A fateful event leads to a job in the film business for top mixed-martial arts instructor Mike Terry. Though he refuses to participate in prize bouts, circumstances conspire to force him to consider entering such a competition.
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Is there room for principle in Los Angeles? Mike Terry teaches jujitsu and barely makes ends meet. His Brazilian wife, whose family promotes fights, wants to see Mike in the ring making money, but to him competition is degrading. A woman sideswipes Mike's car and then, after an odd sequence of events, shoots out the studio's window. Later that evening, Mike rescues an action movie star in a fistfight at a bar. In return, the actor befriends Mike, gives him a gift, offers him work on his newest film, and introduces Mike's wife to his own - the women initiate business dealings. Then, things go sour all at once, Mike's debts mount, and going into the ring may be his only option. Written by
Ed O'Neill's practice of Brazilian Ju-Jitsu partially inspired Mamet to write the movie. See more »
In the program opened by Emily Mortimer's character in the tournament, a freeze frame reveals that the bios for the fighters are simply a continuous block of text referring to a fighter named "David," and the text is repeated on the left and right sides of the program. See more »
Tie him up.
The hands are not the issue. The fight is the issue. The battle is the issue. Who imposes the terms of the battle will impose the terms of the peace. Think he has a handicap? No. The other guy has a handicap if he cannot control himself. You control yourself, you control him.
Take him to court.
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For a fan of MMA like myself, I've been really drooling for a good MMA flick. To satisfy my MMA urges I've put myself through cheesy Bas Rutten flicks (The Eliminator and even The Vault), amazing documentaries (The Smashing Machine), and even rare Japanese flicks (Nagurimono). So this has been a long time coming. A well-made flick, with a well-known director and accomplished actors, this has to be good, right? Well, no, not really. But luck be true, REDBELT was a very good film.
The story follows a thoughtful Jiu Jitsu instructor who ends up running into some good luck. Unfortunately, it doesn't last long, and in order to set things right, he will need to cross examine himself and the people around him. Respect, honor, greed, back-stabbing and gratitude rule this film, turning it into an intriguing, emotional and entertaining movie.
With fantastic acting by most, smart, realistic writing, and some emotional scenes, REDBELT delivers an especially big wallop on the intimate side.
Though, with hyper editing and jerky camera-work used for the MMA scenes, the movie tends not to work as well as I would have liked. For a knowledgeable MMA fan, you'll pick up on all the moves, but for someone who doesn't know about MMA and it's techniques, it may seem like a mess.
However, the film is definitely not a mess. Yeah, the ending was a tad too unbelievable, and though the movie shines through it's writing and realistic situations, some scenes felt a little sappy. But the end of the ending was fantastic.
Red Belt doesn't fail at being an action flick; it just succeeds more so at being an entertaining drama with an MMA theme. This is an easy movie to recommend, since it's easily recommendable to all people who believe in having good morals.
The movie would have been perfect if El Guapo was in it. ;)
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