During a high-stakes east-west karate tournament, coach Chuck suspects the match is rigged against him. When looking around the other team's locker room gets him shot, he calls in Cal and J, his partners from California. After exercising a little persuasion and a lot of brute force, they discover who's behind it all. Now the only problem is getting back the money Chuck is owed.Written by
During a martial arts tournament, fighter Chuck and his friend Ralph think there's something crooked going on behind the scenes. Chuck checks it out and discovers match fixing, but for his troubles he's shot. Ralph becomes worried when Chuck disappears, but they meet up and learn that they won't be getting the money they're owned by the tournament organisers, but become actual targets. Chuck is shot again, Ralph is knocked out cold and Chuck's girl gets raped and kidnapped. Before this had happened, Chuck got his gal to ring his buddies Cal and J to come down and help get their money. Their friends are missing, so Cal and J decide to start up their own investigation and get down to business.
Oh yeah, what a bang-up leading cast we got here! Fred "The Hammer" Williamson's laid-back, rough 'n' tumble late blaxpoitation piece goes on to team up influential 70s exploitation figures Jim Brown, Richard Roundtree, Jim Kelly and Fred Williamson. Hell, that's great! Well, you would like to think so, but the script never lets the four interact with each other too often. The straight-forward material isn't anything special and it might rely on its stars' presences, but there's no question about the sheer spirit and exciting raw beatings, shootouts and explosions interwoven into Williamson's rough-around-edges direction. Smothering proceedings is ultra-smooth dialogues packed stinging wisecracks and ripe humour. Roundtree and Kelly seem to be in supporting roles compared the likes of Brown and Williamson. Honestly when the latter two appeared, that's when the wham-bam attitude and hard-ass excitement seemed to break out. The opening ten minutes actually sets-up an authentic martial arts tournament for the film, where these guys are literally busting their guts for prize money. After some slow moments, it does take its time to find its groove. However the funked-up soundtrack is a real highlight and an atmospherically scorching score is filtered in nicely. Pulsating camera-work is lucidly leering and naturally fitting to the stark and gritty look of the film's locations. The four main men are great. A domineering Brown is excellent as the polite, but persuasively forceful J. The sensational Williamson chews it up with pure vigour and charm as Cal. Roundtree paints a macho awe to Ralph and what little time a solid Kelly gets is done with enough aplomb. Peter Dane and Tom Signorelli make for decent scummy villains and their dopey henchmen cop nothing but beatings. Joe Spinell makes for an amusing minor performance as a twitchy promoter who gets a visit by Roundtree. Warrington Winters injects some light humour as the random appearing sheriff, who just doesn't want trouble in the way of gunfire and explosions that seems to follow these men. The feisty Paula Sills and the endearing buxom Laura Loftus play the sweethearts.
Like the tag-line suggests, this blaxpoitation does pack four times the punch with its ass-whopping. Despite some splintered chemistry, there's still plenty there to offer the fans.
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