sue,” “Damn, what the fuck are thee idiots doing now?,” “You sneaky motherfucker!,” “You really are a gangster, aren’t you?,” “Babygirl, make another long distance phone call,” “Ha! Ha! Shoot that bitch, man!,” and “Eat this motherfucker!”

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
Scott Adkins and Louis Mandylor are back in the seemingly improbably sequel to The Debt Collector, Debt Collectors and it’s a great buddy action movie. The story isn’t as deep or meaningful as the first movie, but it chock full of more of the stuff that made the first movie so great: terrific performances by Adkins and Mandylor and top notch directing from action master Jesse V. Johnson. If you loved the first one, you will definitely dig the sequel. I did. One of the best movies on 2020 so far, hands down. Now bring on the third French and Sue adventure! We can’t wait!