6.1/10
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Death Games (1997)

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Darryl Burke ...
Cougar / Leon
Billy Chow
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Excellent modern martial arts film in the old school tradition
1 August 2001 | by (Stockton, California) – See all my reviews

Everything about this film screams old school. The main protagonist is a martial arts instructor. The movie starts out with a bunch of fights that aren't even part of the plot, they just show off his skills. Most the bad guys use martial arts instead of fighting. The bad guys even hire good fighters to fight the main good guy. This is a REAL martial arts film. Don't get me wrong, I love many of the New Wave martial arts movies that came from Hong Kong. I like most of Jackie Chan's work. However, this is the type of film that I wished Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Michelle Yeoh did more often. Movies that are full of serious martial arts and are only excuses to show off the performers' physical skills.

The storyline is simple. Some evil Caucasian gangster is going after the men who killed his family. One of gets killed. The other guy and his two daughters get saved by a martial arts instructor who must use his skills to protect them. Great stuff.

The martial arts is nothing short of fantastic. Fan Siu Wong is an awesome fighter. His kicks are awesome. We also get to see him fight with tonfa, spear, and sword. There's a female caucasian fighter who is also very talented and she gets to fight w/ her hands, a rope-dart, and a sword. Billy Chow, who's always reliable, plays a Thai boxer. Ngai Sing plays this effeminate Japanese fighter. He does a lot better job here than he did in Bodyguard from Beijing and My Father is a Hero. There's another white guy who's pretty good too. All the fights are amazing.

If there's one thing I didn't like about the movie, it's that there are some very bloody moments that I personally didn't care for. Otherwise, it's highly recommended to any fans of martial arts films. There should be no reason to be disappointed with this film.


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