2 April 2010 | BrickNash
Well choreographed and minimum thought! Smashing!
I suppose this was an early attempt to fuse Hollywood with eastern martial arts films, thoroughly flaunting the fact that Robert Clouse, the director of Enter The Dragon was at the helm.
Unfortunately, Robert Clouse was no great shakes as a director and this time there is no Bruce Lee.
Bad acting, cheesy story and a TV quality feel, but none of that matters because the fight scenes are fantastic!!!!!
This is where the film comes into it's own with a partial eastern production behind it. The fights are superbly choreographed and really show off the different talents of the three main fighters. There is a bit too much 'acting' between the fights but not overly so.
Keith Cooke really steals the show with his amazing kicking techniques while Richard Norton opts for a more wrist lock and throw style which is cool beyond belief leaving Rothrock as a good all rounder. This allows you to pick your favourite depending on what style you like, very much like a video game which is good.
The real downpoint to the film, and a lot of these east/west films suffered from this, is that there was no final threat to speak of. The main antagonist is an ageing man with zero fight capability and It was just really wave after wave of goons for the heroes to dispose of, which is no bad thing but it would have been better with a really threatening figurehead and a great end fight between China and a Boss.
The film was in many ways far ahead of it's time and ticks a lot of boxes with regards to the feminist movement. The China O' Brian character is the superior authority in the film with all the lawmen working beneath her, Rothrock gets top billing in both opening and Closing credits and she is not sexualised in any scene and never wears anything lewd or revealing. For 1988 that was pretty much unheard of even in Hollywood let alone a low budget martial arts film.
A great one to watch with mates or even a girlfriend. The sight of a woman kicking scumbag arse is universally appealing!