Street Fighter (1994)

Director: Steven E de Souza

Writer: Steven E de Souza (Screenplay)

Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Raul Julia, Ming-Na Wen, Damian Chapa, Kylie Minogue, Simon Callow, Byron Mann

 

Plot: Col. Guile and various other martial arts heroes fight against the tyranny of Dictator M. Bison and his cohorts.


Tagline – The solution.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Action Nonsense

 

Story: Street Fighter starts as the evil tyrant Bison (Julia) has been controlling the country of Shadaloo, Col William Guile (Van Damme) is leading the assault to bring him down after his latest demand is 20 Billion Dollars, to save the hostages he has taken. Chun-Li (Wen) has been reporting the story only for herself to have a personal investment in taking him down too.

Colonel Guile recruits Ken (Chapa) and Ryu (Mann) to go undercover to locate the secret base, before it is too late giving Guile a chance to go face to face with Bison in an ultimate fight between the two men.

 

Thoughts on Street Fighter

 

Characters – Colonel Guile is part of the Allied Nations a soldier that is trying a bring an end to the evil tyrant Bison, he is an expert in martial arts and will put himself in the line of fire in an attempt to stop this man. Bison is the dictator tyrant holding the country hostage, he is willing to offer anybody a chance to fight for their freedom, but his skills are beyond anything any normal person can handle, he is almost waiting for Guile to arrive for a worthy opponent.  Chun-Li is a journalist with her own reasons for hunting down Bison, she is able to handle herself in a fight and willing to take just as many chances as Guile in finding the truth. Ken is involved in his own dealings with one of Bison’s supplies, he is used to get close to Bison to help locate the base of operations, while being one of the best fighters in the world.

PerformancesJean-Claude Van Damme is nowhere near his best in this role, he might handle the fighting, but everything else just looks out of place. Raul Julia is easily the best thing in this film, he is so wildly over the top you just want to see where he takes this character next. Ming-Na Wen does bring her character to life which is entertaining, though she seems to vanish for parts of the second half. We do get plenty of different characters from the history of the games, the performances are mixed as they look to bring these generic figures to life.

StoryThe story follows the Allied Nations trying to bring down a tyrant trying to take over a country with his ludicrous demands, we see the favourite fighters from the game come into battle on both sides as they look to bring the end to the war for the country. This was one of the first attempts to bring a video game to life, we do get the characters, though as I am not a fan of the game, I can’t tell you how accurate the characters are. This isn’t a difficult story to follow, though it does feel like it wants to put all the favourite characters in scenes even if they aren’t always written strongly. This is however a good alcohol story because you can make a drinking game out of it.

Action/ComedyThe action in the film is countless numbers of fights, each fighter does have their own style, only for the scenes not being shot in the strongest style. This film does have comedy, though I am not sure if it is meant to be a comedy or not.

SettingsThe film uses the typical locations with the secret base for the villain being a major part of the settings, it is filled with the gadgets you would expect to see from a video game style location.

Special EffectsThe effects are low budget without being anything that will be remembered for being strong.


Scene of the Movie –
The final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters not getting enough time to shine.

Final ThoughtsThis is the typical video game movie that just didn’t work, we have too many iconic characters that don’t get their time to shine which would only disappoint the fans of the game.

 

Overall: Disappointing video game movie.

Rating

 

 

Skyscraper (2018)

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Writer: Rawson Marshall Thurber (Screenplay)

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Pablo Schreiber, Noah Taylor, Kevin Rankin, McKenna Roberts, Byron Mann, Tzi Ma, Chin Han

 

Plot: FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Sawyer now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in Hong Kong he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he’s been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, Will must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family who are trapped inside the building…above the fire line.


Tagline – The sky is the limit

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Spectacularly Entertaining

 

Story: Skyscraper starts as we learn how Will Sawyer (Johnson) first met his wife Sarah (Campbell) in an FBI Hostage Rescue Team mission gone wrong, which left him without a leg, 10-years later he works in security, figuring out and assessing building for potential hazards. His latest job is his big break, on the biggest building in the world ‘The Pearl’ built by architect Zhao Long Ji (Han).

When everything looks like it is about to pass the tests, Kores Botha (Moller) finds a flaw in the system, setting the building on fire in an attempt to get Zhao, the problem is Will’s family is in the building and will stop at nothing to save his family.

 

Thoughts on Skyscraper

 

Characters – Will Sawyer is a former FBI Hostage Rescue team leader, wounded in action, turned to security, he has a small business which will giving him the recommendation to work on the biggest building in the world. the now family man nervous at the thought of this opportunity must prove how safe this building is. He does, but when criminals have other thoughts, he must return to his rescue ways to save his family from the situation. THIS IS NOT A JOHN MCCLANE MARK II, his only goal is to save his family, not to stop the criminals. Sarah is Will’s wife, one of the surgeons that helped save his life, she does what she can to keep the children safe, remaining calm and showing herself a hand at self-defence. Zhao Long Ji is the architect who has designed this brilliant world changing building, he has everything down to make it look stunning, operate smoothly and help the world by creating jobs and running eco-friendly, he is the target of the criminals who want something he has. Kores Botha is the leader of the attack, he has been an old nemesis of Zhao through construction, this is a slightly more generic villain, but his cold-hearted delivery is just as striking as you need him to be. We do get a host of side characters including, the two kids, they are good for the film, the cops on the outside trying to put the pieces together, other members of the criminal gang with Xia being the standout of them and the old friend which got him the job.

PerformancesDwayne Johnson is an actor you all know I will watch everything he does, the genre he shines best in, is action, in this film he gives one of his best action performances to date, he gives his character the feeling he might no succeed even though he looks like he could knock you out with one punch. Neve Campbell is good in the support role showing its about time we saw her back on the bring screen, Roland Moller as the villain is very strong too because we do get moments when you are scared of what he will do. The rest of the cast are good throughout even if we would have liked to have seen more.

StoryThe story is a perfect playlist of how to keep action simple without needing to make anything complicated. One giant building, one fire in said building, one stranded family, one group of criminals and the reluctant hero going against the odds to try and save his family. Those are the core elements of the story and as I said, we don’t need more, this is simple enough to give us everything we wanted. We could look at the minor negative in the story and that would be the amount of characters we do meet outside of the building situation, while I know it is part of the bigger picture, they don’t have the same intensity as the building moments. The biggest weirdly enjoyable part of the story was watching how the crowd just stood around watching on the big screen cheer, gasping like the audience watching.

Action The action set pieces in the film are brilliant, breath taking and truly edge of your seat, seeing Dwayne Johnson pull this off and make you feel like something could go wrong is what it is all about, praise must be giving to a fight sequence too, where Will must fight on one leg.

SettingsThe setting of being in the Pearl was fantastic, we know the escape is next to impossible and watching how this unfolds is edge of your seat, when we step away however it does lose the levels of anticipation we would have liked.

Special EffectsThe building being on fire look amazing, well realistically I don’t actually want to see buildings on fire, but other elements of the special effects go towards making Will’s leg injury seem like the norm for Johnson.


Scene of the Movie –
The crane.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Two big lines from the trailer are not in the movie, they both felt important for the situations we were in.

Final ThoughtsThis isn’t just a Die Hard modernised, this is a stand alone action thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat and show you all that Dwayne Johnson is the king of the action genre at the moment.

 

Overall: Must watch action thrill ride.

Rating

 

 

Trailer Alert – The Mercenary: Absolution

Plot – When a contract killer (Steven Seagal) encounters a girl on the run from a dangerous mob boss (Vinnie Jones) with powerful political ties, running a human trafficking operation, he is torn between protecting the girl, and remaining loyal to the government agency that hired him.

Release Date:  15th May 2015

Stars:

  • Steven Seagal (Under Siege)
  • Bryon Mann (The Man With The Iron fists)
  • Vinnie Jones (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels)

Director: Keoni Waxman (The Highwayman)

Highlight of the Trailer: Vinnie Jones versus Steven Seagal.

Summary: When it comes to action films you have to enter them two different ways, one you just look to enjoy the action packed sequences and two don’t worry about the quality in the acting. This film looks like it has the good story, the action coming from every direction and most importantly a good old fashion brutal villain.

Questions:

Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating – 75%

My Guess Rating – 70%

Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

The Man With The Iron Fists (2012)

logoDirector: RZA

Writer: RZA, Eli Roth (Screenplay) RZA (Story)

Starring: RZA, Rick Yune, Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, Dave Bautista, Jamie Chung, Cung Le, Byron Mann

 

Story: Jungle Village part of a fictional ancient Chinese time has a string of characters who want control. After fierce warrior Gold Lion is betrayed by Silver Lion (Mann) and Bronze Lion (Le), all hell is about to break out in Jungle Village. When news of Gold Lion’s death reaches his son Zen Yi or The X-Blade (Yune) he travels across China for vengeance. After feeling guilty for creating the weapons that killed Gold Lion Blacksmith (RZA) helps a wounded X-Blade build a new suit after Brass Body (Bautista) proves too hard to beat being due to his body unable to take blade damage. Along with Jack Knife (Crowe) can they bring peace back to the village before it is too late?

 

Verdict: Grindhouse meets martial arts to make an effect ride of a film

Story: It follows the paths of many characters all affect by events; it is all told in a way over the top style with plenty of blood splatter. Granted you will have to switch off any part of your mind that will want to see anything real. The fight scenes are brilliantly put together with each character having their strengths and weakness. Each character has strong motives for the actions be it greed, redemption, revenge or vengeance. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: RZA – Plays the Blacksmith with a dark past who the warriors of the village think can walk all over. Doesn’t shine as much as he could, but does end up an unforeseen threat when it comes to what he is capable of. Struggles to be the main lead would look a lot more comfortable in a supporting role. Poor Performance Award (6/10)

 rza

Actor Review: Rick Yune – as the warrior son out for vengeance performs well in the fight scenes. Good performance knowing he has a task to complete without letting emotion conflict him. (8/10)

x blade

Actor Review: Russell Crowe – Fighting for the Emperor to retrieve the missing gold, has a unique weapon that inflicts maximum damage. Has a lot of fun with this role soon becomes the most interesting character due to some air of mystery about him. Star Performance Award (9/10)

 crowe

Actor Review: Dave Bautista – The muscle fighter makes it impossible to beat him with blades. Typical henchman role showing the former wrestler has a chance at a career in the bodyguard role business. (7/10)

 brass body

Actor Review: Byron Mann – After stabbing his leader in the back for power his greed will soon take him lethalness to a new level. Also takes pleasure from killing people. Creates a very creepy psychotic villain, which really pushes the good guys to the limits. Favourite Character Award (9/10)

 

Director Review: RZA – Directorial debut shows how he can put together good ideas for characters, makes the film fun rather than serious which works for the material. He will be one director to watch out for in the future. (9/10)

Action: Great fight scenes which a huge body count, potentially a bit too violent for some. (8/10)

Special Effects: With a Brass body character the special effects to create that work well, but what does the film down is the clear use of ropes/strings in the fight scenes you can almost see the characters stop in mid-air before starting again. (6/10)

Music: All the rap music is trying to mix East with West but I feel it doesn’t work and unnecessary for the back ground music. (4/10)

Settings: The ancient Chinese village is a good setting with authentic looking building to create the fight scenes in. (9/10)

Suggestion: It is clear that inspiration has come from classic Grindhouse films and the new modern take on them. If you like those films you will definitely enjoy this film. If you want just martial arts you may get put off by the over use of blood and if you don’t like violence find something else. If you just want a fun over the top action film check it out. (Give It A Go)

 

Best Part: Final Battle is great, but honourable mention is Jack Knife introduction.

Worst Part: Over violent.

Favourite Quote: Jack Knife ‘I always bring a gun to a knife fight’

Trivia: The first cut was Four hours long but was cut down to 90minutes.

 

Similar Too: Kill Bill, Machete

 

Overall: Rampage of fighting mixing a range of fighting styles.

Rating 71%