Archive for MMA

Review: Kickboxer 2: Retaliation (2018)

Posted in Alain Moussi, Christopher Lambert, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mike Tyson with tags , on March 28, 2018 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Alain Moussi, JCVD, Mike Tyson, Christopher Lambert, Sara Mulakul Lane, Renzo Gracie, Sam Medina, Hafthor Bjornsson

Fight Choreography by Jim Khaowwong

Directed by Dmitri Logothetis

Directed by Alain Moussi returns as Kurt Sloane, now a few years removed from the kumat-the Ques-the–let’s just call it a tournament where he defeated Tong Po. Now having taken Lui from the previous film as his wife, they are enjoying a romantic train ride when Kurt is taken captive, and tossed into a backwater prison run by warden Thomas Moore (Lambert, with the most boring character name ever), who wants Kurt to fight in another match versus his champion, Mongut (Bjornsson)(why do these films have white guys with Asian names? I mean, just call the dude Hafthor. That’s pretty badass too).  In order to help Sloane prepare for the fight, Moore brings in Master Durand (JCVD) but this time with a catch: Durand has been blinded since he last saw Kurt for his being “complicit” in the murder of Tong Po, and tossed into prison by Moore. Now, with both Durand and a new teacher in convict Briggs (Tyson) Sloane must enter the ring for a fight to the death with a killing machine…

Moussi. JCVD. Tyson. Lambert. Bjornsson. For goodness sake why not just make a sequel to Street Fighter instead? Let me have a go at this. JCVD back as Guile, Tyson as Balrog, Bjornsson as Zangief, Moussi as Ken, Lambert taking over as M. Bison. Your welcome, Hollywood.

But I digress. The story here runs a bit overlong for the subject matter, and some better editing may have made this a leaner, faster moving film. Despite this the film has hiccups, where things move fast and then grind to a halt, ramps back up, and goes back down again. Moussi is about the same as he was in the previous film, not bad, but not great either. JCVD seems to like playing the blind man, and makes the most of his screen time, but there is a bit less of him fighting in this film, which is a little disappointing as he still looks great onscreen. Tyson is a LOT better here than he was in Ip Man 3, and brings some humor to the proceedings, but his acting still needs a bunch of work. Bjornsson is just a giant monster here, who spends most of the film growling at everyone. Christopher Lambert looks like he’s having fun as the villain, and it’s a welcome sight to see him back in the world of martial arts action films (The Hunted is still one of my favorites).

The fights in the film vary in quality, some of it due to how it was filmed. There are two scenes where we get a tracking one-shot of Sloane fighting and assortment of baddies as he traverses a building under construction, and then while chasing one of his wife’s kidnappers to the song “Wipeout” (which is as cheesy as it sounds). It’s okay but the choreography is simple and the movements aren’t too exciting, but after watching Tony Jaa and Iko Uwais raise the bar on one take fight scenes, it was underwhelming in comparison. So too was the fight between JCVD and Mike Tyson, which should have been the main event of the film, but here is just a little give and take before they buddy up. There was one fight scene I didn’t know I always wanted to see but did.

Jean-Claude Van Damme vs. Christopher Lambert.  That’s right, OG Sloane versus the God****n Highlander. Swords and kicks rule the day here, and it was great. Great enough that I really want to see a rematch in a film just about those two Frenchmen. Actually if they had just killed off Sloane and made it a Durand vs Moore film I would’ve been in heaven. As it stands, we have a nice fight scene between two screen legends. The other fights where Moussi fights a bunch of cannon fodder is okay and entertaining, but nothing really stands out about them. The final fight against Mongut drags on far too long, and doesn’t have enough excitement to really stay invested, since Sloane gets beaten about a thousand times, and has three or four different “he’s down for the count! But Wait! He’s still got some fight in him! He’s getting up!” Ugh.

Maybe it’s time for Kurt Sloane to stay down.

Oh yeah. Last gripe: No Stan Bush. No Sasha Mitchell.

Once again, no Stan Bush. But never fear, I got ya’ll covered:

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 6

Kickboxer: Retaliation doesn’t really do much for me as a sequel film, but adding Lambert classes up the film nicely. Hopefully part 3 can bring it all together. 

 

 

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Blu-Ray Review: In The Blood (2014)

Posted in Gina Carano with tags , , on June 2, 2014 by Michael S. Moore

 

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Starring Gina Carano, Luis Guzman, Stephen Lang, Danny Trejo, Amaury Nolasco, Cam Gigandet, Treat Williams, Ismael Cruz Cordova

Fight Choreography by Ben Bray

Directed by John Stockwell

American films have been looking for “the next big thing” for a while, particularly in the world of martial arts films. As MMA is the popular martial art in the US, it only makes sense that a star might come from those ranks. Gina Carano appears to have it all: she’s a successful fighter with a built-in fan base, she has model looks, and a good personality. The intangibles are whether she can act ( that can be developed. Just look at JCVD) and whether she has that “something”. I first saw her in Blood and Bone, and she looked great onscreen. Then she did Haywire, and now comes back with this film, and she’s looking like she getting the hang of things.

In The Blood stars Carano as Ava, a young woman who is getting married to Derek Grant (Gigandet), a man who comes from a wealthy family. Ava was raised by her father Casey (Lang, in a VERY short role) and taught how to fight. Casey was an outlaw, and raised Ava with his warped principles. One night he is killed by some former “associates” and in turn young Ava kills them. Somehow Ava isn’t caught, but it caused her to spiral into drugs. It’s at a narcotics anonymous meeting that she meets Derek, and once they are married, against the wishes of his father Robert (Williams) they take off on their honeymoon in the Carribean islands. While there they meet Manny (), a young man who lives on the island and knows where to go for a good time. Ava and Derek form a rapport with Manny immediately, and they take off to a club on the island owned by Big Biz (Trejo) and afterward they go zip-lining. During a particular zip line, Derek falls, and is injured, but after he is loaded in an ambulance, the ambulance, with Derek disappears. Ava desperately searches for Derek, but must deal with an uncaring police chief (Guzman) and finds herself descending deeper into the dark heart of the island, where corruption, drugs, money and guns are the weapons of choice, and Ava must turn into the daughter Casey raised her to be if she expects to find her husband or avenge his death…

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The story here gets off to a slow start, and seems stilted, particularly in the early scenes with Carano and Gigandet as they are shown doing all the lovey-dovey stuff, but after Derek disappears, the film kicks into high gear as an action thriller. Carano is sure handed in her action scenes and her general bad-assness, but she comes off really flat during the vacation scenes. She just doesn’t quite look comfortable yet with quiet, “nice” scenes. However, when ass-kicking or intimidation is called for, she’s great. Luis Guzman (Traffic, The Land Stand) is great as the chief who may not be what he seems, and Danny Trejo (Machete) is great to see as Big Biz, but I wish he had been in the film more. The same could easily be said for Stephen Lang (Avatar, Tombstone) who is absolutely terrifying as Casey (in a good way). Ismael Cruz Cordova does a great job as Manny, a young man who is more than what he appears to be, and Amaury Nolasco (Transformers, Justified) is great as the drug dealer Silvio who runs the island. I won’t say anything more as the story has a pretty good twist toward the end that changes things for Ava. Once again, just like Haywire, Carano is surrounded by excellent talent. Director John Stockwell (Into the Blue, Blue Crush, Turistas) does a good job shooting the film, for the most part. I thought the somewhat digital look gave the film more immediacy as things get more hellish. 

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The fights are okay, but I’m still not entirely convinced that traditional MMA can work in film. I think a hybrid version, like what Donnie Yen has done with Special ID, Flashpoint, and Killzone works best, but what is on display here is pretty decent. I had some issues with the fights are they came close to becoming the Bourne “shaky cam” fights, but avoided it for the most part. The gunplay was actually good here, and Gina looked convincing as she blasts quite a few bad men into oblivion. 

BLU-RAY/ EXTRAS: The blu-ray transfer of the film looks great. There isn’t much in the way of extras here except for a making of video. It’s okay, but I wish they could have added more.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 8

In The Blood is a tense action thriller that proves that Gina Carano is here to stay as she tears her way across the Caribbean in a film full of action, suspense, and danger. I had a lot of fun with this.

 

Review: Brawler (2011)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on September 12, 2012 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Nathan Grubbs, Marc Senter, Bryan Batt, Pell James

Fight Choreography by Garrick Palumbo

Directed by Chris Sivertson

The film stars Nathan Grubbs and Marc Senter as brothers Charlie and Bobby Fontaine, respectively, two brothers who are brawlers in the underground riverboat fights taking place in New Orleans. Both boys are at the top of their game, but while Charlie just likes to fight, his younger brother Bobby gets into trouble with drugs and money with the mob that runs those illegal fights. Charlie is also newly married to Kat (James), a pretty but absent woman whom Charlie is devoted to. Before long Bobby’s problems with the mob get worse, and a group of thugs come to his home to teach him a lesson, and he promptly fights them off, and soon Charlie comes to the rescue, but Bobby is unable to save Charlie from a vicious baseball bat to the knee.  Charlie recovers, and two months later finds him working in a construction job while Bobby, who is hiding out from mob, lives with Charlie and Kat, but before long the drug-addled Kat and Bobby have sex, and are both caught by Charlie, who rages against them both, and challenges Bobby to a fight to the death on the riverboat, but are the bonds of brotherhood stronger than a mistake?

On the outside Brawler looks like it’s cut from the same cloth as the Never Back Down series, and nothing can be further from the truth. The fact that this is based on a true story lends it a certain credibility, and the story itself isn’t so much about the fight but the chain of events that lead up to the fight. Charlie is the more level-headed of the two, but perhaps suffers from not being able to see some people (Bobby and Kat) for who and what they really are, and tries to make life work for them all, but once the betrayal occurs Charlie’s world order is destroyed, while Bobby seemingly could care less. Both Grubbs and Senter do a good job as the feuding brothers, and Bryan Batt (Mad Men) is good as the gay high-roller friend of Bobby who doesn’t understand how much danger he’s really in. Pell James is also great as Kat, not really eliciting any sympathy, and that may be the point. Kat’s soul was crushed long before Charlie came into her life. In the end he was just the victim of Kat’s own self-destructive nature.

I had a few issues with the film from a technical level. Some of the night scenes, especially the indoor scenes, were entirely too dark. It was hard to see the actors at times. Some of the placement of shadows were good, but too many times it distracted from the story. There were also moments where the volume of the music overpowered the dialog being spoken. The music does deserve a special mention, as the blues and bluegrass music used was stellar. A fantastic display of music cuts into the film in the right moments. They need to make this soundtrack available! The use of New Orleans and Louisiana was well done, and the city really became a character of its own, adding to the mood of the proceedings.The worse things got for Charlie and Bobby, the worse the backdrop around them became, reflecting their world.

The fights were okay, and were decently shot, and most take place in the cage ring, and there isn’t a lot of complex movement, but the point is reality here, and it succeeds in that more than most films of this nature. The final fight is more a dramatic fight that a rah-rah one, and builds some suspense as to how far each brother is willing to go to win.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 7  

Brawler is a solid film that uses the backdrop of Louisiana to tell the story of two brothers and the betrayal that threatens both their lives. A well done drama.

NEXT: Yuen Biao and Brigette Lin lead an all star cast in Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain!

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Review: The Expendables 2 (2012)

Posted in Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li, Randy Couture, Scott Adkins with tags , , , on August 18, 2012 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Jet Li, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Scott Adkins, Liam Hemsworth, Yu Nan

Fight Choreography by Don Theerathada (also as Don Tai)

Directed by Simon West

The first Expendables film was a modest hit, showing that the old aging action stars still had what it took to carry a film. More must be better as more stars are added and Stallone, while co-writing the story handed the directing chores to Simon West (Con Air) and even had some new talent play with the ‘boys in what amounts to a far stronger film than the previous effort, but not without a small problem or two.

Expendables 2 catches up with the crew of Barney Ross (Stallone) Lee Christmas (Statham), Toll Road (Couture) Hale Caesar (Crews) Gunnar Jensen (Lundgren), Yin Yang (Li) and their newest recruit Billy the Kid (Hemsworth) as they break into a south american base to rescue none other than Trench (Schwarzenegger) who had been embarassingly captured while trying to extract a wealthy Chinese businessman. The Expendables save them both, and Yin Yang takes the businessman back home.

Meanwhile the Expendables are sent on another mission by Church (Willis) whom you remember they screwed over in the previous film, so here is payback. Church has Ross and Co. escort one of his agents Maggie to a plane that has crashed in Russia to retrieve a computer. Their mission is failed when they are ambushed by Vilain (JCVD) and his henchman Hector (Adkins). Vilain kills one of the Expendables, and the group vows revenge, and takes the fight back to Vilain, but not without some high powered help…

As a film, The Expendables 2 has a much better story than the first, but the characters remain the same, with the most character development given to the character with the least amount of screen time. That’s not a bad thing though as we don’t need to know much more about them. The main stars are basically playing their most famous onscreen personas, and no one takes the film seriously, which for a film of this type is a good thing. What is not so good is that there isa little too much winking at the camera as each character goes through their most famous lines, like Arnold with the “I’ll be back” which, in all fairness, is actually a long set up for a joke that comes toward the end of the film, and Chuck Norris plays on just about everything from his films to the Chuck Norris jokes.

The funniest scenes in the film involve Lundgren, and they actually weave Dolph’s real life chemical engineering degree and MIT background into the already twisted Jensen, now making him an insane genius. Van Damme is fantastic as Vilain, and really shows that JCVD can be a very good charismatic bad guy in action films, and he can still give those pretty jump kicks. Just like Stallone and Arnold, JCVD needs to return to A-list Hollywood films!  Scott Adkins (Undisputed 3 and Ninja) kinda channels Yuri Boyka as he plays another Russian bad guy. Jet Li is funny once again as Yin Yang but his part nearly amounts to a cameo, which was disappointing. Liam Hemsworth and Yu Nan, as the new young faces on the team are able to more than hold their own.

The fight choreography is much better than the previous film, because 1) Corey Yuen decided to stop slumming it in American films and didn’t do this one and 2) Simon West’s camerawork was MUCH better as was the editing so you can actually tell what is happening in the fight scenes, especially Jet Li’s, whose fight scenes are a lot better than what he did in the first film. Perhaps the most improved though is Jason Statham, who gets the lion’s share of martial arts fighting, and his duel with Scott Adkins is a highlight. Don Tai did the fight choreography, and that is a name you need to remember. Don is part of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team, and did stunts and some choreography for films like Blood and Bone, Rush Hour 2 and 3, Haywire, GI Joe Retaliation, Bullet in the Head (new Stallone film), and had even been offered a starring role in Ong Bak. What that means is that ALL the fights had a singular voice, as even Randy Couture had fight moments that were reminiscent of Hong Kong cinema, having him perform his fights a lot faster than he did in the first film. Don Tai is a new talent that I think we will see a lot more of, and soon.

Overall, The Expendables 2 is a fun time in the theater that finally tickles that 80’s action vibe that proves it’s still fun to watch Stallone and the boys crack a one-liner while blasting/punching/kicking/maiming/exploding the baddies at the same time!

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best)

CHOREOGRAPHY: (8) Solid work all around, as Don Tai is able to give Jet Li a great fighting moment, as well as making Randy Couture look great, and especially for giving Statham a faster Hong Kong style of fight choreography which he did well with, and his duel with Scott Adkins was pretty good. JCVD never looked better.

STUNT WORK: (9) Bodies really went flying all over the place and the stunt performers did a great job during the fight scenes and dealing with explosions and nasty falls.

STAR POWER: (11) It doesn’t get much better than this, but I’ll say that it’s the young upcoming talent that has me intrigued, starting with Don Theerathada and Liam Hemsworth, who is in the upcoming Red Dawn remake and of course you know his brother Chris (Thor). Scott Adkins brought the goods for his first starring A-list film. Now get him his own damn A-list film, Hollywood!

FINAL GRADE: (8) The Expendables 2 is leaps and bounds better than the first film, with great new additions, funnier camaraderie, and a fantastic finale that will leave you in action hero bliss!

NEXT: Cliff Lok takes on Shaolin Assassins in Choi Lee Fut!

 

 

Review: The Expendables (2010)

Posted in Corey Yuen, Dolph Lundgren, Gary Daniels, Jet Li with tags , , , on August 16, 2012 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Gary Daniels, Steve Austin, Eric Roberts

Fight Choreography (for Jet Li): Corey Yuen

Directed by Sylvester Stallone

I mulled for quite a while on whether or not I viewed this film as a martial arts film or not. After viewing it again I decided that yes, there was enough.

As a kid in the 80’s this was a film I was eagely awaiting: a team up of action heroes from both the 80’s, 90’s and today, in a manfest of badassery. Stallone is a competent writer and a decent director who knows action, so how could he go wrong?

From a martial arts standpoint, he got a LOT wrong.

The film opens as we meet the mercenaries known as the Expendables: Barney Ross(Stallone) Lee Christmas (Statham), Ying Yang (Li), Toll Road (Couture), Hale Ceasar (Crews) and Gunnar Jensen (Lundgren) as they are just finishing up a mission to free a group of hostages aboard a ship held by Somali pirates. During the mission Jensen goes nuts and tries to hang a dead pirate from the bow of the ship, and after Yin Yang intervenes Jensen is kicked out of the group. Unfortunately they get no rest as they are hired by the mysterious Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) to take down a South american warlord General Garza who is in league with an ex-CIA agent Paine (Roberts). Things get complicated when Barney meets their contact, a beautiful woman who gets captured by Paine. Will The Expendables set aside their greed for money to do the right thing and save her and liberate the tiny island?

The film is a by-the-numbers film, the exact kind of film you would’ve seen in the 80’s. There really isn’t a lot of hardcore acting involved as everyone basically just plays badasses. Statham gets the most character development, and I have to admit Jet Li gets more dialogue in this film than all of his other Hollywood films combined ( the funniest scene in the film involved a conversation with Stallone about his place on the team). Eric Roberts was a snake, which is a character he’s played many times. There wasn’t a lot of chances taken with the film. The paper-thin plot exists to give the good guys a bad guy to beat, and nothing more. The gun play and explosions were great, and not something you see much of nowadays. I admit I didn’t like the CGI blood. I understand it’s easier, and does save a ton of time and money, but until it can be perfected…it just doesn’t need to be done.

The fights were the most disappointing thing about the film. The talent was there with Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and Gary Daniels, but their talents were wasted because 1) none of them were able to have any length of time in their fights to show their stuff and 2) Stallone suddenly forgot how to shoot a fight scene and sent the fights to MTV quick-cut edit hell. I was looking forward to the Jet Li vs Gary Daniels fight, and when it occurred I couldn’t tell what the hell was going on, and it got worse since Stallone cuts back and forth between the gun play and the other fight with himself and Steve Austin. You have two Hong Kong Cinema veterans choreographed by Corey Yuen and that is what they were able to do? Really weak. Slightly better (but not by much) was Jet Li’s fight with Dolph Lundgren. Once again the quick edits kill the fight (maybe it was done this was was because there’s no way in hell Dolph’s as fast as Jet?) but it was slightly more coherent. Statham’s playground fight was equally disappointing, for the same reason. Stallone seems to have forgotten how to shoot action, opting for shakey-cam Jason Bourne style camerawork, which works, but only for Jason Bourne films.

The Expendables is a fun reminder of the 80’s, but it ultimately borrowed too much bad stuff from today.

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best):

CHOREOGRAPHY: (4) The editing simply killed this, which should have been some of the strongest things in the film. Stallone doesn’t know how to shoot a martial arts fight scene. Corey Yuen needed to open his mouth and say something to Stallone.

STUNTWORK: (7) The stuntmen did a good job, especially during scenes where things blow up, which happened quite a bit.

STAR POWER: (10) Check the list above and note that three people were missing. Oh yeah, it doesn’t get much bigger.

FINAL GRADE: (6)  While it’s fun to see all of those stars in the same film, they needed to give the actors a better story and better camera work to show case the talents involved.

NEXT: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Yu Nan and Scott Adkins join the boys in The Expendables 2!

Review: Never Back Down 2 (2011)

Posted in Larnell Stovall, Michael Jai White with tags , , on March 30, 2012 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Michael Jai White, Dean Geyer, Alex Meraz, Todd Duffee

Fight Choreography by Larnell Stovall

Directed by Michael Jai White
Michael Jai White has been kicking ass ever since, well, ever. Films like Spawn, Silverhawk, and more have shows that he is a skilled martial artist and actor. He began to take his career into his own hands with the kickass Undisputed 2, and then Blood and Bone, to the terrific Black Dynamite.

Larnell Stovall first came to the attention to many in the world of fight choreography with Undisputed 3, Bunraku and then with Mortal Kombat: Legacy webseries. His star in the world of martial arts cinema is rising more and more.

So how both of them drove this film off a god***n cliff escapes me.

First, a caveat: I’m not a fan of UFC, Pride, or any of that stuff. While I respect mixed-martial arts as a style I don’t like the overly arrogant macho-aggressive attitude that accompanies many within the MMA culture. Maybe that attitude helps in regards to ring fighting, but it’s not something I care for, so please keep that in mind as you read this review.

The film opens as we find Mike Stokes (Geyer) arriving at college, and already we can see that he’s a troubled kid, specifically in regards to his father. As the film goes on we find out what his problem with his Dad is, and any mention of it drives Stokes into fits of anger and rage. He soon gets involved with a group of fighters all trained by an ex-con named Case Walker (MJW) a former professional MMA fighter who could have been great had it not been for his past, which is revealed as the film goes on. The other fighters include Zack Gomes, a former boxer who may lose his sight if he fights again, and whose girlfriend catches Stokes’ eye. There is also big man Tim Newhouse (Duffee) whose family is in crisis as his mother is forced to work in a strip clip to provide for the family (no mention of what happened to his father) and last is the unhinged comic book clerk Justin Epstein who quickly shows a darker side once he feels he’s learned all he needs to from Case. Everything culminates in The Beatdown, an underground MMA fighting tournament. Stokes has to face both rival Gomes and the twisted Epstein while Case tries to survive a group of douchebag cops determined to run him out of town, and come to terms with his past…

The problems with this film really starts with the script, in which some of the plots go nowhere, or end in a “meh”. The dialog flies the gamut from simple to just plain bad. Case had the most interesting story of any of the fighters, and should have been the main character, but since this is following a formula of concentrating on the young fighters, that couldn’t happen, which is almost this film’s biggest flaw. The acting ranges from good (MJW) to bad (everyone else). None of the primary characters felt real, just archetypes. MJW’s directorial debut is technically good, and the camera takes good angles on everything, but the direction of the actors may have been part of the problems. The background actors were just plain horrid, and many dramatic scenes involving the principals didn’t have the “oomph” they needed. That, and the biggest problem is that since he is directing, he isn’t in front of the camera, where he works best.

The fight choreography is just plain disappointing. Yes, it may be MMA, but somewhere along the way Stovall forgot that this has to be an entertaining film first. He remembered this with Undisputed 3, which carried fighting that included many MMA-style moves, but it was dynamic movement that was entertaining to watch on film. Here he seems to lose focus on this, except for one fight: Case Walker versus a group of cops. Of any fight in this film this fight felt right. This fight was the Blood and Bone type of fight I wanted to see from MJW. It was good from a cinematic standpoint, and once again allowed us to see MJW in action doing what he does best! As I watched, I came to the conclusion that if I want to see an MMA fight, I’ll watch it on pay-per-view. I don’t need or want to see a choreographed version of it.

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best):

CHOREOGRAPHY: (4) Outside of the one MJW fight, none of the fights are impressive or even interesting. I hold Stovall to a high standard, and expected more than this. He simply forgot to make the fights entertaining–to everyone.

STUNTWORK: (5) The work here was decent, but nothing to write home about.

STAR POWER: (5) MJW is the biggest star here, and as for the youngsters, none of the them made an impression on me.

FINAL GRADE: (5) Michael Jai White is barely in this film, and has one good fight. The rest of the film features uninteresting characters and fights, and unlike many of MJW’s other films, this one deserves to be a DTV film.