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Yuri (Joey Iwanaga) and Makoto (Tatsuomi Hamada) are silly but deadly cleanup men, who are so disregarded they’re often handed the messiest assignments: In the film’s opening scene, the two are tasked with annihilating a lone dealer. But they are not told about the goons accompanying their target. The mix-up leads to a jarring, chaotic, but rapturously executed shootout. Yuri and Makoto are tired of these dead-end gigs; they want to move up to the big time. With all the full-time assassin roles filled, they need to create an opening by murdering two employed killers. They just happen to be Chisato (Akari Takaishi) and Mahiro (Saori Izawa), the stars of the first “Baby Assassins” film, reprising their roles.

From the returning writer-director Yugo Sakamoto, “Baby Assassins 2” is an expansive, world building sequel that’s as much about the friendships shared by these teams of hired guns — especially Chisato and Mahiro’s queer-coded connection — as much as the body count they amass. It’s why a comedic fight by Chisato and Mahiro in mascot costumes isn’t merely hilarious, it’s nimble, intense and wonderfully off-kilter.

Stream it on Netflix.

Renny Harlin, the director behind “Cliffhanger” and “Die Hard 2,” is keen on lone stoic heroes. In his latest, “The Bricklayer,” Aaron Eckhart follows in the stoic hero tradition as Vail, a former C.I.A. operative turned bricklayer recalled to service by his former boss, O’Malley (Tim Blake Nelson), to stop Radek (Clifton Collins Jr.), an informant turned rouge, from leaking government secrets. Vail is teamed with Bannon (Nina Dobrev), an inexperienced field agent, to travel to Greece for the hit.

“The Bricklayer” is filled with throwback testosterone-fueled tropes: Vail rekindles a romance with a woman of questionable motives; he teaches Bannon the ropes; he’s an old dog whose old tricks still work. Eckhart maintains an even-keeled action persona, all while leaping from death-defying explosions, getting up from aching punches and staying true to an ethos of not leaving until the job is done.

Stream it on Tubi.

Zhang Tu (Richie Jen) is a dedicated, drug busting police officer and a single father to a young son. After noticing bruises on his son’s back, Zhang ventures into a seedy nightclub to get revenge against the boy’s bullies. Zhang not only engages in an all-out brawl, where he flings beer bottles at the heads of gangsters, he also saves a prostitute, Chin Maung Su (Yao Chen), from her abusive client. That good deed, however, has larger repercussions: The client is the son of a powerful sex trafficker, who decides to take revenge by kidnapping Zhang’s child. Zhang teams up with Chin on a cross-country trip to rescue him.

Chan Tai-Lee’s film is both a social justice movie — teaching viewers about the human trafficking industry — and a pulpy action flick. Jen is a knockout desperate dad, one so driven by fatherly love, he’ll use shards of glass to fight a man armed with Karambit blades.

I love the Korean action star Don Lee. A broad, towering figure, he brings a lovable tenacity to a menacing genre. Nowhere is his unique presence more felt than in the “The Roundup” franchise, where he plays the hulking detective Ma Seok-do. The third installment in the series, “No Way Out,” from the director Lee Sang-yong, offers more of the comic violence, crushing blows and winking one-liners audiences have come to love.

Though “No Way Out” is a tad convoluted — Ma and his fellow cops are traveling to Japan to stop the sale of a new, exotic drug sold by the Yakuza — the film is simple where it counts. Lee delivers roundhouse kicks and swinging fists that land with concussive force. Every big hit recalls an early moment in the film: Ma says his job as a cop is to “punish and serve.” As an action hero he upholds the same standards.

Stream it on Tubi.

Intense and unexpected, “Roadkill,” the writer-director Warren Fast’s strange thriller, is a grim exploitation flick propelled by a string of grisly murders. It begins when the Hitchhiker (Ryan Knudson), a wanderer with a traumatic past, bums a ride from an attractive driver (Caitlin Carmichael) in a sleek red muscle car. Traveling across a nondescript portion of the southeastern United States, death seems to follow in their wake: A couple is discovered butchered, a gas station attendant and diner cook are snuffed out too. Local authorities think it’s the return of a highway serial killer that once haunted the area.

And yet, “Roadkill” doesn’t take the easy route by painting the mysterious hitchhiker as the villain. Instead, Fast subverts viewer expectations, ultimately unleashing swift carnage. Each slaying is a visceral challenge; the bloodiest sees the petite female driver using her handcuffs to choke a male sheriff to death; in the process, putting the audience under the heel of her boot.



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