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  • the other person that reviewed this on IMDb must have seen a completely different movie than i did.everybody has their own opinion though.this stars two of my favorite martial arts actors.jeff wincott and cynthia rothrock.so you know there is going to be lots of good fight scenes in this movie.cynthia rothrock once again proves she is the queen of martial arts movies as she does some amazing kicks to the head in her many fight scenes.and just like he did in martial outlaw jeff wincott delivers some brutal kicks and punches to the villains.so my advice to anyone looking for a martial arts movie with lots of fighting in it should go buy this movie.
  • hk-509 February 2007
    This was a good movie.

    The story is nothing new i.e. dirty cops, gang, team of cops taking the problem on.

    The music was nice and reminded me of the 1980s action movies even though this movie was made in 1992.

    The cast was decent and everyone did what they were supposed to. In these type of action flicks the acting is minimum and the music and action take over.

    The fashion (needs a comment) was terrible' as it looked like something from the miid-1980s. Not even Chuck Norris action films from the 80s looked that old.

    They could of turned this into a martial arts sequel. It's a shame they don't make movies this straight forward anymore.

    Thankgod for Movies4Men channel on my sky!
  • Imagine a world wherein direct-to-video movies could be good on purpose; wherein the cast, director, and producers actually made an effort to match Hollywood; and wherein performers who had never been seen on theater screens matched the big-name action heroes of the day. Whether I'm romanticizing things or if such a time really existed is a matter of opinion, but it's plain fact that MARTIAL LAW II is a very good low budget martial arts feature, able to match the offerings that Van Damme, Seagal, and Norris were putting out at the time and still good nowadays.

    The story: The star police team of Sean Thompson (Jeff Wincott) and Billie Blake (Cynthia Rothrock) is broken up just as an ambitious lord of the underworld (Paul Johansson) rises to prominence, killing a policeman in the process. The two will have to reunite undercover to unearth the crime and expose it with their lives intact.

    At the time of this one's release, the only performer who was properly established in the action genre was Cynthia Rothrock, but surprisingly, this isn't really her vehicle. She gets her share of the action, but Jeff Wincott - making his action movie debut - is the one who really takes the helm in driving the story, showing excellent poise as both a legitimate leading man and an action hero. He's supplemented by a minor super group of performers also on their way to becoming B-movie dragons: in addition to Johannson as the lead villain, there's Evan Lurie, Leo Lee, and James Lew as respectively awesome henchmen and Billy Drago as a conflicted police captain forced to go straight. Nobody's really pressured into heavy acting, but I daresay everyone performs - physically and dramatically - to the best of their ability and to the extent their roles allow them.

    The fight content really shines. Be warned, Hong Kong fans, none of it is overly flashy or terribly acrobatic - it's just good, solid western martial arts action with an emphasis on kicks and minimal gunfighting. It's hard to believe that this is the first karate film Jeff Wincott ever did, considering his proficiency in varied disciplines, including forms and weapons handling; his scene with his trademark batons is particularly vicious. A few of Cynthia Rothrock's fights seem like filler despite her stellar forms, but she's afforded at least one standout battle at the end with the ever-worthy James Lew. Evan Lurie gives possibly the best martial performance of his career when he takes on two huge bodyguards in a handicap match and gets to show off just how tough he really is. Of the 'round eight or nine fights, few of them are standout material on their own but, in a rare feat, manage to come together to create a fulfilling tapestry of hand-to-hand action.

    The film's production values are deserving of praise as well. All too many times when I watch a modern DTV movie, I get the impression that the filmmakers or the studio are discouraged from presenting quality production on account of their movie's relatively low distribution. MARTIAL LAW II, on the other hand, seems to have been made with the mindset that, specifically because it wasn't bound for a theatrical release, it had to try all the harder to impress viewers with its good-as-Hollywood presentation. Even the VHS cover looks like it could belong to a theatrical movie. Therein, like most action films from this era, it's a bit superficial, but what were you expecting? The story's interesting enough to keep you interested as you await the next randori and the whole package is attractive enough to interest even viewers who haven't been weaned off of the big budget productions yet. Why this one hasn't gotten a Region 1 DVD release yet is beyond me.
  • There are plenty of low budget martial arts flicks in the world, many of which are total embarrassments. Thankfully, this is not one of them. Martial Law II has a plot that's simple enough to be believable but also has a few bits of creativity thrown in to make it distinguishable but not stupid. Furthermore, the actors do a good enough job with their roles to make the viewer suspend their disbelief and care about what's happening. And, of course, there's plenty of fighting throughout the movie to make it fun. It's not a great movie, but considering the limited amount of stories one can do with this genre of films, it's pretty unique and makes for an entertaining watch on a Saturday afternoon.
  • The plot is nothing new (police corruption, a crime syndicate that uses a night club as a front, a cop investigating the death of his partner, etc.) but the fight scenes range from good to very good (the best one might be an illegal 2-on-1 that doesn't involve any of the leads). Maybe they can't match up to the best that Hong Kong has to offer, but they are choreographed in a way that showcases the fighters' power, speed and technique. My two main disappointments with this film are: 1) as already reported by another reviewer, VERY short final fight between Cynthia Rothrock and the female bodyguard (what a bummer!), and 2) no arch-villain role for the master of such roles, Billy Drago (he's just a corrupted police chief). (**)
  • Cynthia Rothrock and Jeff Wincott are the dual leads, cops who are martial arts experts. They investigate a shady night club run by more martial arts experts. Guess what? The standard high kicking actioner. Who needs guns or backup. The major disappointment is that the climatic fight between the two female karate fighters consists of one kick. Blink and you'll miss it. It's easy to see why there wasn't a Martial Law 3, but I watched martial arts films far worst then this. This is strictly a made in America effort.
  • Better, simpler story. Better fight scenes. Better lead. Cynthia Rothrock seems more relaxed with Jeff Wincott than Chad (I cant act my way out of a bag, but I have a famous dad) McQueen. No surprise. Jeff Wincott is awesome. Two thumbs up.
  • One of the finest things on the disc was the introduction by Rothrock herself. I don't remember seeing something like that which can be considered a special feature or extra nowadays on a DVD or Blu Ray. Not sure where this was shown (on TV on other videos as a sort of trailer kind of things? Who knows?), but it is a nice curiosity.

    The sound effects on the fights are classic and even when this does not display the best of the movies of that era, it's still decent enough. The change in the male leading role really helped and Cynthia is on her A-Game too. Of course you can ask yourself, why is no one shooting guns, especially when they are being almost used by the villains ... but there we go.
  • Kelleyscope30 November 2006
    Steven Segal, pony tail and all, stepped onto the scene somewhere around 1990-ish with Above the Law. About a year or so later Martial Law 2:Undercover comes out ... and I have to tell you a movie with more pony tails has never been made.

    But this is not to knock the movie. Trust me there is lots to knock in this movie (like how the biker gang from the opening sequence intended to transport the guns they were trying to purchase back to their homes).

    No, I am not going to knock this movie. Why? Because I love this movie. It is over-the-top, well produced (seriously, Kurt Anderson -- the director-- has got some of the best performances out of the cast, good fights, a good look and good editing), comical (both on purpose and not-so-on purpose in scenes).

    The replacement of Wincott for Chad McQueen's character from part one gets a better fighter in the male lead (and in my opinion a more diverse actor).

    But what is it about this movie that really sets it apart, outside of all the hair and even a yawn by one actor in a scene. It is the acting by uncredited (both on IMDb and in the final credits) as Danny Borelli. I don't know why or how this guy did it, but he plays perhaps the best recovering alcoholic in film history ... well maybe second best to Ray Milland. Don't take my word for it, watch this movie. Watch the way the Borelli character continues to be engaged in conversations and scenes when he is doesn't have lines (yes I realize as an actor that is his job ... but come on, how many actors actually follow through with their jobs.

    Charles Taylor is credited for playing Borelli as well as Dobbs, but Dobbs is the character that Borelli was following, and while they list Borelli's wife in the end credits of the film, I did not see the actors' name for Borelli listed ...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Cops Sean "Martial Law" Thompson (Wincott) and Billie Blake (Rothrock) are back in this sequel which is a quantum leap ahead of its lackluster predecessor.

    When one of their fellow officers ends up dead, the trail leads to a popular nightclub run by the smarmy Spencer Hamilton (Johansson). His muscle includes meathead Tanner (Lurie) and other sidekick Bree (Rose). To get closer to the truth, Billie goes undercover as a bartender. Naturally, all manner of illegal doings are emanating from the club, not least of which is high-stakes, underground Punchfighting. But why is Captain Krantz (Drago) so touchy about this subject? It's now up to Sean and Billie to take out the trash.

    As stated earlier, this installment in the Martial Law trilogy is far superior to Martial Law one. The colors are brighter, it has a more professional sheen to it, and not only do the main stars Wincott and Rothrock really shine, it has a solid supporting cast featuring Billy Drago, Evan Lurie, Sherrie Rose, Max Thayer and Nicholas Hill in a small role.

    The decision to replace Chad McQueen with Jeff Wincott was an inspired choice. Wincott is a lot more charming, and has Martial Arts skill to spare, and we just love his energetic style. As in the follow-up to this film, Mission of Justice, Wincott gets to do some stick-fighting along with his traditional vigorous style. Seeing as he resembles - in this film at least - Matthew McConaughey, rather than being a laid-back "surfer dude" who's just livin' life, he's breaking the arms and knee joints of baddies.

    Evan Lurie, Slash Gallagher himself, lumbers into view in an extra-meatheady performance. He has strange speech patterns in this movie. He sounds like Stallone on half speed. But his clothing choices are pretty...well...choice. It's odd seeing Billy Drago as a police captain, as he looks like an emaciated gargoyle, but you'll see why he was cast in the role. Hopefully these descriptions don't come off as too crass, we love these actors and we've seen them so many times, they're like our friends.

    But the main reason to watch Martial Law 2 are its quality fight scenes. It has the fights you want from the stars you like. That could almost be a tagline. Wincott and Rothrock get off some great moves, and what's cool about their scenes, is that you can see they are really doing the moves - as you all know, the way to see if a actor/Martial Artist is genuine is to see how many moves they do without a cut. For example, in some of the best Shaw Brothers movies, there are anywhere from 8-12 or more moves with no cut and it's extremely impressive. Wincott and Rothrock can also achieve this level of prowess, and it's a lot of fun to watch.

    And while there is a lack of Wincott in the middle of the film, and it would have been nice to see a much longer fight scene between Rothrock and Sherrie Rose, this is a classic early-90's "abandoned warehouse" actioner with a lot to offer.

    NOTE: Fascinatingly, there is an introduction on the U.S. VHS tape with Cynthia Rothrock advertising some of her movies. That's a really cool feature on the tape.

    For more action insanity, drop by: www.comeuppancereviews.com
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Sean and Billie are undercover cops and martial arts masters. Investigating the death of a cop, they uncover a deadly ring of murder and corruption at a glitzy nightclub where the rich are entertained by seductive women and protected by martial arts experts.

    Billie goes undercover to infiltrate the crime ring, leading to an explosive finale....

    There is nothing to like at all about this movie, we know what is going to happen the minute when Wincott starts his new job. If the captain is Billy Drago, than obviously the department is going to be corrupt!! And when we meet his friend at the beginning, we know he is going to wind up dead the way he acts when he see Dobbs.

    But i have a little place in my heart for films like this. Between 88'-92' the video shelf were rife with these. Some instant cheesy classics like this, others really not so good.

    The film has aged really badly, the clothes look like something from a Rick Astley video, and the hairstyles are in pony tail heaven.

    The fight scenes are typical from these sort of releases, they just get a little bit more tougher for the hero, just like a video game, until they face the final boss at the end.

    The two leads are what you expect, and if you have seen their other movies, you will get some enjoyment from this.

    this also includes the best opening credit music in a movie ever.

    Trashy but enjoyable.
  • 80s ponytailed and mullet headed villains abound in this ridiculous marital arts direct-to-video dreck. Cynthia Rockrock returns as the high kicking LAPD detective, but her original partner from the first film, Chad McQueen, has been replaced by Jeff Wincott. The two then go undercover to take down smarmy nightclub owner Billy Drago (FYI - it's a night club with a lot of people who know marital arts). It's a dumb story and a sequel to a film that really didn't need a sequel. It's also puzzling why this film had the subtitle "Undercover" since Rothrock and her partner also went undercover in the first film. The only reason to watch this film is for the fight sequences, which are not all that good an come off more like watching a martial arts demonstration (i.e. this is how to fight off a knife attack, this is what you do when you're attacked from behind, this is what you do...). The fights are completely unimaginative and done without any sense of style or flair. At least with a dumb, Steven Segal movie you get some good bone crunching action, though Rothrock does deliver one kick that busts a knee in the wrong direction that's pretty brutal. Still, that's not enough reason to watch this one and you're still better off watching Rothrock's Hong Kong martial arts film appearances like "Yes, Madam!" and "Righting Wrongs." Oh, and don't even bother to ask why none of the criminals ever shoot a gun, despite all of them packing heat.
  • This cheapo sequel to the original MARTIAL LAW jettisons the star pairing of Chad McQueen and David Carradine and brings in straight-to-video action hulk Jeff Wincott instead. Thankfully, Cynthia Rothrock reprises her role from the first film, so at least there's one reason to watch.

    In any case, this is below average for a cheap '90s straight-to-video action offering. The fights are unspectacular and often staged in the dark, and the acting is very poor. Rothrock is the best thing in it, but I didn't go much for the evil-looking Wincott, who feels more like a shoe-in for a villainous role rather than the hero. Billy Drago is welcome in the part of a cop, but is given limited screen time, and overall there are few reasons to watch - even for fans of this particular genre of film.
  • This movie is a significant improvement over part 1 in almost every way. Actors are better and so is the cinematography by leaps and bounds.

    The story actually has little sub-plots in it between Billie and Tiffany, and the places shot are much more posh than the first installment.

    I liked this movie. Actions were much better too, but there could have been more. I wish the action were at the level of Hong Kong action movies. Cynthia Rothrock did better in HK movies, so they should have gone all out on this one as well.

    Good movie for Cynthia Rothrock fans, that's actually worth your time watching.