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|199 reviews in total|
For my 200th review on IMDB I have chosen one of the greatest action movies ever made and the best yet by the maestro of mayhem Steven Seagal.UNDER SIEGE 2 is far better than the original with tons more action as Seagal's Casey Ryback battles terrorists aboard a train and in doing so is involved in some of the most thrilling derring do ever witnessed on a movie screen.The great Seagal does not just defeat his opponents,he annihilates them,using his martial arts skills and ability with a gun to maximum effect.When he hits someone they stay hit,when he shoots someone they stay shot.As I write this it is more apparent than ever before that Steven Seagal is the epitome of all things that a great American hero should be;he is grim and relentless in his battle for justice and will not rest until his enemies are decimated and broken.He stands head and shoulders over all current screen action heroes. Other performances in this movie are more than acceptable with Eric Bogosian and Elliott McGill making even better villains than the ones destroyed by our invincible hero in the original.This is one giant of a movie and demands to be seen by anyone who wishes to see the enemies of freedom ground into the dust.A masterpiece...10 out of 10.
This very early movie in the ever growing catalogue of martial arts action gems from British fight supremo Gary Daniels suffers from budgetary limitations and some weak performances;particularly from Ian Jacklin whose "peformance" as Gary's bother is horrendous.Gary himself,however,acquits himself well in his first US starring role and as ever tries hard to create a character and delivers his dialogue with conviction.His self choreographed fight scenes are as explosive as ever and his one on one battle that includes the use of samurai swords against villain Gerald Okamura brings events to a satisfying conclusion.Overall AMERICAN STREETFIGHTER is an admirable effort.
This movie is a weird and wacky entry in the BLOODSPORT franchise but is an enjoyable fun way of spending 90 minutes of your time.Daniel Bernhardt,the cut-price Van Damme is on fine form here as he fights his way into and through yet another kumite competition but one which bears little relationship to the one in the original movie.Bernhardt probably has less chance than most in the martial field to break into the big time but it is a competitive field in that genre of cinema and nowadays it seems to be the actors who have worked their passage through Hong Kong cinema who succeed in the west.Hopefully though this personable performer will continue to churn out entertaining kick-fests like BLOODSPORT 4.
KISS OF THE DRAGON is one terrific slam-bang,kick-ass kung fu action movie that reminded me in some ways of the great 1975 Jimmy Wang Yu kickfest THE MAN FROM HONG KONG taking as it does the premise of a Chinese cop using his awesome skills to survive in a foreign city,here Paris as opposed to Sydney in the Wang Yu movie. Jet Li in his third US movie again plays credible and hard and does not compromise his great ability in the martial arts by use of embarrassing buffoonery as Jackie Chan has chosen to do(particularly in RUSH HOUR and its sequel).Li engages in a long series of well choreographed fight scenes against a variety of foes including a lone fight against a gymful of karate students(another nod to THE MAN FROM HONG KONG)and faces a particularly nasty villain in the form of the excellent Tcheky Karyo who is on peak form here. There are flaws in this movie however.The story is weak and derivative, the dialogue mostly sucks and heroine Bridget Fonda is just there so Jet can have a woman to protect.Nevertheless this movie is an action lover's wet dream and bodes well for future Hollywood Jet Li projects. Hopefully his popularity will soar above that of the aging and easily studio manipulated Jackie Chan.One cannot imagine Li selling himself out in the way that Chan has and I follow his career with interest.
"Young Hercules" is undoubtedly the poor relation in the wonderful action-adventure franchise that brought us "HERCULES:THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS" and "XENA:WARRIOR PRINCESS",for my money the two greatest shows in TV history.In "HERCULES:TLJ" Kevin Sorbo brought the titular character to vivid life in his warm portrayal and side-kick Iolaus was memorably played by Michael Hurst who took this role and ran with it.However,in "YOUNG HERCULES" these characters are portrayed as teenagers by Ryan Gosling as Herc and Dean O'Gorman as Iolaus.Gosling looks nothing like Sorbo and is a droopy eyed,long faced youth who was a poor replacement for the far better Ian Bohen who played the role in the superior TV movie of the same name and in a few episodes of the parent show.O'Gorman who played Iolaus in those as well was more restrained when partnered with the more cerebral Bohen but alongside Gosling behaves throughout like a boorish and cocky lout who looks too devious to be a hero and although he resembles a young Michael Hurst he possesses none of the charisma and genial warmth that the latter brought to the role of Iolaus.Special effects and fight scenes are up to par though and make this show worth watching but the "football hooligan" aura that the stars possess make it something of a chore to watch regularly and the episodes outstay their welcome at a sparse 20 minutes or so.It was little surprise when this show was cancelled after a single season.
This movie could have been so much better if it stayed truer to its source material.The adventures that cyber heroine Lara Croft undergoes here are small beer compared to the game and seem over too quickly.A couple of fight sequences(albeit well done)and a few chases in darkened tombs would be far better if they were much longer and put Lara in the same kind of lengthily prolonged jeopardy that the game does. However,I cannot fault Angelina Jolie in this role although I wish she had been playing Modesty Blaise instead.Jolie's English accent is very well done and she makes as believable a titled lady as she does a kick-ass adventuress which is something a lot of actresses would be incapable of achieving.Unfortunately the rest of the cast,even Jon Voight as Lara's father are mostly expendable and the villains are completely nondescript.Overall the movie just about passes muster as a brainless summer blockbuster but if Lara is to return to the big screen let us see tons more action and less repetitive chit-chat than we do here otherwise we would do just as well to stick to TV and to watch the splendid Tia Carrere in the similarly themed series "Relic Hunter."
I look upon the incredibly gory and perverse NEKROMANTIK as a black comedy which it undoubtedly is.This is a movie where a wife leaves her husband and also leaves him a note telling him that she does want to waste the best years of her life with him;bearing in mind that she has just run away with a rotting corpse to take as a lover then this must rank as the ultimate putdown.The movie is not a masterpiece of production expertise but it does serve up gore by the bucketload,much of it exceeding anything that most of us have ever seen before.The end in particular is incredibly sick but also comedic at the same time.If you are not easily offended and are able to get in on the joke then NEKROMANTIK is worth 75 minutes of your time.
I am a dyed in the wool fan of Gary Daniels and believe him to be one of the best martial artists working in movies today(if not the best)but this movie is truly terrible and one of the worst I have seen in a very long time.The direction by Darren Doane is as flat as a pancake and the movie is scuppered by long dialogue scenes(one between Gary and some guy on a bench lasts about 15 minutes)and there is a scene with an Oriental actress at the beginning which has no bearing on the plot at all and the lack of any acting skill by the actress concerned is truly a marvel to behold. There is worst to come;the entirely intrusive and impossible to listen to score destroys the very things you expect from a Gary Daniels movie,namely the action.His two long and protracted fight scenes include some good techniques as you would expect from Gary but unfortunately look like they were filmed by a blind cameraman suffering from Parkinson's disease.In any case they are ruined by that God awful music which even drowns out the fight sound effects and you have to ask yourself if any of the technical team working on BLACK FRIDAY had even so much as seen a movie before let alone worked on one.I have watched many of Gary's movies several times in the past(BLOODMOON,RIOT,RECOIL)but could never envisage watching this catastrophe again.If you can imagine what the worst episode of "Miami Vice" would have been like if performed by the most inept actors and crew money could buy then that gives you some idea of how bad BLACK FRIDAY IS.I have some advice for director Darren Doane and that is..in future Darren,don't!!
Forget Jackie Chan,Jet Li,Steven Seagal and Van Damme.The star of this movie,Gary Daniels is the best martial artist working in movies today.This London born action star always gives 110% in his fight scenes and is constantly improving as an actor as CITY OF FEAR shows.This tightly plotted little movie is no masterpiece and its lack of a decent budget is evident from time to time but nevertheless is a worthy entry in Gary's impressive filmography. Set in Sofia,Bulgaria the action in this movie takes place in fresh locations and is enjoyable for every one of its 90 minutes;the supporting cast is nothing to write home about but you won't be watching them,you'll be watching Gary Daniels and if you consider yourself an afficionado of martial arts movies and don't recognise his name I suggest you hot foot it to your local video store and put matters right straight away.Soon you'll be saying:"Jackie Chan? Who he?"
This Jet Li Wong Fei Hung adventure must have served as inspiration for Jackie Chan's later and superior SHANGHAI NOON.The scenes where the hero fights Red Indians and the character of the blond cowboy sidekick who fights alongside the hero were almost duplicated in the Chan vehicle.What spoils this movie is the once again over prevalent use of wires in the fight sequences which always casts doubts in my mind as to how good a martial artist Jet Li really is.Let's face it,you could make a porker like Dan Aykroyd look like a fighting fury using this technique and I wonder why it is that Li relies on them so much.That said there is a great deal of well staged fight action in this otherwise entertaining movie courtesy of Sammo Hung and not too much of the excruciatingly poor comic relief that so often mars Hong Kong action movies.A downside is Li's awful bald apart from a ponytail hairstyle which frankly makes him look ridiculous and which is why I was unable to take him seriously until I saw him in FIST OF LEGEND(which remains his best movie).Some of the heavies in this movie and their dialogue is straight out of BLAZING SADDLES and this film really is only a showcase for fights and serves no other purpose(not that there is anything wrong with that)
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