Transit 17 (2019)

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The race for a cure to a zombie apocalypse is the focal point of this Belgian action thriller featuring some of the UK’s top action talents.

A virus has infected Europe, notably France and Belgium as well as the Netherlands have also been hit. As the threat gets bigger, the governments have decided to employ soldiers from various parts of the world who are tasked with finding and protecting a young girl who may be the key to being part of the cure to end the virus. The team, led by Tex, consists of Eve, Brad, Deena, and others. However, a band of soldiers led by the Commander are tasked with stopping the soldiers as the General thinks there is no hope for the plague.

Tex and his team are tasked to go to Transit 17. With computer experts Rene and Snow handling the tech work from underground, the team finds themselves above ground. They find themselves in constant danger not only against the zombie horde that have taken over the areas, but also the Commander and his soldiers. Casualties are inevitable, but as the team reaches their destination, Tex seems skeptical among meeting the young girl, but is convinced from the Resistance, a band of fighters who believe she is the cure. Tex and the team now must protect the girl before the Commander and his army arrive to wreak havoc.

When this film was announced a few years back, fans were ecstatic at seeing some of Britain’s top action talents in the cast, including champion martial artists Zara Phythian, Silvio Simac, and Lee Charles. Guy Bleyaert leads the cast as team leader Tex as well as writing and directing this post-apocalyptic feature that has more than zombies, but skeptical soldiers who under orders feel that there is no hope. At a running time of 84 minutes, the film has some tense moments and some pretty decent action set pieces for its budget.

The film seems to be about the emotional impact of a zombie apocalypse rather than a full-on action thriller, but for some reason it works quite well. Bleyaert is great as Tex, a somewhat broken-down leader who at first is skeptical like the potential enemies in the Commander and his army. However, he eventually does realize there is hope by the second half of the film. As for Phythian, her character of Eve is a tough cookie and one no one should mess with. She gets to use her fighting skills in one particular fight scene and with her background and film work, it’s about time Zara Phythian gets a lead role in an action film.

Silvio Simac is intimidating as the Commander, the leader of the rival army who are tasked with stopping the Resistance. When we first see him, his look just screams intimidation. Like Phythian, Simac is an expert martial artist but here, he resorts to using more grounded combat as opposed to using flashy kicks as he does get to engage in fisticuffs with former kickboxing champion Lee Charles, who plays Dean. The zombies look very creepy in the film and kudos has to go to the VFX team behind them because they did a great job with the look, even if the zombie onset is minimal compared to other genre flicks.

Transit 17 is not a bad post-apocalyptic thriller. It can be thought of an emotional driven zombie-action hybrid with some great performances by filmmaker Bleyaert and Zara Phythian, who really should get a lead action role in the near future.

WFG RATING: B-

Vision Films presents an Actionworlds Film production in association with Macromovie Filmworks. Director: Guy Bleyaert. Producer: Macromovie Filmworks. Writer: Guy Bleyaert. Cinematography: De Backer Fabian.

Cast: Guy Bleyaert, Zara Phythian, Lee Charles, Silvio Simac, Kimberly Stahl, Stefanie Joosten, John Flanders, Lucas Tavernier, Davide Durbano, Courtney Marke, Axelle Ava, Maria Melikidze, Kevin Van Doorslaer.

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