By Leonid Yakubovskiy

 

Lately, I have been watching a lot of anime and it started to become a little boring. So, I have decided to watch an interesting film that was also available online. I got lucky and the inspiration came from a YouTube video, where a guy teaching how to do a split showed clip of Jean-Claude Van Damme from the movie. I thought that it looked pretty cool, and since I like fighting movies and do a fighting sport myself, I jumped right into the film.

The beginning was a bit boring and I had a feeling that I have seen something similar before. The fights were pretty fun to watch, but most of them were unrealistic. Nobody would be standing still after a punch or a kick, they would most likely just fall or try to recover before receiving another punch. Plus, in the place where everybody was fighting any martial art was supposed to be allowed, therefore it was a little disappointing not to see some wrestling or grappling moves. There was just one big dude who grabbed and snapped people. Adding some throws and arm locks would in my opinion only increase the variety of fighting and also make the experience more realistic.

Those were basically all the bad things about the movie. There was one more thing I didn’t like. The actors were speaking reeeeallly slooowly it was kind of unbearable. I found an easy fix and stopped watching the film in original and switched to a Russian dub. This made me forget about the slowness of speech.

Other than that, the movie entertains greatly. I loved the story and the training of the main hero. The determination and strength required to reach a certain level in fighting is enormous and it is beautifully shown how Van Damme overcomes the pain and becomes the best fighter of all. Sure, he seems overpowered but it is not really a problem. Despite the fact that I knew he would win, I had a thought in the back of my mind that maybe he would lose at some point. This kept me watching.

I liked the looks of the actress playing the journalist who wanted to look into the world of fighting. And I really liked the big friend who also participated in the fighting tournament. He was big, and kind, and bad with girls, which resembled someone I know. Maybe he could have even won the tournament if he didn’t get too overconfident. Other characters were a little plain, I would have appreciated a charismatic evil guy like Thanos from The Avengers. or Obito from Naruto. Instead there was the classical Bolo who played in almost every fighting movie of that time.

Overall, the movie was a great refreshment from all the modern movies with perfect lighting and unreal special effects. Despite being a little old (I mean super old when a five-year-old movie seems ancient how about a forty-year one) it has its own type of magic. Certainly, if you like fights and just want to chill out and watch something fun, this movie is for you.

Rating: 4/5

 

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