5.4/10
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29 user 18 critic

Tapped Out (2014)

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A disgruntled teenager, sent to do community service at a rundown Karate school, enters an MMA tournament to face the man who killed his parents.

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Stars: Nick Bateman, Krzysztof Soszynski, Cody Hackman
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Reggie Munroe
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Michael Shaw
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Dominic Gray
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Anderson
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Lyoto
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Jen
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Lou
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Matt Cockburn
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Len Riley
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Waitress (as Christina Anne Aceto)
Dante Albidone ...
Karate Kid #5
Anna Alexopoulous ...
Jen's Friend #2
Mitchell Aulis ...
Matt Cockburns Friend
Julie-Anne Barbosa ...
Dominic's Girlfriend / Ring Girl
Casandra Bella ...
Ring Girl
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Storyline

One-time martial arts prodigy Michael Shaw is sentenced to community service at a rundown karate school, where he gets back into the discipline of the sport. During a local MMA fight he encounters the man who killed his family a decade ago, and his decision to get revenge involves going behind his karate master's back to train and compete in the upcoming MMA tournament. When he finally goes toe to toe in the ring with his parents' killer he won't stop until the last punch knocks his opponent to the ground, leaving him TAPPED OUT. Written by Grindstone Entertainment Group, LLC

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Action | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bloody martial arts fights, violence, language and a sexual image | See all certifications »
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27 May 2014 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Tapped  »

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Trivia

Martin Kove was originally asked to appear in the film as a thirty second cameo in reference to The Karate Kid, but after reading the script he asked the director to write him a bigger part. See more »

Connections

References The Karate Kid (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

How You Like Me Now?
Written by Kelvin Swaby, Dan Taylor, Spencer Page, Chris Ellul and Arlester Christian
Performed by The Heavy featuring The Dap-Kings Horns
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User Reviews

 
"Dentists love this kick"

Direct-to-video MMA films have always been an easy target. While MMA has long since captured the mainstream, more traditional karate and kickboxing flicks have metaphorically beaten the small screen cage fighter to the ground and kicked him as he lay. TAPPED OUT shows that the subgenre is finally getting to its feet, ready to be taken seriously. Despite the film's occasionally ridiculous narrative decisions and other shortcomings, I am genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie. This is a serious coming-of-age story with a martial arts theme, and I definitely recommend it.

The story: A maladjusted teenager (Cody Hackman) working off his community service at a local karate dojo embarks on a quest to confront the murderer of his parents (Krzysztof Soszynski).

There are many reasons that this movie might have failed, not limited to its curious casting and status as a KARATE KID knockoff, but it perseveres. At first glance, Cody Hackman appears to be your average prettyboy but turns out to be a real-life competitor who delivers an strong performance as a steadily-improving martial artist. His sensei is played, of all people, by old Michael Biehn, and Biehn somehow manages to be 100% convincing as an instructor. The screenplay the two of them act out is also to its film's credit: the journey of the main character is refreshingly nuanced, with significant victories and setbacks throughout that are not directly tied to the buildup of the ending. Different forces pull him in different directions in a lifelike manner, and even when the movie resorts to moments of clichéd stupidity, these are at least grounded in logic. Stupid decisions are addressed in an almost self-aware manner by the script, and traditional martial arts are not downplayed.

Like most movies marketed as MMA flicks, there is some disappointment in the false advertising of TAPPED OUT: UFC megastars Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida are prominently featured on the DVD cover, but are in the film for only ten minutes. Additionally, the ground & pound fight scenes are not about to outdo the likes of NINJA II's. With that said, the brawls are still a solid highlight of the film. Admirably foregoing slow motion and featuring decent editing, the dozen fights are at worst bearable and at best downright exciting. The choreography is far from ground-breaking – there's some intricate grappling, but that's it – yet the pace and dramatic components of the fights are admirable. I found myself actually holding my breath during some of the later matches simply because the filmmakers did such a good job of making them such close contests between characters I had invested in.

There is no guarantee that traditional fight fans will enjoy this as much as me, and even I teetered on whether to give this a lower rating simply because it wouldn't matter to me if I never saw Cody Hackman in a martial arts movie again. While it may not have rewatch value, this action-drama is worth at least a single viewing and will probably do the trick for general martial arts devotees and MMA nuts alike. Rent it!


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