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  • Nobody will ever wonder why Billy Blanks or Jalal Merhi never received any acting awards (hell, they are quite poor even at delivering the kind of sarcastic one-liners that Arnie excels at), but they can both fight for real, and "Expect No Mercy" gives them plenty of opportunities to show their abilities. And the good news is, they're going against guys who can fight as well: the highlight of the film may be the fight between Billy Blanks and his equally impressive real-life brother Michael. The "virtual-reality martial arts training academy used as a front for an assassination business" is a fairly unusual concept, and the graphics are what you'd expect from a low-budget 1995 DTV movie. Laurie Holden is beautiful and feisty, though not feisty enough to avoid the "damsel-in-distress" role at the end, as even the (overacting) No. 1 villain Wolf Larson points out. The music score is effective. All in all, if you're looking for lots of martial arts action, this film is just what the doctor ordered. **1/2 out of 4.
  • Although not the best of the Billy Blanks and Jalal Merhi films, this action packed sci-fi thriller sees the two martial artists collaborate once again to smash a virtual reality martial arts school headed by the feminine Wolf Larson and this fellow thugs who use this as a front for an assassin-for-hire type business. I love the shot at the beginning where the muscular Michael Blanks (Billy's real life brother), chases a bodyguard and does a flying kick to lay him flat. One of the thugs, Damien, played by Anthony De Longis really annoyed me, maybe it's not his fault but he quotes "What a lovely singing voice you must have" to a pinned down victim in an office, which we all know was quoted by Bill Murray in the 1984 smash hit sci-fi comedy "GHOSTBUSTERS". I really like Billy Blanks as he is as tough as action heroes come but sweet, not portrayed as a bas boy with an attitude like Steven Seagal. I also dig Jalal Merhi who is really cool. If you are a fan of Mr. Tae-Bo and the Fearless Tiger don't miss it. Plenty of good fight scenes including Billy killing his own brother (not really though), and a good relationship that is tough and comic between the two leading men.
  • I seems like Billy Blanks and Jalal Merhi are really fond of each other, since they have been in several movies together. Both "Talons of the Eagle" and "TC 2000" were quite good, and so is this one. It's a rather simple, action-packed flick where the action is totally at the center of attention. Action lovers get their dose of everything that's good, both martial arts and gun/explosion-scenes are abundant. Both are really good, and Blanks again does a rather great job in everything he does (except the acting itself, who I don't care about at all). Simple things are often the best. Today's movie makers should take a look at this for a good example of how an action movie should be.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    At the time this movie came out, Billy Blanks was a somewhat famous action star that had mostly appeared in supporting roles in martial arts movies like Bloodfist and Lionheart. (I seem to remember him in Bloodsport, but checking his IMDb filmography, I see that I'm wrong.) His Tae-Bo fitness course was a few years away, and it still seemed at this point like his acting career might yet take off. In 1995's Expect No Mercy Blanks was likable and carried the movie well as its star. It's a shame that he hasn't done anything as good since.

    The movie itself is a pleasant surprise. Its clean, simple, 1980s-esque computer graphics are delightfully nostalgic in today's era of over-the-top in-your-face CGI. Its premise is solid, with Blanks infiltrating a cadre of virtual-reality-trained assassins to get to their leader. Its low budget, location shooting, and use of low-key special effects make it a relaxing, enjoyable experience that shows why 1995 was a simpler, more innocent time.
  • Starring: Billy Blanks, Michael Blanks, Blankety Blanks, Jalal Merhi, Brett Hasley, Lauri Holden (who would go on to star in The Walking Dead!)

    Truly Mong Fu from start to finish, Expect No Mercy has Billy Blanks taking on two enemies: an assassin school and computer technology!

    Some guy called Warbeck (yeah! The Beyond!) runs a martial arts academy where the students hook up to a machine and go head to head with simulations. It's all very cult-like and Warbeck kind of has some sort of God complex. Also, it's all really just a front for his assassin school, which makes millions wasting people for cash. Warbeck uses his computer technology to plan his executions then watches (and records) the killings via cameras.

    When the previous undercover cop turns up dead, the cops recruit Billy Blanks to go undercover and contact Eric, another cop pretending to be an instructor. Billy takes on the virtual enemies, some other students, He hates technology and regularly tells everyone so (especially those guards who are sent to capture him after Eric and Billy are caught uncovering the assassin school thing).

    Most of this film is just kung fu fighting. Some in this world, some in the virtual world. The virtual stuff is pretty funny, both retro- wise and mainly for the fact that the virtual enemies are hilarious (wait until you see Billy getting a proper kicking from a ninja, a samuri, a kick boxer, a clown etc all at the same time!) There's a pretty good gun fight right around the one hour mark, but mostly it's Billy and Jalal kicking people's heads in. Billy even faces off against his real life brother in a fight that seems to last about three days.

    Expect No Mercy is chock-full of continuity errors (breathing corpses, visible dummies etc), unintentional laughs (check out the positions Billy and Eric are lying in after falling off a building) and dodgy acting (the lead baddie, plus sometimes Billy comes across like he's been kicked in the head too many times).

    Not bad though - worth a look if you can tolerate these things.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Warbeck (Larson) and his sidekick Damian (De Longis of CIA II, 1993 fame) run the Virtual Arts Academy, an institution of "higher learning" that teaches its students Martial Arts mixed with heavy doses of Virtual Reality (or "VR", as seemingly countless 90's movies and TV shows insisted would be the future). However, as awesome as this place seems, something fishy is going on there, and Federal Agent Justin Vanier (Blanks) is assigned to check it out. So he goes undercover and enrolls as a student. As it turns out, the maniacal Warbeck is training high-tech assassins to go on missions to kill people, including witnesses for potential trials. Along with Eric (Merhi) and Vicki (Holden), Justin must bring down Warbeck's sinister organization. But first he must figure out the differences between "virtual" and "reality" in this confusing new world.

    Like we always used to say about the chain of stores Xpect Discounts, you can expect discounts, but you might not necessarily get any. However, after watching the absurd opening sequence to Expect No Mercy, you realize you are in for a ridiculous romp with plenty of 90's nostalgia thanks to the plentiful computer graphics. Following Talons of the Eagle (1992) and TC 2000 (1993), Billy Blanks and Jalal Merhi team up once again. They must really get along well. Blanks has some funny catch phrases (and funny hair, and funny outfits), and Merhi is just mush-mouthed and incomprehensible.

    Take the scene where Justin (i.e., Billy) is going to enter the VR school for the first time. He's wearing a baseball cap and jacket. Right before walking in, he turns his hat around backwards, and unzips his jacket, exposing a lot of chest because he's not wearing a shirt underneath. WHY? Did he think this would make him "fit in" at the school? Presumably Warbeck saw this and thus made him his mortal enemy. It would certainly explain their fight scene where for no comprehensible reason, after fighting for a good ten minutes, they then tear each other's shirts off. Hmmmm...As far as Merhi, one of the scariest things in a non-horror movie is the disembodied Merhi head. You might scream.

    As far as the other baddies, we have Damian, who wears a whip as some sort of tie, Real Andrews of Renegades (1989) and Red Scorpion 2 (1994) fame, who would appear with Blanks the next year in Balance of Power (1996), Michael Blanks as Spyder, who is Billy's brother and appeared in Ring of Steel (1994) and the fascinatingly-named Lazar Rockwood, who looks exactly like Billy Drago. We're not entirely satisfied that it's NOT Billy Drago. So the supporting cast is solid, and along with plenty of fights and blow-ups, Expect No Mercy provides the action and (presumably) unintentional comedy that makes for good entertainment.

    An example of humor is in the set decoration: there are massive posters of Wolf Larson's face everywhere. Where are those posters now? Also, since this was made at the height of the Mortal Kombat craze, there are some similarities there, and there's even a real computer game you can buy based on this movie. But in the VR fight sequences (even the one with the Dee Snider-like villain Fango), are our heroes really punching NOTHING? When Billy Blanks had that fight scene with some steam in Balance of Power, was that a really more substantial opponent than the enemies here? Something to really (not) think about.

    It has a memorable score by Varouje Hagopian, and even funny (presumably ADR?) sounds from the fighters, as if the filmmakers thought the fights were too boring, so they felt adding some actors shouting "chaw!" "chaw!" would really liven things up. Unsurprisingly, the movie was shot in Ontario, Canada and has a very Canadian feel (again, not a bad thing, just an observation).

    For 90's action silliness, Expect No Mercy is a solid choice.

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  • Warning: Spoilers
    OK, ill keep this quick:

    I've seen this movie two years ago on German TV with a friend. we laughed very hard at some scenes. this film tries to be cool and serious but it isn't. at some points in "expect no mercy" there were so many funny moments that i couldn't stop laughing for about ten minutes.

    for example: billy blanks character wants to check a car for bombs or something, he kneels down and hops around the car, considers it safe, jumps in an drives right through a wooden gate which explodes very colorful. this was not a scene that was meant to be funny, but it was hilarious. my friend even captured it with the camera on his mobile phone after a commercial break and we are still laughing about it.

    after all i can recommend this movie to every fan of trash and crap. you will laugh your asses off.
  • The worst movie I've ever seen. Unbelievably bad on every account. I didn't used to think it was the worst, yet when I started ranking the worst movies I'd ever seen, it took the top and nothing could unseat it. The video game tie-in was no better.
  • Oberon-1113 March 1999
    I know some of the people who worked on this film, and I still can't stand it. Most of the fight scenes were wooden and boring - your basic B-movie fare, the dialogue bites and was there a plot here? I'm sure someone thought so, but I didn't.

    I watched it once to be polite to my friends, but I felt like my foot was caught in a bear trap and I would have to gnaw my own leg off to escape. Never again.