A team from the United States is going to compete against Korea in a Tae Kwon Do tournament. The team consists of fighters from all over the country--can they overcome their rivalry and work together to win?
James Earl Jones,
A group of Russian mobsters have stolen a huge supply of paper for printing U.S. currency, and are now flooding the market with conterfeit bills. When one of the mobsters decides to give ... See full summary »
Jason, a Bruce Lee fan, sees his karate instructor/dad beaten by martial art thugs. They move to Seattle where, after humiliations, he trains with Bruce Lee's ghost so he can defend himself and others against thugs.
Jean-Claude Van Damme,
This movie is supposed to be a sequel to the movie which starred Jean-Claude Van Damme. Only now the movie revolves around the brother of the character that Van Damme played. David Sloan is... See full summary »
In an underground fight club, blackbelt Travis Brickley is killed after losing to the evil martial arts master Brakus. Travis' death is witnessed by Walter Grady, the son of his best friend Alex Grady. Alex and his partner, Tommy Lee, vow to avenge their friend's death by defeating Brakus and shutting down the fight club.Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
The guard that Alex stabs in the hand with a pencil late in the movie is the same actor that played Burt who got in the bar fight with Travis in the first movie. See more »
When Alex and Tommy go to the Coliseum to search for Travis, and they question Weldon, he says the Coliseum is a dance club, period. Alex responds "Travis Brickley doesn't dance." Travis did plenty of dancing in Best of the Best. See more »
The close-up half-second shot of James's fingers being shot off has been cut from the American video releases, but has recently appeared in the ActionMax (Cinemax's partner channel) version on cable TV. See more »
If you want to talk about a movie that's a black hole for careers, let's talk about Best of the Best 2. Director Robert Radler wound up working on Power Rangers episodes, Eric Roberts usually appears in magazines making jealous comments about his much more successful sister, and Philip Rhee...well, the less said about Best of the Best 3 and 4, the better. Ralf Moeller, the chief bad guy, usually winds up playing the big sidekick, most visibly in Gladiator. Ironically, he's probably made out better than anyone else involved, save for the invincible Wayne Newton.
Judged by the standards of its genre, the movie isn't entirely terrible. Judging action movies on the same scale as more respectable fare is like expecting your 59 cent hamburger to taste like steak, and Best of the Best 2 is better than a lot of comparable movies I've seen. The fight scenes are refreshingly high-impact and plentiful, Newton is as deliciously slimy as Richard Dawson in The Running Man, and Moeller makes for a formidable bad guy in the ring. In these respects and others, this movie compares well with better-known movies like Bloodsport or the terrible Kickboxer.
The bad parts are definitely bad, however. The script, as is usual for the genre, consists of the standard tough-guy posturing, but is not even particularly clever at that. Roberts looks like he's being directed to think about his paycheck whenever he's supposed to act happy. Rhee (the real star) does a good job in the ring, but his transformation from calm martial artist to brutal vengeance artist is not really played at all. The bad guys, other than Moeller and to some extent Newton, are completely devoid of menace. The worst part of all - and one of the most cringe-inducing scenes I've ever witnessed - is the first scene with James, where a pathetic drunk's tragic fall is played for laughs. This scene will and should offend almost anyone who understands it.
On the ugly side, the movie's production design definitely reflects its budget. Best of the Best 2 looks and sounds at least 10 years older than it actually is. In style, form, and substance, it's well behind the curve. Some of the violence is really painful to watch, namely two close-ups of Rhee breaking limbs in hapkido arm locks. This is a cheap shot, but Roberts' girlfriend looks like she's about 70. All told, it is not a study in economy. Shot for about the same budget as a Star Trek: The Next Generation 2-part episode, this movie looks way worse.
Is it completely terrible? Well, don't be looking for The Godfather. If some cheesy fighting is your bag, however, you're looking at the right movie. Recommended for genre diehards and 12-year-olds, but not really for anyone else.
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