action, adventure, fantasy, martial arts, movie, movie review

March 24th, 2019 Movie – Circle Of Iron

circle of iron

Another Sunday morning, another movie to watch from Shout Factory TV. Lucky for me, they have plenty of movies to choose from. Now I chose today’s movie because of the history behind it. See, today’s movie was originally co-written by Bruce Lee, who had intended to star in it but was unfortunately killed before he could start working on it. A couple of years after his death, Stirling Silliphant, one of the other co-writers, completed the screenplay and David Carradine was cast to play the role intended for Bruce Lee. So let’s see what kind of movie we have on out hands as I watch Circle Of Iron.

The plot: In a distant land, a martial arts tournament is held; with the final match coming down to Cord and Morthond. Cord ends up defeating Morthond but due to his dirty fighting tactics, he is disqualified and Morthond is declared the victor. After Morthond is awarded the medallion and the right to seek the Book of Knowledge from Zetan, Cord argues with the judge about why Morthond was chosen. The judge tells Cord that he had broken almost every rule in the tournament and is not worthy of going on the quest. Cord says that everyone they have sent to face Zetan has failed to return but he will defeat him and look into the Book of Enlightenment himself, then follows after Morthond when he leaves the city. Morthond is upset about Cord’s following him, breaking his vow of silence to challenge Cord to another fight, but Cord refuses, saying he wants to help him, not kill him. After travelling for most of the day, the two warriors stop to rest and notice a blind man, whom Cord had seen earlier in the city, making his way into some ruins. When loud voices are heard from the ruins, Cord decides to go and investigate while Morthond uses the opportunity to continue on his quest without Cord. Inside the ruins, Cord sees the blind man fighting with some bandits and easily defeats them, though Cord does kill one that was about to throw a knife at the blind man. Cord approaches the blind man and asks him to be his teacher and when the blind man refuses, Cord says he will follow him and learn by watching him. When the two men encounter a monkeyman, Cord doesn’t see the wisdom in how the blind man handles the encounter, arguing he will never need to fight a monkey, but when he turns to gether his gear, he finds the blind man has vanished. Suddenly, he sees a wounded Morthond stumble against some rocks and when Cord approaches him, Morthond tells him he had failed the first trial and asks Cord to help give him a warrior’s death, then take the medallion and finish the quest. Cord does as Morthond asks and after Morthond’s death, he takes the medallion and heads into the nearby caves. Inside, he finds a tribe of monkeymen and watches as their leader defeats another warrior. Recalling the words of the blind man, Cord heads down and confronts the monkeymen’s leader, eventually defeating him and learning the way to Zetan. After traveling for a while, Cord comes across a man in a giant cauldron of oil. Cord asks the man if he needs help but the man says no, as he had done this himself so that he can dissolve the lower half of his body as a way of ridding himself of his sexual urges and offers to let Cord join him but Cord refuses, saying his vow of celibacy is enough. Cord continues across the desert and eventually comes to an oasis, where he sees a group of travelers have set up camp and are holding a festival. As Cord makes his way into the camp and watches the festivities, he is invited to sit next to the travelers leader Chang-Sha inside his tent. The two men talk for a bit before Chang-Sha steps outside and battles another traveler who had sought to test his strength against him. After Chang-Sha defeats the warrior, Cord asks when they will fight but Chang-Sha tells him that they will fight in the morning. That night, one of Chang-Sha’s wives, Tara enters his tent and says that Chang-Sha sent her there to give him a rose, symbolizing his second trial, and after talking for a bit, the two end up having sex, after which Cord asks Tara to go with him. The next morning, Cord wakes up to find the camp has gone and Tara had been left crucified on the outskirts of the oasis. Cord goes looking for Chang-Sha and as he stops for the night, he has a vision of Death approaching him but Cord is able to dispel the vision by showing that he doesn’t fear Death. The next day, Cord comes to another oasis and encounters the blind man again, and after Cord asks again for him to teach him, the blind man agrees. As they continue on their way, the blind man asks a fisherman if they can use his boat to cross the river, but after they do so, the blind man kicks out the sides of the boat, damaging it. They then encounter some bandits and attempt to run from them, fighting them when they have to, and after dealing with the bandits, the blind man stops to repair a stone wall. As they continue on their way, the blind man strikes a young boy, breaking his nose. Cord tells the blind man that he is leaving him but demands answers for the things he did. When the blind man answers, Cord questions how he knew the things he did and realizes that the blind man had been through there before, which gave him the knowledge about things that Cord didn’t. Cord eventually comes across Chang-Sha and after admitting that he doesn’t hold Chang-Sha responsible for Tara’s death, he challenges him to a fight. Chang-Sha agrees and after the two men fight to a draw, Chang-Sha tells Cord where to find Zetan. Cord makes his way on a ferry to an island, where he finds the religious sect that protects the Book of Enlightenment. Cord is taken to see Zetan and Cord goes to fight him but Zetan says there is no need for violence. He tells Cord that he has passed the trials and is entitled to look at the Book of Enlightenment but as Cord turns the pages, he finds that they are nothing more than mirrors. Zetan explains that many have come to seek the book only to find that enlightenment comes from themselves. As Cord laughs at the result of his quest, Zetan says that otwhile most of those who looked in the book have stayed there, some have left to become part of the challenges or teachers in their own ways, and Cord realizes the blind man was one of those people. Zetan offers Cord his job as protector of the book but Cord continues laughing as he leaves the island. Cord eventually finds the blind man and after talking for a bit, they embrace and the blind man hands Cord his flute, passing on his role of teacher to Cord.

When Circle Of Iron first came out, it received mainly negative reviews but has since garnered a cult following, causing some critics to reassess the movie, hence it’s current ranking of 43% on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, several critics felt that the lack of Bruce Lee’s charisma and guidance caused the movie to not reach it’s true potential. Bruce Lee envisioned Circle Of Iron to be an introduction for Western audiences to Eastern philosophy and the movie was originally supposed to be shot in 1969, with Steve McQueen offered the role of Cord but he turned it down. The flute that David Carradine plays throughout the movie is the same flute he plays in Kill Bill: Vol. 2. The movie made $1 million, but most of that was through video rentals and not the box office.

Well, the movie is definitely slow enough to fit being a philosophical movie, but didn’t exactly keep the interest peaked enough to make it good. I will be honest, even if Bruce Lee was in it, I don’t know if this movie would have been any better. The acting was good, with David Carradine doing a great job playing the multiple roles of the blind man, Monkeyman, Death, and Chang-Sha. I honestly think he had some fun playing the different roles. Jeff Cooper was also good as Cord and but I thought that Christopher Lee was a little wasted as Zetan, as his presence honestly felt a little anti-climactic to me. The plot was pretty slow paced and even the few fight scenes were pretty slow, making this movie a little boring and hard to pay attention too. The fight scenes were pretty well choreographed but the slow pacing just didn’t make them exciting at all. I know that the focus was supposed to be on the philosophical aspects but they still could have made the few fights that were included to be a little more exciting. It’s a decent intellectual movie but the slow pace is not going to attract to many people to watch it.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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Flashback Review: June 28th, 2014 Movie – Chase Step By Step

chase step by step

Well, this is the last movie from the Martial Arts box set. In fact, it is the last movie from any of my box sets. Man, I kind of need to go through all of the movies from the Mills Creek box sets and see how they all ranked. However, in order to do that I will need to review and rank this movie, Chase Step By Step. Now I remember a little bit of this movie from when I first watched it but the only thing I can say for sure is that it seemed to be the type of old school martial arts movie that I always enjoyed. Now lets see if my memory is correct.

The plot: As the performers of a circus are practicing their acts, the manager receives a message from a friend, saying he is sending 1000 gold pieces to be donated to the drought relief efforts in his home village and asks that he arrange an escort for it. In the drought stricken county, the governor and his cabinet are discussing the gold shipment and when they learn that there will only be 2 escorts, Yin Ling and Sao Wu, the captain of the guard recommends that they arrange an escort of their own. The governor agrees and tells the captain to assemble his best men but the captain says his men won’t be adequate for the job and suggests going to see his teacher, who should have some students that are more capable. The captain goes to his old teacher’s school and tells him the situation and the teacher assigns his two best students, Chin Wei and Gon Su(?), to the task. Meanwhile, Yin Ling and Sao Wustop to rest and eat when two bandits attempt to steal their cart but Yin Ling and Sao Wuuse their martial art skills to easily beat them, then continue on their way. The two bandits head back to report to their leader, who asks the direction that they were heading and if there are any inns near the area. Yin Ling and Sao Wu reach a town and stop at an inn, getting separate rooms for the night. As Sao Wu is preparing for bed, the inn’s hostess knocks on Sao Wu’s door and asks to come in. The hostess speaks with him briefly and, noting the suitcase of gold, offers to put it in the inn’s safe but Sao Wu refuses. As the hostess argues with him about it, Sao Wu accidentally rips her dress and offers to shield her as they head downstairs so she can change. As they leave his room, they pass Yin Ling and Sao Wu tells her to watch the suitcase but as he heads downstairs, he doesn’t see the look of jealousy that crosses her face. That night, the hostess tells the bandit leader about the suitcase and she says she can get the suitcase from Sao Wu , as he likes her. Later, the hostess goes to bring Sao Wu some tea and as they are talking, Yin Ling spies on them, then quickly ducks back to her room when Sao Wu notices someone outside and goes to investigate. While he is out, the hostess has an assassin enter the room, who attacks Sao Wu when he returns. Sao Wu is able to fend him off and Yin Ling, hearing the commotion, helps him kill the assassin. When they return to Sao Wu’s room, Yin Ling notices the suitcase is missing but Sao Wu says he knew they would try to take it and reveals that he had hidden the gold. At the bandit’s headquarters, the leader is upset to find the suitcase is full of rocks and kills the hostess. The next day, he attacks Sao Wu and Yin Ling himself but they are easily able to overpower him. The bandit leader goes to the school that the captain of the guard graduated from, revealing that the teacher is the real bandit leader, and the teacher decides on a new plan of action. Later that day, Sao Wu and Yin Ling see a young woman being attacked by 4 men and Sua rescues her, then offers to let her go with them until she gets home but once again, Yin Ling gets jealous. Later, the teacher meets with the woman and her father, revealing that they are some of his agents, and they come up with a plan to separate Sao Wu and Yin Ling. Sao Wu receives an offer to dinner from the woman and despite Yin Ling saying it is probably a trap, he goes anyways. Once there, the woman and her father continue to offer Sao Wu drinks until he gets drunk and passes out. Meanwhile, the bandit leader and some men enter the inn and the leader attacks Yin Ling. Back at the woman’s house, the woman kisses Sao Wu, who is pretending to be asleep, when a bandit whispers for her to get out. The woman goes to leave but Sao Wu grabs her and she ends up being killed by the knives the bandit threw, intended for Sao Wu. Sao Wu goes after the bandit and the two fight, with the bandit eventually being killed when he is impaled by his own sword. Back at the inn, Yin Ling manages to beat the leader but when she is attacked by two more bandits, the leader manages to snag her with some rope, threatening to kill her if she doesn’t tell him where the gold is. Sao Wu returns and rescues Yin Ling, then the two deal with the bandits but afterwards, Yin Ling slaps Sao Wu and leaves, saying he can continue without her. Meanwhile, the bandit leader heads back to the teacher’s school, where he is chastised and the teacher assigns another man to try and get the gold. The next day, Sao Wu takes the chest of gold to the river but the bandit, disguised as a ferryman, signals his men to attack him. Sao Wu manages to fend them off, killing the leader in the process, but three men manage to grab the chest and get it onto the ferry. Yin Ling is walking on the hill on the opposite side of the river and sees what is happening. She starts to walk away but, seeing the chest of gold being stolen, she jumps from the cliff and lands in the boat, killing two of the men and threatening to kill the third unless he pilots the boat where she wants. Sao Wu manages to kill the rest of the men on shore and calls out to Yin Ling but when she makes no move to bring the ferry to shore, he grabs a pole and uses it to pole vault to the ferry. Sao Wu tries to apologize to Yin Ling, telling her that she had saved the gold, but she is still mad and knocks him in the water but when Sao Wu pretends to be drowning, she goes back to rescue him only for him to drag her in the water as well. Later, as they are drying their clothes, Sao Wu and Yin Ling continue to argue but agree to put their differences aside for the sake of the mission. Continuing on their way, they are met by a stranger who wants to challenge them. Yin Ling attacks him first, with Sao Wu jumping in, but then Sao Wu decides to continue moving forward with the gold while Yin Ling distracts the man. When he reaches a chasm that has a vine stretched across to cross, Sao Wu takes the cart across, using his circus acrobatic skills to keep it balanced, and Yin Ling gets some distance from the attacker and jumps onto the cart. As they make their way across the vine, the attacker and a second man attempt to knock them off the vine by throwing rocks at them. When they reach the other side, the attacker and his accomplice renew their attack on the pair. The attacker uses a bladed disk to cut Sao Wu several times but Sao Wu is able to knock him down, then strangle him to death, while Yin Ling kills her attacker. As Sao Wu and Yin Ling continue on their way, they come across a militia, led by the captain and the teacher, who had been sent to meet them and are wary about it but the militia shows a letter from the governor, assuring them of their intentions. Sao Wu wants to continue to the city but Yin Ling says that they should leave the gold with the militia while they go about their own business and Sao Wu is persuaded to go along with her so he hands over the cart. Sao Wu tells them he will be by later to get a receipt for the delivery and the teacher tells him they will be having a dinner to celebrate the delivery that night. Sao Wu and Yin Ling head to the home of their teacher’s brother, who notices Sao Wu’s injuries and decides to tend to them so Yin Ling says that she will go get the receipt for the gold. At the teacher’s home, the captain says he needs to get the gold to the mayor’s house so it can be distributed but the teacher says he won’t allow the gold to leave his home. The teacher attacks the captain, then orders his men to kill him but the captain is able to fend them off, until Chin Wei and Gon Su get involved and kill him. The teacher opens the chest of gold and makes plans to move it but Yin Ling arrives and confronts them. The teacher has his men attack her and while she is distracted, Chin Wei and Gon Su leave with the chest. Yin Ling continues fighting, helped by the man who accompanied her, but the teacher attacks him and severly wounds him, forcing him to leave while the teacher then attacks Yin Ling. The injured man returns to the house, where his master leads him away to tend to his injuries, then asks what happened, trying to keep Sao Wu from hearing. The man tells him what happened and Sao Wu, who had overheard them, races off to help Yin Ling. Sao Wu arrives at the house and Yin Ling tells him to deal with the teacher while she goes after the gold.  After talking briefly, Sao Wu and the teacher head up to a nearby hilltop to begin their own battle, with Sao Wu winning when he is able to knock the teacher off the cliff. Meanwhile, Yin Ling races off and catches up to Chin Wei and Gon Su, where she begins fighting with Chin Wei. Gon Su takes the cart and tries to run Yin Ling over with it, with Chin Wei attacker her while she is distracted, but she is able to avoid the cart and Chin Wei tells Gon Su to leave with the gold. Yin Ling catches up to Gon Su and continues fighting Chin Wei, with Gon Su tossing a sword to Chin Wei for him to use. Chin Wei continues fighting with Yin Ling and when she knocks the sword from his hands, he begins throwing knives at her, eventually pinning her to the ground by her hair but Yin Ling Jerks her hair free, sending the knife flying into Chin Wei’s chest. Meanwhile, Sao Wu catches up to Gon Su and begins fighting him and, with Yin Ling helping, manages to kill him, then Sao Wu and Yin Ling take the cart of gold and head back into town to finish their mission.

Well, I was right in my memory that this was the type of old school movie I enjoyed. To top it off, this was actually a pretty enjoyable movie. The acting was pretty good as far as I can tell, while the dubbing made things pretty funny, primarily between Sao Wu and Yin Ling. The main story was pretty good, as I liked the idea of them being constantly harassed and hounded by bandits that were after the gold because it made for a more exciting movie. However, the whole unrequited love angle that seemed to be going on between Sao Wu and Yin Ling was a little odd since it didn’t seem to get resolved, but it did make for some interesting situations. The fight scenes were pretty good and I liked the choreography that they had between the various fighters. A good bit of mindless entertainment that is great viewing for a lazy afternoon.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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martial arts, movie, movie review

Flashback Review: June 7th, 2014 Movie – The Brave Lion

the brave lion

Now I have always enjoyed watching some of the old school martial arts movies when I was a kid because you honestly didn’t need to know what was going on. All you were concerned with was all of the fights that would occur. Now, as an adult, I still enjoy watching some of those old school movies but I find myself wanting more of a plot involved with them. With the Martial Arts box set from Mills Creek that I have, I find myself confronted by numerous examples of those types of movies and have to admit that some are definitely better than others in that regards. Now to see how The Brave Lion fares in this regard.

The plot: During World War II Japan, two Japanese soldiers, Sirvaki and Mekoni (I have no idea how their names are spelled), are in prison awaiting execution but are offered a chance for freedom. Since they had spent time in China and know the language, they are ordered to take charge of a lumberyard in occupied China and make sure to fulfill an order that the Imperial Palace has placed. Some time later, the foreman at the lumberyard, Wong Shan, is disciplining one of the workers and when a second worker asks why he is beating him up. Wong Shan says it is his job, then begins fighting with the second man, eventually killing him. Mekoni, the manager of the lumberyard, had seen the fight and when he asks Wong Shan who started it, he says the first man and Mekoni  orders him strung up. When some of the other workers see this, they go after Wong Shan but he is able to fend them off until another man, Xiao Wing, stops the fight, telling Wong Shan they should discuss this. When the man is cut down, Mekoni is furious and beats the two men that had cut him down, then chastises the doctor for treating the injured man. Sirvaki asks Mekoni what they should do with the two men and he has them strung up and left out in the sun. As the two men bake in the sun, a young boy sneaks over to give them some water. Meanwhile, Mekoni speaks with Wong Shan, saying he knows that he started the fight. Wong Shan says it doesn’t matter as they need to get the job finished and Mekoni agrees with him. Later, a young woman is walking with the boy when they are approached by Mekoni, who accuses them of giving water to the men but doesn’t do anything to her as she is the niece of the lumberyard’s owner. The niece then goes to her uncle and tells him about what is going on and the owner orders the men released and tended too. He then goes to speak with the Mekoni but the Mekoni tells him that the order has been increased and they will have to work double shifts in order to fill it. Later, Wong Shan is ordering the men to work but when the refuse and several try to beat him up, he fights with them but it is eventually stopped when Mekoni tells them they can all take the night off that night. The men all cheer and head into town for the night but as they celebrate, the owner’s niece overhears Mekoni and Sirvaki speaking with a Japanese official about what to do with the men. The next day, the niece goes to tell Xiao Wing, one of the men that was tied up the other day, but Wong Shan, who is attracted to her, hears that she is there and when he sees her with the man, he begins fighting with him. The two men continue fighting until Xiao Wing manages to beat Wong Shan. Later, the two are in the doctor’s office, and the owner’s niece is tending to Xiao Wing’s injuries and when Wong Shan complains about her ignoring him, she decides to treat him by giving him an injection. Later that night, as the men are drinking, Wong Shan shows up and offers to be friends with Xiao Wing. Later, the owner’s niece meets with Xiao Wing and tells him about the Japanese men that met with the Mekoni and Sirvaki and how they plan on moving the men somewhere else once the job is completed. Later, Wong Shan and Xiao Wing are both motivating the men to hurry and finish the job, but some of the men are tired of Mekoni’s brutal reign and try to escape. Mekoni and Sirvaki catch up to some of them and they proceed to beat the men mercilessly. One of the men goes back to try and free them but he is attacked by Sirvaki and as he runs away, Mekoni and Sirvaki’s men chase after him and manage to catch and beat him close to death before Xiao Wing manages to chase them away. The dying man tells Xiao Wing that the other men are being killed, and Xiao Wing asks Wong Shan to come with him as he goes to try and stop it. At the lumberyard, the owner is saddened to see the dead men lying on the ground and asks Mekoni if he did it and Mekoni admits it and says he will kill anyone that gets in his way. Wong Shan, seeing the dead men, rushes off to attack Mekoni and is stopped by Sirvaki but before Sirvaki can beat him, Xiao Wing asks that he be let go and Sirvaki relents. Later that night, Mekoni asks Xiao Wing to be the new foreman but he refuses and Mekoni is shocked by the refusal. Meanwhile, the men all want to quit working for Mekoni and Sirvaki and though Wong Shan is reluctant to join in, the shame him into leading them. When Mekoni hears about this, he wants to have Wong Shan killed for his disloyalty. Later, Mekoni is told that Xiao Wing is not part of Wong Shan’s revolt and he praises the man, then orders Wong Shan to be found and killed but the niece’s young brother hears them and goes to tell his sister. The niece tells her brother to warn Wong Shan but he is too late as Mekoni’s men find him and begin attacking him. Wong Shan tries to fend them off before turning to run, only to see Mekoni and Sirvaki on the path below him with some more men. Wong Shan continues to try and fight and run but he is eventually killed and when Xiao Wing and some other men rush up, Mekoni tells them all to get back to work. Later, the girlfriend confronts her uncle about Mekoni and Sirvaki and accuses him of betraying their country to work with the Japanese. Meanwhile, the men all meet with Xiao Wing and convince him to lead them against Mekoni and Sirvaki. The next day, the niece and nephew go running to their uncle, telling him that some men have gone to destroy the bridge out of the area in order to disrupt Mekoni’s plans and Mekoni and Sirvaki go with the owner to the bridge to stop them. When they get there, they find the bridge is gone but Mekoni thinks it is all a trap and orders the owner’s niece and nephew captured so they can turn the trap on the workers. When the workers learn that the trap has failed, they decide to go ahead and gang up on the Japanese men and beat them up. Meanwhile, Xiao Wing sees the niece and nephew tied up to rocks and moves to free them when the niece warns him about the trap. Xiao Wing ends up facing off against some of Mekoni and Sirvaki’s men and manages to beat them but Mekoni attacks him with a whip while Sirvaki uses his size and strength to attack him. Xiao Wing manages to get free from their combined attack and as he runs up the hill, he continues fighting with them and manages to send Mekoni tumbling down the fill. Sirvaki continues fighting with Xiao Wing and send shim tumbling down the hill, where Mekoni is waiting for him but Xiao Wing manages to get Mekoni’s feet stuck in the mud and he is able to knock him unconscious. Sirvaki makes it back down and continues attacking Xiao Wing but Xiao Wing gets the upper hand. Sirvaki attempts to escape but Xiao Wing follows him and as they continue fighting on the train tracks, Sirvaki attempts to escape on a hand cart but runs into the blockade that Xiao Wing and the workers had set up earlier. Xiao Wing catches up to Sirvaki and continues fighting him but Mekoni, who has revived, gets in the nearby train and attempts to run Xiao Wing over. Xiao Wing sees the train coming and shoves Sirvaki down onto the tracks, causing Mekoni to run him over by mistake. Xiao Wing then renews his attack on Mekoni and as they fight all over the place, Mekoni eventually ends up being trapped in some of the lumber and Xiao Wing drops a log on top of him, killing him. As the niece, nephew, and workers show up, Xiao Wing collapses from exhaustion and they all rush to help him while back at the lumber mill, the owner sets fire to the lumber yard in order to prevent the Japanese from getting any of it.

Despite the multitude of fights, this was actually a pretty boring movie. The acting was ok I guess, while the dubbing was atrociously bad in such a hilarious way. The story had some basis in truth, as Japan did occupy China during WWII, but the plot of the movie was actually a little hard to follow. The worst part is that you really don’t have much clie who anyone is during the entire movie, which was incredibly annoying for me while trying to write this review. The fight scenes were plentiful but that honestly kind of made them seem boring because the whole movie ended up seeming like nothing but one giant fight. This is one of those movies that is ok to watch as a time suck, but don’t expect a lot out of it.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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action, blaxploitation, crime, drama, martial arts, movie, movie review

Flashback Review: April 29th, 2014 Movie – Black Cobra 2

black cobra 2

Ok, why is this series in the Martial Arts box set? There was hardly any sort of martial arts to be seen in the first movie, mainly a lot of shooting and some knife throwing. I honestly don’t remember when I first watched it but maybe there will be some actual semblance of martial arts in this movie. If not, then I will definitely feel even more gypped about this collection than I already am. Well, let’s just see what Black Cobra 2 has to offer.

The plot: In Chicago, Lt. Robert “Bob” Malone takes part in a sting operation to capture some drug dealers but when one of the suspects drives off on a motorcycle, Bob gives chase. When the suspect is hit by a car, the driver gets out to check on him and the suspect grabs her and holds her hostage, telling Malone to back off but when he briefly loses his footing, Malone shoots him in the head. The next day, Captain Marton chastises Malone for his reckless actions and as punishment, decides to send him to Manila as part of a law enforcement exchange program. When Malone arrives in Manila, a stranger strikes up a conversation with him as he eyes a man with a briefcase handcuffed to his hands. After taking his leave of Malone, the man uses the distraction provided by a couple of kids to quickly steal the briefcase and, after taking it to baggage claim, he places the claim ticket into an envelope and mails it before leaving the airport. As Malone gets his bags and goes through customs, he realizes that the thief had stolen his wallet and goes to chase after him but ends up stopped by airport security. Malone is turned over to Lt. Kevin McCall of Interpol, who escorts him to his hotel and warns him that he doesn’t want any trouble while Malone is here. The next day, Malone is going through mugshots of various criminals and picks out the man that pickpocketed him. McCall takes him to where the crook, Eddie Mallory. lives but when they go to confront him, they find him dead. As they search the room, Malone finds his wallet and when the cleaning lady spies the body, she starts screaming. Malone and McCall quiet her and ask her if she saw anything and when Malone finds a picture of Eddie with his daughter, the lady tells them where she lives. The two officers head to speak with the daughter, Peggy, to see if she has any information and afterwards, McCall invites Malone to his house for dinner. After dinner, Malone leaves McCall’s house but when he gets to his hotel, he asks the doorman about the bar the pickpocket’s daughter works at and heads over there. Malone sits at the bar and watches Peggy sing and after her set, she approaches Malone and tells him that she received an envelope from her father. The two go for a walk , where they talk about her father and as Malone escorts Peggy to her car, they are attacked by some men. Malone is able to fend them off and the attackers run when McCall and some police arrive. As some of the police chase after the attackers, McCall checks on Malone and Peggy, revealing that they had been following Malone when he went to the bar. The next day, McCall chastises Malone for trying to start an investigation while he is a guest in the country but agrees to follow up on the leads they have on the attackers. They head to a warehouse and question the owner, Asad Cabuli, as the car used in the attack was rented in his company’s name but he claims to have no knowledge of the events. As they are leaving, Malone tells McCall that he doesn’t trust Asad but McCall says they don’t have enough evidence to proceed further at the time. Meanwhile, Asad watches them leave and then makes a phone call, saying that Peggy has the briefcase. Fearing that Peggy was the target of the attack, Malone goes to speak with her and ends up taking her out to dinner. When they return to her place, Malone checks on the Interpol agent that is keeping watch on her place and then leaves but after he leaves, someone kills the agent and kidnaps Peggy. Malone is upset with McCall over Peggy’s kidnapping and heads back to the warehouse, beating up on some of Asad’s men to try and find out information about Peggy. McCall stops him and escorts him out of the building and into the car, before informing him that he had bugged the building’s phone. One of Asad’s men calls Asad to tell him about Malone being there and then grabs a shotgun and starts shooting at Malone and McCall. McCall is wounded but Malone manages to sneak up on the guy and after a brief fight, kills him. After making sure McCall is ok, the two head to the dock, where Peggy was being taken, and see her being carried by the men that attacked Malone the night before. Before they can rescue her, they are shot at by some men and are forced to take cover. Malone and McCall then make their way towards the warehouse that Peggy was taken too, killing their attackers along the way. Malone is able to reach the warehouse but finds that Peggy has been killed, and he kills the remaining attackers, while McCall manages to wound one of them, who Malone then knocks into the water before he can shoot them. After getting the wounded man and Malone out of the water, McCall has a search warrant issued for Asad’s business and they find the briefcase there but it is empty. Later that night, they decide to head to the hospital to question the surviving attacker and, finding the guard outside his room dead, McCall bursts in the room and stops Asad from killing the injured attacker. As they are interrogating Asad, news breaks out that the terrorists plan on blowing up a building and Asad attempts to use the distraction to try and escape, but McCall kills him. Heading to the building Malone and McCall come up with a plan to climb up the elevator shaft and break into the building, killing the terrorists and stopping them from blowing up the building. Some time later, Malone is heading back to Chicago and McCall and his family are there to see him off, with McCall and Malone shaking hands and admitting they made a good team.

Well, at least there was some martial arts action involved with this movie, albeit somewhat slow and uncoordinated. Still, this was a decent time suck of an action movie for the most part. The acting was ok, with Fred Williamson and Nicholas Hammond doing decent jobs as Malone and McCall respectively. The story was kind of confusing and honestly seemed to be dragged out for way longer than was necessary just basically fill the required time limit for the movie. I will say that I did laugh at the little goof in the movie where they had the same sequence of McCall and his family waving goodbye to Malone and his turning to wave back at them play twice. It was like a weird skip/repeat on the DVD. The action scenes were incredibly slow paced when it came to the fighting. Even some of the gun fights felt kind of slow. Like I said, it is a decent time suck of a movie but that is about all it is good for.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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action, adventure, comedy, fantasy, martial arts, movie, movie review

Flashback Review: April 24th, 2014 Movie – Big Trouble In Little China

big trouble in little china

Ok. I have been a fan of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for a long time, both as a wrestler and as an actor. That being said, I will never forgive him if his plans of remaking this movie ever come to fruition. I wish Hollywood would stop with the whole remaking everything possible instead of trying to come up with more original ideas. When it comes to this movie, this is one of those movies that I have always loved watching because it is so ridiculous. Ever since I first saw the trailer, where Kurt Russell’s character knocked himself out, I decided that this was a movie I had to see. I managed to watch it on HBO years ago and every time it came on TV, I would watch it. So of course I had to pick up a copy on DVD so I could watch Big Trouble In Little China whenever I wanted.

The plot: Egg Shen is talking with his lawyer, who asks him if he knows the whereabouts of Jack Burton, but Egg tells him to leave Jack alone, as they were in his debt. The lawyer persists in finding out what happened, as Egg is being blamed for the destruction of a city block in a ball of green flame, and Egg says it was magic, revealing himself to be a sorcerer himself, and starts telling the lawyer what all happened. Some time earlier, Jack Burton is driving his truck, The Pork Chop Express, outside of San Francisco to make a delivery and as it is being unloaded, he gambles outside of the warehouses with his friend Wang Chi and several other people. Jack ends up winning $1148 over the course of the night and as morning breaks, everyone else leaves to start work but Wang convinces Jack to stay for one more bet, offering double or nothing. Wang proposes to cut a bottle in half with a large knife and Jack takes the bet but when Wang goes to cut the bottle, the bottle ends up flying towards Jack, who quickly catches it, citing his reflexes. Jack asks Wang to pay up but Wang says he doesn’t have the money on him and asks Jack to stop by his restaurant later, as he has to go to the airport first, but Jack says he will give Wang a lift, as he wants to ensure he gets paid. At the airport, Wang is there to pick up his childhood sweetheart Miao Yin, who he intends to marry, but as they are waiting for her, Jack notices a woman, Gracie Law, and heads over to talk with her. As they are talking, members of a Chinese street gang called the Lords of Death push by them and Gracie gets nervous about why they are there. Gracie moves away from Jack and spots her friend, another Chinese girl, and calls out to her but the Lords of Death move to grab her. When Jack tries to intervene, one of them pulls out a knife and baton and moves to attack him, allowing a second member to sweep Jack’s legs out from under him. Miao Yin shows up but ends up being grabbed by the Lords of Death, who escape from the airport. A pissed off Jack decides to go after them and Wang tells him that they have a club in Chinatown. After following Wang’s directions through some alleys, they find their path blocked by a funeral procession of the Chang Sing. Jack starts to back up when he notices some other figures approaching and Wang says they are the Wing Kong, the rivals of the Chang Sing. A massive fight breaks out between the two gangs when suddenly, a burst of green fire erupts from the ground and the Three Storms (Thunder, Lightning, and Rain) appear and kill three members of the Chang Sing, before moving forward to continue fighting. Wang tells Jack to get out of there and as Jack drives forward, the Three Storms move out of the way but Jack ends up running over David Lo Pan. Stopping his truck to inspect the body, Jack discovers that Lo Pan is still alive and hsi eyes and mouth suddenly start glowing, temporarily blinding Jack. Wang helps him get away and splashes water on Jack’s eyes to restore his vision when they find themselves approached by the Lords of Death and are forced to run, only to discover that Jack’s truck has been stolen while the Three storms are slaughtering the Chang Sing. Making their way back to Wang’s restaurant, Jack is on the phone with his insurance company about his truck when Wang’s friend Eddie Lee shows up and tells him that the Lords of Death stole his truck. Gracie shows up, saying she feels bad as the reason Miao Yin was taken was because of her and tells them that She was taken to the White Tiger, an illegal brothel the the Lords of Death run. Jack, Wang, Gracie, and Eddie head over to the White Tiger and Jack heads inside on his own, leaving the others waiting outside. As they are waiting, Gracie sees another car pull up and heads over to it, as it is her reporter friend Margo, and she tells her what is going on. Inside, Jack tries to find out if Miao Yin is there when suddenly, the building starts shaking while outside, Wang and Eddie see a giant green cloud over the building. Suddenly, the Three Storms appear, blowing a hole through the roof and they grab Miao Yin, who was being held in a secret room, and fly off with her. Realizing that Miao Yin must have been taken to Lo Pan’s place, Jack and Wang head in there disguised as telephone repair men and attempt to locate her only to be captured by the Rain. Rain tortures them briefly before tying them up and taking them to see Lo Pan, who appears as a decrepit old man. Lo Pan asks Wang about Miao Yin, and Wang realizes that Lo Pan intends to marry Miao Yin in order to appease the God of the East, then sacrifice her in order to remove the curse that he was inflicted with. Suddenly, Lo Pan sees Gracie, Eddie, and Margo on the monitors and he has Jack and Wang taken away, while Thunder ends up capturing the others. Jack and Wang are taken to a cell but Jack manages to free himself and Wang, then quickly pretend to be tied up again when Thunder enters with Eddie. Jack jumps onto Thunder, holding his knife to his throat, while Wang helps Eddie down and they go to leave when Thunder suddenly starts expanding, sending Jack flying off of him and into one of the wheelchairs he and Wang were tied to. Jack goes rolling backwards down the hall, knocking out some Wing Kong fighters that were coming to deal with them, and Wang and Eddie quickly lock Thunder in the room and head out after Jack before Thunder gets free. The three go looking for Gracie and Margo and find them locked in cages along with several other girls and as Wang and Eddie deal with the guards, Jack frees all of the women. When Thunder arrives with more Wing Kong warriors, they all make a run for it, diving into a pool of water and making their way through the sewers. After climbing back up to the warehouse that Jack and Wang first entered, they go to leave only to find their way blocked by more Wing Kong warriors but Jack and Wang manage to deal with them. Jack and Wang create a distraction so they cna lead everyone past the front guards but Gracie ends up being captured by a strange, orange furred monster. Outside, Jack and the others find Egg and Wang’s uncle Chu waiting for them in Egg’s tour bus and the manage to get away but realize that Gracie is missing. Gracie is taken to the room where Miao Yen is being held and Lo Pan approaches her and uses his powers to mesmerize her, just as Miao Yin is, as Gracie has green colored eyes like Miao Yin. Back at Wang’s restaurant, Egg shows up with the surviving members of the Chang Sing and they head out with Jack and Wang to stop Lo Pan, making their way through the underground sections of the city and deep under the earth towards Lo Pan’s temple. Meanwhile, Lo Pan has the Three Storms initiate the test for Miao Yin and Gracie, both of him pass, and he has them prepared to be married to him to appease the God of the East, then will sacrifice Gracie and keep Miao Yin for himself. Jack and the others reach Lo Pan’s temple and encounter a beholder, which Lo Pan uses to watch for intruders. Seeing what the beholder sees, Lo Pan taunts Egg Shen until Jack shoots at the beholder, driving it away. Jack and the others reach Lo Pan’s office, wondering where everyone is, and after finding the secret elevator, Egg gives everyone a magic potion to help them in the upcoming battle. They take the elevator down and see Lo Pan in the midst of the wedding ceremony and Egg tells them all to wait until the wedding is completed, as Lo Pan would be mortal and able to be killed. When they spot the wounded beholder nearby, Wang stabs it with his sword but Lo Pan sees them and has the Wing Kong attack them. Wang and the others rush to meet them while Jack ends up knocking himself out briefly before joining the fight. As Wang fights with Rain, Egg uses his magic to save Jack from Thunder, then begins battling Lo Pan. Their battle ends in a stalemate and Egg leaves with Miao Yin and Thunder, while Lightning attempts to seal the door behind them, then leaves himself. Wang manages to kill Rain then chases after Miao Yin, while Gracie, having snapped out of the trance, gets Jack and the go after him, dealing with the orange furred creature in the process. Taking the elevator back to Lo Pan’s office, Jack and Gracie end up kissing before the doors open, and they go looking for Miao Yin. They find Lo Pan talking with her and Thunder and Jack approaches them, joined by Wang. Jack and Wang attack Thunder and Thunder ends up chasing after Wang, leaving Jack to deal with Lo pan. Jack throws his boot knife at Lo Pan but misses and Lo Pan lets go of Miao Yin and picks up the knife. Complimenting Jack on the knife, Lo Pan throws it at him but Jack manages to catch it and throw it straight back, embedding the blade in Lo Pan’s head and killing him. Jack then goes to help Wang, who returns to the room with Thunder in tow and when Thunder sees Lo Pan’s body, he begins swelling up and ends up exploding. Thunder appears and Jack and the others run away, getting help from Egg to escape while Egg ends up killing Lightning by dropping a statue on him. Making their way through Lo Pan’s building, they find Jack’s truck and get in, driving through the warehouse doors and getting away, as Miao Yin and Wang kiss. Back at Wang’s restaurant, Jack, Wang, Gracie, Miao Yin, Egg, Eddie, Margo, and Chu are celebrating their success and Egg leaves, telling Jack he had promised himself a vacation when he finally defeated Lo Pan. Wang hands Jack a check for triple the money he owed him, saying he earned it and Jack approaches Gracie and talks to her about selling his truck and settling down. She offers an alternative of his getting a bigger truck with a sleeper compartment big enough for two and he says he will think about it, then leaves. As Jack heads down the road, he is talking on his CB about his experiences, unaware that the orange furred creature had stowed away underneath his truck.

Big Trouble In Little China met with mixed reviews from the critics on it’s release but has since received more positive results, holding an 82% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Brimming with energy and packed with humor, Big Trouble in Little China distills kung fu B-movies as affectionately as it subverts them.” 20th Century Fox hired James Carpenter to direct the movie and rushed it into production, as they wanted to release it before a similarly themed movie, The Golden Child, came out. This fulfilled Carpenter’s wish to direct a martial arts movie but the mixed reviews from the critics left Carpenter disillusioned with Hollywood and influenced his decision to return to independent film making. The movie was a box office bomb, only earning $11.1 million off of a reported $25 million but has since become a cult classic.

This movie is so fantastically ridiculous to watch and so much fun as a result. Kurt Russell was great as Jack Burton, while Kim Cattrall (Gracie), Dennis Dun (Wang), and Victor Wong (Egg) were also good. The story was interesting, trying to mix a martial arts movie with a fantasy/sorcery movie and it made for an interesting blend of styles. I also loved how Jack was trying to make sense of everything that was going on before finally just accepting it, while Wang was struggling with the fact that all of the stories and fairy tales he was told as a kid were coming true. The special effects were pretty cheesy at times but a lot of the fight scenes were decent and helped make them enjoyable. This really is a fun movie and one that is worth watching if you are in the mood for some not so serious entertainment.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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action, martial arts, movie, movie review

Flashback Review: April 21st, 2014 Movie – The Big Fight (1972)

the big fight

Ahh, starting off the day with some martial arts action. This is a good way to get the blood pumping. Now the only question is, what kind of movie am I getting with this movie. Am I getting a movie that is mostly drama with a little bit of action, or a movie that is all action and no story. Personally, when it came to these 70’s martial arts movie that were all over the place, I generally preferred the ones that were a lot of action with no coherent story, though there were some obvious exceptions such as any Bruce Lee movie. Well, with a title called The Big Fight, one can only hope that there is a lot of action.

The plot: In WWII China, part’s of China was occupied by the Japanese, who set up tyrannical and oppressive rules to keep the citizens in line.At a dojo, a visiting Master, Master Woo, is watching the students and comments about one of them being a great fighter, then proceeds to fight and seriously injure the kid, much to the shock of the dojo’s master and students. Elsewhere, a farmer, Chou Hai-Chuan is stopped by a patrol of Japanese soldiers but when they try to force him to move his cart out of the way, he fights and kills all of them, then leaves with his cart. Hai-Chuan stops at a restaurant to eat, listening to a woman, Miss Liao, sing on stage as he does. When a man, Chin Tai, tries to accost the Miss Liao, she runs from him and ends up hiding behind Hai-Chuan. Not liking Hai-Chuan’s sticking up for the girl, Chin Tai orders his men to force him to leave but Hai-Chuan fights them and quickly runs Chin Tai and his men out of there. The owner cautions Hai-Chuan, saying that Chin Tai is friendly with the Japanese, which is why he acts like such a big shot around town. Miss Liao and her band tell Hai-Chuan to follow them and lead him out of town. As they are walking, Miss Liao stops and messes with a scarecrow and Hai-Chuan asks about it but she doesn’t answer, instead saying she knows who Hai-Chuan is and is happy to have run into him, as they had been looking for him. They continue walking and Miss Liao explains she is part of the rebellion against the Japanese and Hai-Chuan says that if she calls on him, he will gladly help. The group make their way through a Japanese checkpoint when they encounter Chin Tai and some more men, who begin fighting with them. The Japanese soldiers get involved but Hai-Chuan, as well as Miss Liao and her band, are easily able to kill them all. Meanwhile, Master Woo shows up at a woman’s house and talks with her briefly before he ends up raping and killing her. He later goes to his father, who asks why he killed the woman, and Woo tells him that she was a guerrilla who tried to kill him. Hai-Chuan leads Miss Liao and her band to his family’s dojo where they can stay, then goes for a walk with his fiance Shu-Shen. While they are out, Miss Liao goes looking for Hai-Chuan and encounters Woo, who tries to seduce her but she spurns his advances and when he tries to grab her, is able to fend him off until Hai-Chuan and Shu-Shen arrive and calm things down. Upset over the slight he received from Miss Liao, Woo eagerly goes out to handle the surprise census that the Japanese have ordered performed and when he goes to the inn, he finds the salt that Hai-Chuan had brought and has him arrested as a traitor. In the prison, Woo interrogates Hai-Chuan, claiming he brought the salt to make gunpowder in order to overthrow the Japanese occupation. Miss Liao and her band want to break Hai-Chuan out of prison but Hai-Chuan’s family choose to be more diplomatic and have Hai-Chuan and Woo’s teacher appeal to Woo’s father to get Hai-Chuan released. After he is released, Hai-Chuan heads to the dojo and is helping teach the class when Miss Liao appears and watches them. Suddenly, Woo shows up with some Japanese soldiers, saying he is there to capture unexpected intruders in the village. Searching the dojo’s grounds, Woo and the Japanese commander accuse one man of being a rebel and end up killing him, then the commander goes to rape the man’s wife but she kills him then shoots herself. Some time later, the Japanese general in charge of the area shows up at Woo and his father’s house and the Woo’s tell them their plan to help the Japanese take out the rebel fighters in the area by holding a tournament and having their best fighters take on the local fighters. During the first day of the tournament, the Japanese fighters (a judo master, sumo master, and karate master) kill two men and severely injure two more. As they discuss the situation later that night, Hai-Chuan says that they should try to avoid fighting in the tournament, as it is simply a means to draw them out. The next day, Miss Liao and Hai-Chuan’s teacher decide to go against Hai-Chuan’s wishes and end up competing and end up besting the three Japanese fighters, though Hai-Chuan’s teacher is severely injured in his fights. With their fighter’s defeated, the Japanese then summon the brother of the karate master, who is an even greater fighter, while Woo has the dojo attacked, killing most of the students, as well as Shu-Shen and Hai-Chuan’s brother. The young boy is angered at seeing his friends killed and goes after Woo, knowing he was responsible, but ends up being killed by the karate master. Hai-Chuan finds out about the attack and goes to stop the boy only to get there as he is killed. Hai-Chuan ends up fighting the karate master and is eventually able to kill him. Seeing their champion fall, the Japanese general orders his men to fire at Hai-Chuan, causing a riot in the crowd as they begin fighting with the Japanese. Miss Liao and her band join up with Hai-Chuan and help with the fight, eventually killing most of the Japanese leaders. Woo and his father are captured and killed by the angry villagers and Hai-Chuan and Miss Liao head out to continue fighting the Japanese.

This was a decent movie but, like most of these movies around this time, it was a little confusing. The acting was ok but the dubbing for the movie added to the confusion of what was going on in the movie more than telling the story at times.. The story was interesting, using the historical occupation as the setting making for a great plot device to explain the high tensions among people. Even with the setting helping things out, the story felt somewhat disjointed and didn’t seem to click as a whole, but I tend to attribute that disconnect with the dubbing a lot of times, as they try to make the dialogue fit their own story instead of it being what the original directors intended. The fight scenes were pretty well done and this did have a fair amount of good action in it. The one thing I didn’t care for was the ending, as it just stopped suddenly and didn’t seem to give any real resolution to the movie but left it too open ended. It’s a good time killer movie and definitely a fun movie to watch for fans of the genre.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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action, drama, martial arts, movie, movie review

May 13th, 2018 Movie – Weapons Of Death

weapons of death

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. I hope every takes the time to thank their mother for everything she has done for you in your life, or if your mother has passed on, take the time to remember the times you shared with her. Today’s movie has a slight Mother’s Day theme to it, in that a mother is willing to go to any lengths to get her daughter back, or get revenge if she is dead. Of course, a movie like this is going to be found in the Martial Arts box set so there is no telling how good it will be. Guess we will find out soon enough as I watch Weapons Of Death.

The plot: At a bar in San Francisco, a fight breaks out between a man named Carter and a group of thugs. A second man, Bishop, enters the bar and helps fight off the thugs, then offers Carter a job, which he agrees to take. The two men, along with two others, head outside the city and meet up with a large group of Chinese warriors in the hills led by Foon, who tells Bishop to take one of his men, Chong, with them as they head into Chinatown, to look after their interests. As they head to Chinatown, Bishop points out a house as they drive by and when Carter sees it, he recognizes it and asks if that is the reason he took the job and Bishop says that 18 years is a long time to wait for revenge. In Chinatown, Eric is teaching weapons training to his students, warning them not to get sloppy or bored in their focus as they will be unable to master the training. After class, Eric’s sister Angela is getting ready to go out with Paul, one of Eric’s students, but her mother, Sue-Lin, stops them, as she feels they are moving too fast. When Eric taunts his brother, David, for lacking focus during his class, Paul, who is going to pick up an order for Angela’s mother, convinces David to go with him. While David and Paul are out, Bishop and his men arrive at the dojo and attack Eric and his students, grabbing Angela and Sue-Lin before knocking them out. Curt hands Sue-Lin a note explaining everything before locking her in a room while they leave with Angela. Josh, another student, sees them leave with Angela and tells David and Paul when they return. The three head inside the dojo to find Eric’s mother tending to an injury Eric received while fighting Chong. Paul wants to call the police but Eric’s mom tells them know, as she will just pay the ransom, saying that they are dangerous men. Eric agrees to take the money and David, Paul, and Josh say they will go with him but his mother says that they will have a fifth member go as well, her husband. She calls her husband Curt and tells him about Angela being kidnapped and Bishop’s involvement, just as some men attack Curt. Curt is able to defeat them and after learning that Bishop had sent them, he tells Sue-Lin that he will meet her at Eric’s place. Meanwhile, Bishop and his men get a flat tire and while they are changing it, Angela grabs a sword from the van and attempts to escape and one of the men go after her, only for Angela to stab him with a sword and continue running. Back at the dojo, Curt arrives and briefly speaks with Eric, who is not happy to see him as Curt had walked out on them years ago. Curt then goes to see Sue-Lin and after they talk, she tells them that if Angela is dead, she expects Curt to kill everyone responsible, as Angela is his daughter. Back in the woods, Angela is still running when she is grabbed by a gang of bikers. Carter sees Angela with the bikers and, grabbing a heavy branch to use as a club, he approaches the gang and attempts to get her back peacefully, offering to buy her from them. When the bikers attack him instead, Carter starts fighting back and, when he grabs Angela’s sword, begins killing all of them. After grabbing Angela, he takes her to an abandoned mine to rest for a minute and Angela convinces him to help her escape. As they go to leave, they run into some of Foon’s men, who were looking for them, and Carter refuses to turn Angela over to them, saying he only answers to Bishop. Some of Foon’s men go to find Bishop so they can all go to Foon together and Carter goes with them but once they are out of sight from the group, he shoots them. Pretending to be wounded, he staggers back to the group and tells them someone is out there and shouts to head into the mine for cover but once there, he begins killing them all. With all of the men dead, Carter tells Angela that the gunshots will attract people so she should head for the road, where someone will help get her out of there. Carter heads back to where the bikers were and finds Bishop, Chong, and the other member of the gang there wondering what happened. Suddenly, they are met by Foon’s female fighters, who had been sent to look for them, and they say that they will find the girl and intercept the ransom while Bishop and his crew are free to leave. Back at the dojo, Curt, Eric, and Paul are finishing getting ready while David talks with Josh, who admits he saw everything happen but was too scared to act. The 5 men head out and soon come to where the van had stopped but as they investigate, they are attacked by Foon’s female fighters. Josh freezes up again while Curt and the others fight and kill the women while Paul takes the leader hostage. After the fight is over, Curt berates Josh for not fighting, yelling at him that he won’t be going with them, when the female leader manages to get away from Paul. Curt chases after her and as he makes his way through the woods, he sees Angela and calls out to her. Suddenly, Curt is struck from behind while the female leader grabs Angela and takes her to Foon. Josh manages to rescue Curt but as the two argue and begin fighting as Eric and the others arrive and Eric is forced to break them up. When David finds a picture of Sue-Lin in Curt’s wallet, Eric questions him about it and Curt tells him that when he was on a job out of town, Bishop and his men attacked and raped Sue-Lin and got her pregnant, with Bishop being the father. When she was born, he couldn’t deal with the thought and so that was why he left but now he wants to try and make amends. When they get close to the area, Curt and Eric continue to the meeting, sending David, Paul, and Josh to circle around to attack from behind. When they get there, the start talking with Foon and hand him the money but when Foon prepares to have Angela injured or killed to send back to Sue-Lin as a message, Curt kills the man holding her and then he and Eric begin fighting Foon’s men. David, Paul, and Josh join in and they start killing off Foon’s men, while helping to get Angela to safety. Angela eventually runs to where Bishop and his men are watching the fight and while his man grabs Angela, Bishop goes to kill her only to be stopped by Carter. Carter and Bishop begin fighting and as they do, Paul rescues Angela and the run off, with Carter eventually getting thrown off the cliff and Bishop chasing after them. Meanwhile, Eric eventually is confronted by Chong and the two continue their fight from the dojo but this time, Eric gets the upper hand and kills Chong. Angela is grabbed by Foon and when Curt goes to confront him, Bishop intercepts him and as Foon leaves with Angela, Bishop taunts Curt into fighting him. Curt kills Bishop and goes after Foon with Paul and when they catch up with them, Foon threatens to kill Angela but David, who sees them from a nearby hilltop, shoots Foon with several arrows. As David and Eric meet up with Curt, Angela, and Paul, they wonder what happened to Josh. Suddenly, the last of Bishop’s men comes staggering up before dropping dead, with a sword stuck in his back, and Josh drives up in the jeep and holds up the bag of money.

Honestly, this is kind of a boring movie. The acting was ok, with the characters doing pretty good in their roles. I especially liked Louis Bailey, as he had some great character development during the movie in struggling with his conscience over kidnapping Angela and attempting to help her escape. The story was kind of straight forward, with the various revenge aspects merging into one big storyline. The random gathering of bikers was honestly pretty odd and seemed to serve no real purpose except to help push Carter towards helping Angela instead of helping Bishop. The fight scenes were honestly pretty boring and not at all what I was hoping for. I did like the final fight between Eric Lee (Eric) and Gerald Okamura (Chong), mainly because of all the various weapons Chong was using. I especially liked the use of the twin hooks by Chong, as they were always an interesting weapon in real life and in the movies. A generic movie that is a time killer but that is about it.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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