My Favorite Fight Scene: Drunken Master

Posted in Hwang Jang Lee, Jackie Chan on November 14, 2017 by Michael S. Moore

Okay, after watching that terrible HBO Beggar So film, I just had to cleanse my palette with one of the greatest kung-fu films of all time. Jackie Chan would score a hit with this film, and continue his ascension into the top tier of martial arts stars! Check out this amazing final fight with Hwang Jang Lee (the First SuperKicker!)

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Review: Master Of The Drunken Fist: Beggar So (2016)

Posted in Cao Jun with tags , , on October 26, 2017 by Michael S. Moore

Starring  Cao Jun, Wang Meiying, Chen Zhihui, Zhao Olusheng

Fight Choreography by

Directed by Jian Yong Guo

Last year HBO teamed up with China to create HBO Asia, an arm of HBO to create original content coming from China. This may well be in response to pretty much everything that Netflix is currently doing. First up, they decide to do a DTV film retelling of the original drunken master Beggar So.

I’m not really sure what I think if this film.

The story starts as we meet a vain and prideful So Chan, a scholar summoned to the Emperor to take over as a military advisor (not really sure why they’d want a scholar instead of someone like, say, a general) but after sneaking into the emperor’s private kitchen and doing battle with an intruder skilled in drunken boxing, eunuch Song Fok-Hoi frames So Chan for, I think, doing exactly what he DID do. So Chan is beaten, his family killed, and himself banished from the court. So Chan is taken in by the Beggar Sect, led by Lau Pak-Gwai, the very man he fought in the Emperor’s kitchen. Knowing that his life is still in danger from Song, So Chan starts to train in the art of Drunken Fist, and eventually becomes good enough to get his revenge for his family…

The story is simple, and the characters are drawn in broad strokes, but you don’t really get invested in any of them. It also hurts that this film is tremendously inferior to other films about drunken boxing like the Jackie Chan Drunken Master series, where Beggar So is played wonderfully by Simon Yuen, or True Legend, with Vincent Zhao. This film does have a TV budget, but it could have done a lot more with it than it did. I never got the feeling of the passage of time with this film, as it seemed as if his family is killed, and he trains for a few days and becomes a Drunken Fist master. That’s not the film’s intention, but that’s the feeling. Also, I couldn’t help laughing at the fact that close to the climax of the film, So Chan learns the final missing pieces of the style after GETTING STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. That’s right. He gains drunken mastery the same damn way Barry Allen becomes The Flash. Not one bit of it is earned. The acting is okay but there are no standouts here. Competent is the best thing I can say for it.

 

The fight scenes are okay, and may even be good, but the camera work zooms in and out, shoots too closely, and the edits are too fast to truly appreciate the movements, and what’s maddening about that is I can feel the choreography is good if the camera would just STOP MOVING. And of course any film called Drunken-anything really can’t mess up one important scene: the training one. Drunken Master set a high bar and is in the running for best training scene ever, and this film doesn’t come anywhere near that. It starts well enough, but is far too short with no real story element added like comedy or even urgency. At the end if the film I’m not sure Beggar So is any different than he was at the beginning of the film. He’s no longer even a beggar.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 4

This is not a great or even good film, but there were some bones that HBO could set a better film on. Hopefully they have better films in the future. If not, this experiment won’t last long.

Review: Half Past Dead (2002)

Posted in Mike Moller, Steven Seagal, Xin Xin Xiong with tags , on October 16, 2017 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Steven Seagal, Ja Rule, Morris Chestnut, Nia Peeples

Fight Choreographer: Xin Xin Xiong

Directed by Don Michael Paul

Another film in the era I’ll name the Seagalissance: those films in the early 2000’s that use a particular formula to try and resurrect Seagal’s-about-to-go-to-DTV-purgatory-forever-career, namely teaming Seagal up with a rapper and kicking ass while DMX is “grrrrr-ing” with the background music.

So how does Half Past Dead fit into the Seagalissance (TM)?

Steven Seagal plays the awesomely action-hero-named Sascha (um…) an undercover CIA operative who is hunting the Russian crime boss who killed his wife years ago. He works as a gun for hire through his pal Nick (Ja Rule) when both men are captured and thrown into Alcatraz. While there the execution of a powerful crime lord is about to take place, and once he dies, the secrets to where he hid millions of dollars in gold dies with him. Of course a group of terrorists are going to make sure he doesn’t die before giving up the location of the gold, and stage an invasion of the prison led by 49er One (Chestnut). Sacha is able to escape and goes about the business of killing a whole lot of people Die-Hard style in order to stop 49er One from succeeding…

Um…yeah. I’m not going to lie, this film is pretty bad. The formula that worked for Exit Wounds is really tired and stale here, starting with the nonsensical story, which starts by offering up this revenge Sascha need to have with the Russian mafia, but then completely discards it, as if they thought “we’ll pick this up in the sequel”. Which of course will never happen, so the first few minutes of the film is a waste. It could’ve saved about 15 minutes by simply starting in the prison. The bad guys and their plan is not well though out, and they basically bungle their way into giving Sacha a chance to defeat them. The acting is bad, particularly on Seagal, who by this time is having issues even when he’s trying to play himself. Ja Rule is actually playing himself–or maybe no one told him this wasn’t a sequel to The Fast and The Furious--but either way he’s a really bad actor who needs to stick to rap music. Nia Peeples is wasted in this film and barely does anything, as her stunt performers do most of the work, and Chestnut isn’t convincing at all as a bad guy. This film screams “we owed someone a favor” all over it, especially with the extended cameo of the A-Team and Greatest American Hero ( along with most of the best TV shows of the 80’s) creator Steven J. Cannell as a government official.

The fight scenes are nothing much to write home about, the best martial arts scene is a duel between Seagal and their computer hacker, which would be be great if not for Seagal himself, and the quick cuts and tight edits of their hand to hand, which is a shame with the fight choreography of Xin Xin Xiong (Clubfoot from Once Upon A Time In China!) driving the film. Why they edited the film the way they did made me wonder why they brought such a talent into this project.

Outside of some great work from Mike Moller (a talent far better than this film deserved) this Die Hard rip off is one of the worse of Seagal’s filmography, and if you know most of those films, that is really saying something. The best thing this film did was finally kick Seagal to DTV hell forever, with the exception of Machete.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: (can I do negatives? No? Ok) 1

This film has no redeeming value whatsoever. Please feel free to watch water boil or paint dry. It’s a better usage of your time.

 

Beyondfest: How about a night with Jackie Chan?! October 6th!

Posted in Jackie Chan on September 27, 2017 by Michael S. Moore

All I can say is… wow. If you can get tickets to this event, I HIGHLY recommend you do! The films shown are amazing…and just to tell you, MIRACLES is one of the–if not THE–best Jackie Chan movie I’ve ever seen. This film alone would be worth it, but the chance to chill with the Chan himself? I’d run through a wall for that! Beyondfest is already looking to be an amazing event but this tops all!

 

Beyond Fest, STXfilms and SR Media are proud to announce Triple Threat: A Night with Jackie Chan on

Friday, October 6th at the Egyptian Theatre

 

In honor of Jackie Chan’s epic return to the big screen on Friday, October 13th in STXfilms’ THE FOREIGNER, Beyond Fest have partnered with STXfilms, a division of STX Entertainment, and SR Media, to present a very special triple bill featuring an uber-rare, in-person Q&A with the legend himself, the Cannonball, Jackie Chan.

 

Triple Threat: A Night with Jackie Chan consists of three films personally selected by Jackie Chan and opens with the rarely screened opulence of MIRACLES – MR. CANTON AND THE LADY ROSE. Immediately following MIRACLES, Jackie will join us for a moderated Q&A that will then be followed by 35mm screenings of POLICE STORY 3: SUPER COP and POLICE STORY.

 

Tickets for Triple Threat: A Night with Jackie Chan go on sale on Wednesday, September 27th at 12 PM PST and are available via Fandango. Doors will open at 6 PM with MIRACLES beginning at 7 PM.

 

MIRACLES – MR. CANTON AND LADY ROSE (QI JI)

1989, 127 min. Dir. Jackie Chan. DCP

Jackie Chan assumes triple duty as director, star and stunt coordinator in his exhilarating take on Frank Capra’s POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES. Set in 1930s Hong Kong, Chan plays “Charlie” (Kuo Chen Wah), a country boy who credits the lucky roses he buys from Madame Kao (Gua Ah-leh) for his ascension as he rises through the ranks to become a powerful gang boss. Winner of Best Action Choreography at the Hong Kong Film Awards, MIRACLES is often cited by Chan as one of his most personal and favorite directorial features. Complete an all-star cast of Hong Kong movie veterans, lavish sets, and stunning cinematography, MIRACLES is a visual feast in every sense.

 

POLICE STORY 3: SUPERCOP (GING CHAAT GOO SI 3: CHIU KUP GING CHAAT)

1993, Park Circus, 91 min. Dir. Stanley Tong. 35mm

The third installment of the wildly popular Hong Kong franchise pairs supercop “Kevin” Chan Ka-Kui (Jackie Chan) with Interpol inspector Jessica Yang (Michelle Yeoh from (CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON) as they aim take down a ruthless drug lord, Khun Chiabat (Kenneth Tsang). Quentin Tarantino called POLICE STORY 3’s action set pieces the “greatest stunts ever filmed in any movie ever,” and filming them wasn’t without risk as Chan dislocated his cheekbone during shooting. English dubbed version.

 

POLICE STORY (GING CHAAT GOO SI)

1985, 101 min. Dirs. Jackie Chan, Chi-Hwa Chen. 35mm

Following the disappointing reception of THE PROTECTOR in the US, Chan went back to Hong Kong and began working on what would be both a seminal moment in action cinema and the start of wildly successful franchise Acknowledged by Jackie Chan as his best action film, POLICE STORY introduced the world to Chan on a whole new level as police Inspector “Kevin” / Chan Ka-Kui, a relentless cop intent on smashing Chu Tao (Chor Yuen) crime syndicate at any cost. With Brigitte Lin and Maggie Cheung rounding out a stellar cast, POLICE STORY reigns supreme as a watershed moment in global action cinema and instantly cemented Chan’s place as a legend.

 

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It’s time for Beyondfest 2017!!

Posted in Jean-Claude Van Damme on September 7, 2017 by Michael S. Moore

BEYOND FEST ANNOUNCES ITS FULL SLATE FOR 

THE RETURN OF LA’S BIGGEST GENRE FILM FESTIVAL  

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vince Vaughn, Dario Argento, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Edgar Wright, Tommy Wiseau and Paul Williams headline a star studded roster of guests and a slate featuring 23 West Coast Premieres including BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99, THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER, and BEST F(R)IENDS.

Los Angeles, CA – Thursday, September 7, 2017 Beyond Fest, the highest-attended genre film festival in the US, is excited to announce its full slate of 2017 programming featuring 32 events and 23 West Coast premieres of cinematic excess. Co-presented by Shudder, Beyond Fest returns to Hollywood’s famed Egyptian Theatre for 12 days of movies, music and mayhem spanning Friday, September 29th – Tuesday, October 10th to generate funds for the nonprofit 501c3 American Cinematheque.   

With a diverse slate that includes films from all corners of the globe Beyond Fest is proud to open with BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 with director S.Craig Zahler returning with Vince Vaughn and Udo Kier in person, while closing night honors are bestowed upon Yorgos Lanthimos’ ferociously-twisted follow-up to THE LOBSTER, THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER. Other hotly-anticipated titles making their debuts include the World Premiere of Justin MacGregor’s BEST F(R)IENDS with Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero reunited and in person, Joe Lynch’s blissfully violent MAYHEM, and, courtesy of Amazon Prime Video, a very special theatrical premiere of JEAN-CLAUDE VAN JOHNSON with the Muscles from Brussels himself, Jean-Claude Van Damme, in person with the show’s cast and creators.

“While the two worst manbaby haircuts on the planet prepared for nuclear destruction, we prepped cinematic armageddon,” said Beyond Fest Co-Founder, Christian Parkes. “We’re immigrants and we saw DR. STRANGELOVE – we know how this ends – but at least we get to watch some great films with our heroes and friends and go out with a real bang.”

The most beloved genre films are highlighted with a series of special event screenings throughout the festival. Arnold Schwarzenegger takes center stage for an explosive 30th anniversary one-two punch of PREDATOR and THE RUNNING MAN. The Master, Dario Argento, will be in attendance to celebrate the 40th anniversary of SUSPIRIA with screenings of Synapse Film’s 4K restoration AND the recently unearthed 35mm print. ‘Car Chases, Collisions & Conversation: An Evening with Edgar Wright and Walter Hill’ covers four decades of filmmaking and the interrelated nature of the pulsating smash BABY DRIVER and the seminal THE DRIVER in one epic night. Musical maestro, Paul Williams, will share stories from behind the mask of PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE. Mick Garris and Masters of Horror preside over a reverential tribute to two of the greats – George A. Romero and Tobe Hooper –  with a double bill featuring the West Coast premiere of MOMA and FIlm Foundation’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 4K digital restoration and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. And the theatrical premiere of NAPOLEON DYNAMITE BOOTLEG EDITION pairs a totally gonzo WTF double bill with HOWARD THE DUCK on 70mm with Lea Thompson in person.

Beyond Fest welcomes the return of genre streaming platform Shudder as its co-presenting sponsor, a partnership that provides 14 screenings (11 West Coast premieres) absolutely free to film fans. Every night, the 90-seat ‘Shudder Theatre’ will feature a brand new film selected from across the world including Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s triumphant return BEFORE WE VANISH, home invasion thrill ride BETTER WATCH OUT, the critically acclaimed Canadian zombie shocker LES AFFAMES (THE HUNGRY), Marc Meyers’ searing portrait of a serial-killer-in-the-making, MY FRIEND DAHMER, Alexandre O. Phillippe’s revelatory PSYCHO shower scene doc 78/52, and Ted Geoghegan’s sophomore scalper, MOHAWK.

For Cinematic Void’s sidebar they have enlisted the help of like minds as they venture further into the unknown with a series of special screenings. Author and academic Kier La Janisse will be present for Jean Rollin’s THE GRAPES OF DEATH and the release of the book, Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin which she is publishing. Friday Night Frights are co-presenting the west coast premiere of the 4K restoration of the thoroughly bugnuts RAWHEAD REX and the Death Waltz Records record release of HELLRAISER on 35mm. And filmmakers Amy Holden Jones and Deborah Brock will be present for a double bill of anniversary screenings of their films SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE and SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II.

Tickets go on sale starting noon on Friday, September 8th on Fandango.  See below for the full lineup of Beyond Fest 2017.

EGYPTIAN THEATRE

BABY DRIVER

Director: Edgar Wright

Country: USA

Runtime: 102 min.

Year: 2017

GUESTS: Edgar Wright & Walter Hill in Person

BAD BLACK  (free screening)

West Coast Premiere

Director: Isaac Nawibana

Country: Uganda

Runtime: 60 minutes / Year: 2016

BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM

Directors: Bruce Timm, Eric Radomski

Country: USA

Runtime: 76 min.

Year: 1993

GUESTS: Andrea Romano plus voice actors TBA in Person

EGYPTIAN THEATRE- Continued

BEST F(R)IENDS

World Premiere

Director: Justin MacGregor

Country: USA

Runtime: 95 min.

Year: 2017

GUESTS: Tommy Wiseau, Greg Sestero and Justin Macgregor in Person

BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99

West Coast Premiere

Director: S. Craig Zahler

Country: USA

Runtime: 132 min.

Year: 2017

GUESTS: S. Craig Zahler, Vince Vaughn and Udo Kier in Person

DOUBLE IMPACT

Director: Sheldon Lettich

Country: USA

Runtime: 110 min.

Year: 1991 / 35mm

GUEST: Jean-Claude Van Damme and Sheldon Lettich in Person

THE DRIVER

Director: Walter Hill

Country: USA

Runtime: 90 min.

Year: 1978 / 35mm

GUESTS: Edgar Wright & Walter Hill in Person

HELLRAISER

Co-presented with Death Waltz Records + Friday Night Frights

Director: Clive Barker

Country: USA

Runtime: 94 min.

Year: 1987 / 35mm

ICHI THE KILLER – Digital Restoration

West Coast Premiere

Director: Takashi Miike

Country: Japan

Runtime: 129 min.

Year: 2001

EGYPTIAN THEATRE- Continued

HOWARD THE DUCK – 70mm

Director: Willard Huyck

Country: USA

Runtime: 110 min. 

Year: 1986 

GUESTS: Lea Thompson in Person

JEAN-CLAUDE VAN JOHNSON – Episodes 1 & 2

Presented by Amazon

World Premiere

Director: Peter Atencio

Country: USA

Runtime: 60 min.

Year: 2016

GUESTS: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Peter Atencio, Dave Callaham, Kat Foster, Moises Arias.

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER

West Coast Premiere

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Country: UK, Ireland

Runtime: 109 min.

Year: 2017

MAYHEM

West Coast Premiere

Director: Joe Lynch

Country: USA

Runtime: 86 min.

Year: 2017

GUESTS: Joe Lynch and cast in person

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE – THE BOOTLEGGED EDITION

Theatrical Premiere

Director: Jared Hess

Country: USA

Runtime: 96 min.

Year: 2004

GUESTS: Cast and crew in person

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD – 4K Restoration

West Coast Premiere

Director: George A. Romero

Country: USA

Runtime: 96 min.

Year: 1968

GUESTS: Mick Garris & Masters of Horror in Person

EGYPTIAN THEATRE- Continued

OPERA (aka TERROR AT THE OPERA)

Director: Dario Argento

Country: Italy

Runtime: 100 min.

Year: 1987

GUESTS: Dario Argento in Person

PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE

Co presented with Creature Features

Director: Brian De Palma

Country: USA

Runtime: 92 min.

Year: 1974

GUESTS: Paul Williams in Person

PREDATOR

Director: John McTiernan

Country: USA

Runtime: 107 min.

Year: 1987 / 35mm

GUESTS: Arnold Schwarzenegger in Person

RAWHEAD REX 4K Restoration

Co presented with Cinematic Void and Friday Night Frights

West Coast Premiere

Director: George Pavlou

Country: USA

Runtime: 89 min.

Year: 1986

THE ROOM

Director: Tommy Wiseau

Country: USA

Runtime: 99 min.

Year: 2003

GUESTS: Tommy Wiseau, Greg Sestero and Guests in Person

THE RUNNING MAN

Director: Paul Michael Glaser

Country: USA

Runtime: 101 min.

Year: 1987 / 35mm

GUESTS: Arnold Schwarzenegger in Person

EGYPTIAN THEATRE- Continued

SUSPIRIA – 4K Restoration

LA Premiere

Director: Dario Argento

Country: Italy

Runtime: 100 min.

Year: 1977

GUESTS: Dario Argento, Udo Kier, Barbara Magnolfi in Person

SUSPIRIA – 35mm Italian Cut

LA Premiere

Director: Dario Argento

Country: Italy

Runtime: 98 min.

Year: 1977

GUESTS: Dario Argento and Barbara Magnolfi in Person

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE

Director: Tobe Hooper

Country: USA

Runtime: 83 min.

Year: 1974

35mm

GUESTS: Mick Garris & Masters of Horror in Person

SHUDDER THEATRE

78/52 (Free Screening)

West Coast Premiere

Director: Alexandre O. Philippe

Country: USA

Runtime: 91 min.

Year: 2017

BEFORE WE VANISH (Free Screening)

West Coast Premiere

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Country: Japan

Runtime: 129 min.

Year: 2017

BETTER WATCH OUT (Free Screening)

West Coast Premiere

Director: Chris Peckover

Country: Australia, USA

Runtime: 85 min.

Year: 2016

SHUDDER THEATRE – Continued

COLD HELL (Free Screening)

West Coast Premiere

Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky

Country: Austria

Runtime: 92 min.

Year: 2017

THE GRAPES OF DEATH AKA Les Raisins de La Mort (Free Screening)

Director: Jean Rollin

Country: France

Runtime: 90 min.

Year: 1978

HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE (Free Screening)

West Coast Premiere

Director: Jon Schnitzer

Country: USA

Runtime: 88 min.

Year: 2017

JAILBREAK (Free Screening)

West Coast Premiere

Director: Jimmy Henderson

Country: Cambodia

Runtime: 92 min.

Year: 2017

LES AFFAMES (Free Screening)

West Coast Premiere

Director: Robin Aubert

Country: Canada

Runtime: 100 min.

Year: 2017

MOHAWK (Free Screening)

West Coast Premiere

Director: Ted Geoghegan

Country: USA

Runtime: 91 min.

Year: 2017

MY FRIEND DAHMER (Free Screening)

West Coast Premiere

Director: Marc Meyers

Country: USA

Runtime: 107 min.

Year: 2017

SHUDDER THEATRE – Continued

REVENGE (Free Screening)

West Coast Premiere

Director:  Coralie Fargeat

Country:   France

Runtime:  108 min

Year:  2017

SEQUENCE BREAK (Free Screening)

West Coast Premiere

Director:  Graham Skipper

Country:   USA

Runtime:  108 min

Year:  2017

GUESTS: Graham Skipper, Cast and Crew in Person

THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE (Free Screening)

Co-presented by Etheria and Cinematic Void

Director: Amy Holden Jones

Country: USA

Runtime: 77 min.

Year: 1982

GUESTS: Amy Holden Jones in Person

Double Feature with SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II

THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II

Co-presented by Etheria and Cinematic Void

Director: Deborah Brock

Country: USA

Runtime: 77 min.

Year: 1987

GUESTS: Deborah Brock in Person

Double Feature with SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE

Attend Beyond Fest:

Tickets for Beyond Fest 2017 are will be made available for purchase through Fandango and the American Cinematheque on Friday, September 8th at noon PST.

For the latest developments, visit the Beyond Fest official site www.beyondfest.com and follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

Review: Savage Dog (2017)

Posted in Cung Le, David No, JuJu Chan, Marko Zaror, Scott Adkins, Uncategorized with tags on August 29, 2017 by Michael S. Moore

Scott Adkins and Marko Zaror have a really, really bloody rematch! And Keith David!!

 

Starring Scott Adkins, Marko Zaror, Cung Le, Keith David, Juju Chan

Fight Choreography by Luke LaFontaine

Directed By Jesse V Johnson

Savage Dog is a period film set shortly after the French Indochina War in 1959 tells the story of Martin Tillman, an Irishman and displaced soldier, spending his days as a prisoner of Von Steiner, a sadistic jailer who pits Tillman into a series of martial arts fights with various opponents for money. When not fighting, Tillman spends his time in prison being visited by a local flower girl, Isabelle(Chan). When pressured by a British government official, Steiner releases Tillman, but since Tillman is still a wanted man, he chooses to hide out at a local bar run by Valentine(David) and also the home of the flower girl, where a romance blossoms, but as it happens in action films, Steiner brings Tillman back, but when Steiner and his henchmen go after his love, Tillman goes on a rampage to ensure Steiner never bothers anyone ever again…

It’s nice to see Scott Adkins and Marko Zaror leave their comfort zones and do a period film, and the production values looked great on what had to be a small budget. The story is well done, with, for a change, the villain Steiner being a more well rounded character, with his own motivations, and surprisingly, regrets. Scott Adkins is good here, but, from an acting standpoint, isn’t much of a stretch from most of the characters he plays. The same goes for Marko Zaror, but he is actually a more chilling villain here than in his other bad guy roles. He’s a real bastard here, and I want to see more of him in this mode. Keith David is KEITH MOTHERFU&@!ing DAVID! He’s the spice that makes ANY film better, and he brings his patented coolness here as both the star and narrator. He’s so cool he gets to dispense with a solid rule of cinema that isn’t supposed to be broken. But he can do that, ’cause he’s Keith Motherf&%^!ing David. Cung Le is okay here, but his character gets to real development until his final lines in his fight with Adkins. It made me wish the film had done more than mention his viscous general’s backstory.

The fights here…Let’s get to that.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s brutal. Like they watched the The Raid 2 and said “Hold my beer.”

The blood flows like a river in this film, and I have to admit I’ve never seen the like. You know, like watching a guy get shot with a shotgun in the face point blank. Twice. Or even what Scott Adkins does to Marko Zaror at the end…I can safely say I’ve never seen an action star at ANY level do what he does! It was shocking, but really hearkens back to the title of the film.

The fights are technically well done toward the beginning, but with the exception of a quick fight with stuntman/actor David No, I was really marking time until we get to the main event: Scott Adkins versus Cung Le and Marko Zaror. The Cung Le fight is short, but Le acquits himself well here as the choreography matches his strengths as a martial artist but not at the expense of having Adkins take the petal off the gas, so to speak. It’s a good fight that’s only marred by how cheaply the film ends it, but now we come to the true event, the Undisputed 3 rematch between Adkins and Zaror, and it’s great. First with weapons, both men show why they are awesome, moving fast but their movements are precise, and that knife Marko had…I would NOT want to get stabbed with that sucker. But then the weapons go away.

And then it gets REAL.

The director knows what you want. The fight choreographer knows what you want. Scott Adkins and Marko Zaror sure as HELL know what you want. And they made sure you get it! The fight is everything I was wanting it to be. So help me they put on a clinic in beautiful kicking of every kind. And the music with the furious violin playing during it? Holy hell they hit the sweet spot. The fist work was well done, and the fight lasted exactly as long as it needed to given the story and characters.

Bravo, Jesse V Johnson. Bravo. Now do it again!

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 8.5

One of Scott Adkins’ best films. Marko Zaror establishes himself as a great villain, and Keith David does Keith David things. Bring on the sequel!