Starring: Jerry Trimble, Bolo Yueng, Jonathan Ke Quan
Written and Directed by: Lou Kennedy, Brandon Pender
With a special apology to Jay Woelfel. I mistakenly had him listed as the director, and he had nothing to do with this movie. Mr. Woelfel, I'm sorry about the error.
The Story: Well, I was lied too, but I can't say I didn't expect it. This movie came on a double length disk proclaiming it was starring Bolo Yueng. Yeah, well Bolo's in the movie, but as usual he's playing a bad guy and not even the chief bad guy. That honor goes to Jerry Trimble.
Trimble plays Michael Moore, a rich guy that as far as I can tell has no real job. When we first meet him, you'd think he's a pretty nice guy. He has two sons, Tony (and we never find out who Tony's mom is or where she is for that matter) and the adopted Charlie. Charlie has been told his mother asked Michael to take him back to the US when he was baby in Vietnam during the conflict there.. But in reality, Michael killed his mother. (I think they could have renamed the character...Charlie was what troops called the Vietcong)
Michael and several of his cronies, including Bolo stage a badly filmed bank robbery where they still a sh!tload of gold bars. (what kind of bank has actual gold bars in the safe?) Then they stash the gold in a safe in an old warehouse. Michael has the key imprinted on the back of several plastic pizza slices so that all of the conspirators must be together to open the safe. However, Stern, the bank's manager was in on the crime but wants out. Michael and his buddies break into his house later that night and kill him and his wife, but not before his daughter Annie escapes with the pizza slice.
Annie goes to her dad's old friend, David. David is also a friend and former comrade in 'Nam of Michael's. After a run in with the gang chasing Annie, David takes her to Michael's big ass house to hide out...not knowing that Michael is the mastermind behind the whole thing. After this part the movie ceases to be semi-serious. The bank robbers try to kidnap Annie several times and Tony and Charlie stop them using their own martial arts skills. David steps in when the boys start getting smacked around by the almost unbeatable Bolo. Of course the boys are impressed with David's style of whoopass so a lot of the movie is them begging David to train them and then of course the "training scenes" where we see them breaking boards and stuff. Ho-hum.
It was hard to stay interested in this movie because you can't help but wonder why don't they call the police? Annie's parents have been murdered and she really doesn't know why....her father told her mom not to call the police but she doesn't know why. Well, they're dead now, so Annie really has no reason not to go the police especially when the thugs are after her. Also, how hard can it be to get Annie now that she's staying in Michael's place!? He could just arrange an accident for her or simply sneak into her room and take the damned plastic pizza slice which is really all he wants!
Annie disappears halfway through the film anyway so during the latter half you'll have to stop yourself from wondering what the whole thing is about anyway. Charlie and Tony get into a few scrapes with the bad guys and finally the showdown at the old factory where the gold is hidden. That's when Charlie finds out that Michael killed his mother and Michael...for some reason all of a sudden doesn't give a sh!t about his adopted son and starts kicking his ass. Ever wonder if Jerry Trimble could beat the snot out of that kid Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? Well, here's your chance to find out, because that's who Charlie is...Jonathan Ke Quan. The police arrive and the gang including Michael are thrown in the pokey, but now Tony hates Charlie's guts. Well, Tony, Charlie didn't make your dad rob the bank and kill people....(and hey, he was Charlie's dad, too!) That's when we have to see the two guys in a martial arts tournament duking it out. Unable to fight his brother for the championship, Charlie allows Tony to kick the living bejeezus out of him for the trophy. Then they make up and this mess ends thankfully.
This movie's paper thin plot isn't helped by a total lack of reality, a kiddie show fight atmosphere and just plain old bad acting. Ke Quan is probably the only person in the movie who can act. albeit not greatly. I didn't expect great acting...who would in a movie like this...but I expected Bolo to have a larger role than just the big mean tough guy. Poor bolo. I'd love to see a flick where he was actually the HERO for once!
Best Lines: “Sorry about this...for your own good...hehehehe!” - Bolo beats up Stern and sticks his head in a toilet to make it look like he was forced into opening the bank's safe.
Are you kidding me?
1.) Just as there's usually a "fight in a bar with assholes" in most action flicks, most martial arts films have a "fight in the locker room before the tournament" scene and this one is no different. But I can't help but wonder why there seems to be so many bullies with black belts in the movies. I thought martial arts schools taught students not to be assholes.
2.) This movie really can't hold water once you realize the only reason no one has called the police is because Annie said "I heard my father tell my mother not to call the police" before they were killed. Do I need to break that down for ya? If Annie had any brain cells she'd come to the conclusion that her dad probably said that to keep himself out of trouble, which is a moot point now since he's dead. Also, since days if not weeks have passed since the murder, the police will be looking for Annie anyway....or are her parents bodies just sitting there rotting because no one noticed they're missing!?
3.) Lets face it guys....there are some of us that just can't, if we had to for one reason or another, disguise ourselves as women. Bolo Yueng in one of them. Seeing him in the dress was funny as hell, but lets be for real....Bolo? He's like a big Asian Incredible Hulk. There's no way I'd mistake him for a woman!
4.) This movie is kind of like a lame Three Ninjas movie or something. Charlie and Tony go around fighting the bank robbers in all kinds of whacky situations that just don't make sense. When they fight Tank outside of his house my DVD player up and quit on me for some reason, which really was a relief. (I finished watching the movie on my computer....sigh)
5.) I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Tony and Charlie have to fight Alan's midget....or is it dwarf?....henchmen. I'm not saying that a...er...little person couldn't fight, but its pretty funny.
6.) I'd like to see how Michael ended up adopting Charlie after he killed his mom in Vietnam. First of all, he didn't seem like the type to really give a rats ass and how could he just adopt the kid. He was a soldier in a war zone! What'd he do? Keep the baby in his rucksack until he rotated back to the US?
7.) You know you're getting your as whipped when your foe runs your head across some piano keys just for the sound effect. Too bad they didn't throw a cheesy line in like "You like music? Try this ditty Liberace!".
Nudity and Sex: none
Michael's Femme fatale girlfriend doesn't have a mask or anything on when she holds up the security guard at the bank with a gun. Neither does Tank and the guy dressed up like a mailman. No one bothered to ID these guys?
How'd they get those gold bars out of the bank and hidden in the old factory? Gold is pretty damned heavy and its not like they had all day! It was a bank robbery in broad daylight! What were the cops doing?
Why does everyone know martial arts in this world?
So where are Charlie and Tony living now that Michael's in the slammer? With David? He didn't have any money in the first place!
The Final Judgment: I can't with all honesty recommend this movie unless you just like crappy martial arts flicks. And who doesn't?! The only thing is a crappy martial arts flick has to be funny in its crappiness. This one ain't. If you just can't get enough Bolo no matter what movie he's in, then you'll want to see this at least once. But do heed my warning. Its convoluted and pretty bad.