A westerner named Casey, studying Ninjutsu in Japan, is asked by the Sensei to return to New York to protect the legendary Yoroi Bitsu, an armored chest that contains the weapons of the last Koga Ninja.
Isaiah Bone (Michael Jai White) is released from prison and immediately enters the world of underground fighting. With the help of Asian manager Pinball (the super annoying Dante Basco), Bone wins several fights easily and attracts the attention of local crime kingpin James (Eamonn Walker). James is suitably impressed and wants Bone to fight for Mr. McVeigh (Julian Sands). Of course, the avid chess player/head smasher Bone has been planning all of these moves carefully as he has his own agenda.
With a three word title, cliché story and style that sends me back to the early Steven Seagal flicks, BLOOD AND BONE is about the best early 90s action flick made in 2009. The plot is straight up Van Damme territory (it actually resembles Jean Claude's LIONHEART quite a bit) and the film more than delivers in the action department. Jai White, an incredibly talented martial artist, is given lots of time to show off his moves. Thankfully, director Ben Ramsey allows for some long takes that really highlight his flow. The final battle against "Pretty Boy" Price (BLOODFIST 2050's equally talented Matt Mullins) is probably the film's highlight. Acting wise, Jai White is very good as the stoic Bone. The film's top acting honors, however, go to Eamonn Walker as the gangster who loves his dogs and refuses to curse. He is a real revelation. Julian Sands puts in about 10 minutes as the stereotypical "evil white guy" and he has quickly morphed into mid-to-late 90s Malcolm McDowall. The supporting cast is rounded out with lots of MMA fighters including Maurice Smith, Gina Carano, "The Beast" Bob Sapp and Kimbo Slice, who will surely get a nod for Best Supporting Actor for his turn as jail house thug J.C.. It is really a shame to see Michael Jai White only getting a chance to shine in lead roles in low budget action flicks. Ryan Reynolds gets big films, but this guy can't?
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