|Index||5 reviews in total|
The 30 second trailer for this film contains all the action that you will see in this movie. I felt as if I was tricked into watching a soap opera while watching "Fist of the Warrior". Ho-Sung Pak is adept in the fight scenes.... all three of them, but doesn't really offer anything spectacular. The problem is there is not nearly enough action in this movie and there is nothing else to hold the viewer's interest for the remaining 85 minutes of this 88 minute movie. Just a bunch of nonsense about mobsters, a crooked cop and his drunk wife, a strip club, and flashbacks of the hero and his girlfriend who have no chemistry whatsoever. If you are looking for a martial arts movie about a guy who gets revenge after his girlfriend's death, this is isn't your movie. If you want a soap opera about said events, this still isn't your movie because it sucks.
i was not impressed with this movie. i was looking for a good martial
arts movie but instead found an overly ambitious attempt at
action/drama. the few fight scenes were good, but they were too few and
Instead of focusing on being a martial arts movie, it tried to be an action filled drama...but it sadly missed. the many subplots created in the movie were not well developed and failed in creating characters that could connect to the audience.
the performances were terrible, the lines/dialogue were contrived. the plot itself seemed unbelievable. Pak( Lee) never looked convincing as the grieving lover.
all in all the movie failed to evoke any emotions in me.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Are martial arts film makers so desperate that they will use any schlock storyline, a studio of unbelievable actors and horrible cinematography to put something together that actually passes as a movie? The only thing I can find amazing about this film is how did they every get the financing to pull it off? It's awful! The writing is bad, the acting is worse and the story (?)is even worse. There's nothing redeeming about this wretched attempt at a martial arts good-guy bad-guy face-off. The only believable performance was the by the female hired assassin who ends the film and she wasn't that good, proving again the old adage that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
I am sort of perplexed about the title of the movie. The DVD I
purchased from Amazon is titled "Fist of the Warrior", but when I read
the print on the back of the movie it says "Blood Money", and yet here
on IMDb the movie is titled "Lesser of Three Evils". Hmmm, well there
are three titles (three evils?), and lesser of, well perhaps that is a
reference to the lack of a proper storyline in the movie?
Anyway, the storyline (or lack there of) in the movie is about Lee Choe (played by Ho-Sung Pak) who is a retired hit-man, who ends up chasing after his former employee, John Lowe (played by Peter Greene), as he kills Lee's girlfriend. And that is basically it, then it is all about Lee going from point A to point B and fighting every single bad guy that stands in his way. Oh, wait, then director Wayne Kennedy cleverly tried to incorporate a side story about a corrupt cop (played Roger Guenveur Smith) and his drunken wife (played by Sherilyn Fenn)... But it just didn't add up to a greater interwoven storyline. No, it turned out to be a rather meaningless and pointless storyline that was something taken right out of a 1990's beat 'em up arcade game.
The storyline was basically as thin and non-existent as it could get, and the attempts to mingle in a tale of revenge with a tale of a corrupt police officer, just didn't really work out well. Especially because both tales were told with such a lack of detail and luster that you just simply didn't really care about any of the characters in the movie.
And speaking of the characters, well they were fairly one-sided, two-dimensional and stereotypical. And it didn't much help the movie that most performances put on here by the cast was just half-hearted.
The DVD cover has Ho-Sung Pak on it with a massive on his arm and back, but wait, it isn't even there in the movie. All he has is a single Asian letter on the arm. It was such a ridiculous DVD cover, but hey, it worked well to lure in people. I was suckered in by it.
If you enjoy action movies, then I would strongly suggest that you find your fix elsewhere, because "Fist of the Warrior", "Lesser of Three Evils", "Blood Money", or whatever this movie is properly titled just doesn't deliver anything noteworthy on any front. The movie cover brandishes "starring martial arts master Ho-Sung Pak", well that might very well be so, but the martial arts in the movie was few and far apart and the acting, well that was just abysmal.
On a closing note, I will point out that the DVD also brandished "he is the ultimate weapon". Well, indeed, but I had a weapon that managed to defeat him and will do so any given day; the eject button on the remote control.
This film was originally to be released in 2005 as Lesser of Three
Evils. I first heard of it in 2005 and wanted to see it because of the
plot and the cast that seemed interesting. It seems that the film
encountered distribution problems that delayed its release. After
getting a new editor, a new distributor and a new title - Fist of the
Warrior (personally, I think the original title worked better) - it was
finally released on February 2009. So, after waiting for 4 years, I
finally got to see this film and I wasn't disappointed.
Set in downtown Los Angeles, the film revolves around three characters: a professional hit man, a corrupt cop and a mobster. Lee Choe (Ho-Sung Pak) is an expert hit-man who decides to retire to live a normal life with girlfriend Sarah (Robin Paul). After refusing an order from ambitious mobster John Lowe (Peter Greene) to get rid of crime boss Miles (Ed Marinaro), Lowe has Sarah killed, in an attempt to bully Lee. In order to seek vengeance, Lee goes on a mission to kill Lowe and his men. Lowe turns to corrupt detective Craig Barnes (Roger Guenveur Smith), forcing him to hunt down the assassin. At the same time, Barnes, whose achievements are being investigated by internal affairs, has to deal with his unhappy, alcoholic wife Katie (Sherilyn Fenn). With events coming to a head for Lee, Barnes and Lowe, the stage is set for a three-way showdown.
Fist of the Warrior was made by Wayne Kennedy, martial artist Ho-Sung Pak and Matthew Chausse, who created together the film company GenOne. The film is an interesting mix of martial arts, drama and crime film, with a dark and tense atmosphere. Writer-director Wayne Kennedy blended genres in his directorial debut, which is a refreshing break from usual action films. There are several fight scenes, but although the film is promoted as a martial arts film, their number might be a bit less than hardcore martial arts films feature.
Some of the story lines are no new (assassin redeemed by love, mobster trying to double-cross his boss) but the fight scenes well choreographed by Pak and Kennedy are solid and the direction is good. As usual Ho-Sung Pak proves to be a skilled martial artist. But while he fits seamlessly into the fight scenes, his acting could use a bit of work.
Nevertheless, the film features some strong performances, especially by Roger Guenveur Smith and Sherilyn Fenn. Smith was excellent as a shady detective under pressure, with all events in his life reaching a critical stage. And Fenn, who constantly widens her range of role, was perfect as his depressed wife, though her role was a bit too small.
The DVD audio commentary was very interesting and enlightening on the difficulties of making indie films and on the importance of editing. Karl Hirsch did a great job on the editing.
Fist of the Warrior would probably have been better with a higher budget, but in the end, the film is effective, especially considering the budgetary constraints of independent film-making.
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