We watched some crazy flicks here at WM but there is one that truly stands out head and shoulders above the rest. It’s a  Martial Arts flick,  but a Martial Arts flick from the most unique place… and that place is Ireland! Yes, they are Martial Artist in Ireland and (at least one) Martial Arts filmmaker, and his name is (in this movie as in his real life) James “Jimmy” Bennet. Now let’s get down to business!

After 10 long years of absence, seasoned and successful  Martial Artist  decides to return to his home town to reconnect with his roots and more importantly discover the truth about the passing of his father Bennet Sr. While narrating his thoughts to the audience Bennet grabs a photograph of his father all samurai looking from the wall (decorated with numerous photographs of Bennet himself and also mulleted Van Damme from Hard Target for some reason), throws in into a bag and starts his long road home.

After a sad song he is finally home just to find it abandoned. He finds a little Buddah statuete on the floor and gets flashback of his training with his father right away. Next he goes to get some groceries just to find local morons stealing and harassing big blond chick who works there. He demonstrates his Van Damme- like kicking ability and stops them. We get some more flashback scenes of his childhood and then the same blond chick manages to get in trouble AGAIN. This time it’s long haired ginger dude (and his friend) speaking with such heavy Irish accent that it’s almost completely impossible to decipher what is he threatening her with. Anyway Bennet shows up and after verbally kicking their ass with “Why don’t you boy scouts go and play in the woods” he asks them and then  demonstrates some more kicking arsenal.

Now we learn who the mysterious Mickey is (the man who sent ginger dude and his friend), he is the grandson of the Drug Baron … the same man who MURDERED HIS FATHER (que in some dramatic music). And while good ol’ Jimmy Bennet practices his deadly Martial Arts Blondie rides a bike to his place. She came all this way to thank him, the only way a girl can thank a man… by giving him a pie she backed for him. Then she rides away.This girl obviously has to much free time on her hand. Anyway some of the Baron’s goons show up (even uglier than the last too) and Jimmy visits the Drug Baron who then offers him a job.

Before deciding anything Bennet takes Blondie on a proper date- a Carnival. There we can see all four women living in this village and then it’s painfully clear why did the trailer say “a hot chick” for Blondie despite her somewhat robust, sturdy built. She truly is the hottest chick in her village, but only because the other 3 don’t really resemble human females.After an obviously fun night by Irish standards Bennet falls asleep and in his dream he remember the horrible truth, he was present as the old crime boss (man barely capable of walking) sliced his father with a Katana blade. He sets his mind at ease with some running and doing some Kempo Karate forms as the sun rises.

Then the plot thickens! A mysterious Celtic Monk (seen earlier stalking Bennet) posts a notification for The Tournament (it seems Ireland also has a long tradition of secret underground fighting). Drug Baron ensures everyone their man, who should be back from Hong Kong any minute now ,Seagul ( obviously an Irish answer to Steven Seagal), will be a sure winner. They see the Tournament as a way to demonstrate that they hold the whole village in the palm of their hands (even thou that doesn’t seem so impressive when you think about it). Monk then appears in front of the Bennet’s house and invites him to the Tournament. Blondie seems trilled about it, it seems she’s also a martial arts aficionado. Anyway Bennet starts getting into (more) shape with some stick fighting and hitting a heavy bag but Monk appears again out of nowhere and invites him to come tomorrow and “walk with him”. So they meet in the woods the next day and the mysterious Monk informs him that he will train him for the tournament, just like he trained his father. And then sends him home and explains that his training will begin tomorrow. Man, he is trolling Bennet big time! The training mostly consists of doing exercises while the old man plays bagpipes but we also get a scene of Monk with Kali sticks which is absolutely precious!


Now this is what I call training!

Bennet takes a break from the hard training by going  on a picnic with Blondie but just when they’re about to kiss for the first time (yes, it took him THAT long) they are interrupted by Drug Baron’s goons on motorcycles. A ridiculous chase and shootout ensue and Blondie ends up kidnapped.  It turns out that Mickey, the Baron’s grandson is to blame.  “You make me look bad… and that’s not good!” Mickey utters to Blondie and she promises that Bennet will come after her.

Now enraged and desperate Bennet prepares to break Drug Baron’s hold of the city and get his girl back. He is flooded by memories of times they shared together including some previous scenes like riding horses and stuff… and some scenes that ABSOLUTELY didn’t happen like a sex scene . They didn’t even kiss for Christ’s sake! A this point you have to ask yourself is Bennet completely delusional?

Fatal DeviationSeriously, her shoulders are broader than his!

Now the Tournament starts and we can see that people here really enjoy fighting, lots of older people (man and especially the women) and there in the ruins of an old castle to see people fight. Bennet does his best Van Damme impersonations while demolishing one opponent after another. In the end there’s only two man standing and that’s him and Seugul. Soon to be just one of course. Irish Seagal unfortunately proves that he is not the Martial Artist as an American version. He compensates that with his sheer size and strength and even menages to make problems for Bennet (in big part by using a large chunk of wood to hit him in the head) but in the most critical moment the Celtic Monk calls for the most powerful technique and soon the whole crown chants “FATAL DEVIATION, FATAL DEVIATION…” So Bennet digs deep and manages to perform it perfectly (with some help from the editing room ) thus destroying his opponent.

Now this is simply brilliant!

He doesn’t have time to celebrate ’cause he has to race to get his girl back. This leads straight into a fantastic (apparently non- scripted) carcrash and a post production CGI explosion that lasts about two seconds and doesn’t mask the fact that the car is not burning at all.

Fantastic carcrash that was absolutely NOT a part of the script! Afterwords we get a lame-ass CGI explosion that last half a second and doesn’t mask the fact that the car is not burning at all. Epic shootout scenes fallow and are stooped just so we can see a bare assed man running across the field for absolutely no reason! After a “tense” stand- off Bennet confronts Mickey and breaks his neck. Then we cut in to the quiet picnic and Bennet and Blondie are obviously trying to continue what they started earlier. But they are out of luck again. The incredibly old man, Drug Baron appears out of thin air with a shotgun and proclaims “You killed my son, now I’m going to kill you- just as killed your father”. Jimmy B seems ready for this and he answers “ You killed my father, now I’m going to kill you- just like I killed your son”. Of course he fallows that up by disarming the frail old man and shooting him into oblivion. Then he and Blondie embrace knowing that the nightmare is finally over.

For now this is the best Kung Fu film Ireland has ever produced. But we’re still waiting on the fabled Celtic Samurai flick (trailer unfortunately removed from youtube as of now) to see how it will stack up.

Bennet as a guest on Nationwide (during the shooting of Fatal Deviation)

Trivia: Jimmy Bennet actually DID make it in life, even thou it took  years for his “masterpiece” to see light of the day. He doesn’t work on the farm no more, he is a bona fide Hollywood stuntman working on such films as  Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Lone Ranger. Soon he will also perform in the Swelter with his long time idol and inspiration Van Damme. But I sincerely hope he doesn’t forget where he came from and soon decides to surprise as all with another Irish Martial Arts Action- fest.  Now, that would be a treat!

Tutorial: If you were impressed by Jimmy Bennet’s “secret technique” and want to learn to do it- no problem. Fatal Deviation is in fact regular part of the curriculum of Ed Parker’s American Kempo Karate and here you have his black belt Jeff Speakman (Mr. Perfect Weapon himself) demonstrating this combination.

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