Do you remember the 2008 David S. Goyer / Doug Liman film Jumper? With Jamie Bell and Hayden Christensen? About people with the ability to teleport? Great, well Axcellerator is kind of like it’s newer, not as much budget, not got the big names, cousin.
Dane, Ryan Wesen (“Spiral (Short)”, “190 Lorimer (TV)”), is a pizza delivery guy, behind on his rent and, as we meet him, is part-way through stealing a car after attending his father’s funeral. At this point Thomas, Mark Keppel (“Icebreaker”, “Illegal Aliens”), hops into the passenger seat holding a gun.
He tells Dane that any minute now lots of other men with even larger guns will be after both of them unless he drives, so he drives, whilst being shot at by lots of other men with large guns.
In what looks like the slowest car chase ever committed to screen, the two are managing to get away until they crash. Under a hail of bullets, none of which hit, naturally, Thomas reveals that all these people are after a device he’s created, that he is now, for reasons that are never fully explained, going to pass on to Dane.
All Dane needs to do, is think of where he would rather be, hold the device, and it will teleport him there. And it does. Dane finds himself in his apartment in New York, with his landlord banging at his door asking for rent. He panics and grabs the device again and winds up on the lap of checkout clerk Kate, Laura James (“Coffin 2″, The Young And The Restless (TV)”), in Arizona, as she is being berated by her boss for being late, again.
As quickly as he arrives, he vanishes, only he ends up taking Kate with him. As more men with more guns begin arriving, Kate is now embroiled in whatever this is with Dane and the two become fugitives.
They are being chased by Sy, John James (better known as Jeff Colby from “Dynasty”), and his henchman Brink, Sam J. Jones (none other than Flash Gordon himself), as well as Michael, Maxwell Caulfield (Michael from “Grease 2”). All of whom seem to work for different shadowy government organisations with Amanda, Sean Young (Rachael from “Blade Runner”), working for Michael but spying on Sy.
As things escalate the pair are forced into going back to New York to face the bad guys once and for all, which leads to Kate being kidnapped and Dane having to come up with a new plan to rescue her.
There’s a phrase often used by writers which is: coincidences to get your protagonists into trouble are fine, coincidences to get them out of trouble are not. So, for example, if our apparent lazy, skint, pizza delivery boy suddenly found himself with a snowboard on the side of a black run in Chile, but was able to snowboard like Shaun White, dodging bullets from the chasers behind him, less than a metre behind him, that would be a coincidence too far.
But Dane can do that, suddenly, and he does do that. So when Brink, who is previously happy sadistically shooting anyone and everyone, suddenly doesn’t when presented with the perfect opportunity to get the device and kill both Dane and Kate, doesn’t, it’s not a massive surprise.
Whilst I liked the ideas behind Axcellerator, it feels its age, in fact it feels older. It was shot in 2016 so has taken some time to be released for whatever reason.
The acting, mostly from the chasing ensemble, is ropey to say the least, with Laura James being the standout. Some of the green-screen work is painfully obvious and the setups and execution of the set pieces make the whole thing feel like an early James Bond movie, without the budget.
Having said all of that. Axcellerator is a fun movie. It might not make you laugh, you may not be wowed by it, but put it on for some light entertainment for a little under an hour and a half and you’ll be fine.