A nosedive of Olympic proportions after his impressive debut, “16 Years of Alcohol,” writer-director Richard Jobson’s Scottish martial artser, “The Purifiers,” hits the mat soon after the credits and stays there. Reportedly targeting teenagers, but likely to send tykes over 8 scurrying for their PlayStations, this cuss-free, almost bloodless pic is headlocked by lame scripting, amateur perfs and, worst of all, lackluster, repetitive action. A dozen producers signed off on this HD-lensed lowbudgeter.
Near-future urban storyline, mirroring that of Walter Hill’s “The Warriors,” has a sextet of young martial artists, aka the Purifiers, trapped from home turf in the Central Zone, commanded by Moses (Kevin McKidd), a psycho-in-a-business-suit with political ambitions. After setting other rival gangs against our heroes, Moses lures the Purifiers’ leader, John (Gordon Alexander), into a warehouse face-off. Characterization is minimal, the script peppered with dime-novel philosophy (“the moon’s like a bullet — silver, smiling, beautiful, violent”), and direction by Jobson — a self-professed fan of Asian chopsockies — lacks the slightest sense of menace or threat. McKidd (from “Alcohol”) has a ball as the villain; Alexander, also credited as fight choreographer, is bland.