St. Jude Square is a neighborhood living in fear and despair. The dueling gangs of local kingpins Dash and Antuan terrorize the streets and the citizens live without a shred of hope... until mysterious stranger Ryan Hong (Cung Le) arrives in town. He begins to play one gang against the other using his unparalleled martial arts skills, and by calling on the teachings of his brilliant mentor Tiano (Jean-Claude Van Damme) to find the strength to battle back. However, just as he begins to bring the community under control, Hong is confronted by Mr. V, the town's ruthless and corrupt police chief. At first Mr. V is impressed by Hong's skill, but soon sees Hong as a threat to his regime, and the two warriors are locked in a head-to-head battle, pitting the fear and corruption of Mr. V's regime versus the new beginning Hong represents for the people of St. Jude Square.Written by
Written By: Courtesy Of & Corey "Afinnity" Finn
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Storywise this really aims high. Something that people might not really be into that much, but whatever the case, you have to admire the filmmakers for trying at least. There are some very fine ideas in this movie (loyalty, friendship, respect amongst them), but none get explored too much. Not to mention that the emotional connection between the viewer and the main character unfortunately isn't the strongest. And that has nothing to do with the storyline, but has more to do with the way the movie is handled.
The action scenes are decent enough (some are even spectacular), but hopefully you're not renting this to watch van Damme fight. He's playing a major part, but is a supporting player. But Cung Le knows how to fight. In the charisma department on the other hand ... One really good coup the movie made is installing Peter Weller as the main bad guy. He is terrific and shows what Charisma really is!
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