Posts Tagged ‘Cary Tagawa’

Now, I’m a big fan of the Kazahstani cinema, not ’cause I think directors are overly talented but for the sheer fact that they approach film-making like the kid collecting the stickers- they try really hard to collect them all.

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And then you have things like Olivier Gruner (Nemesis, Alien Interceptor), Mark Dacascos (Crying Freeman, Brotherhood of the Wolf, Agents of SHIELD), Martin Kove (Karate Kid, Rambo 2, Assault on Devil’s Island), Cary Tagawa (Mortal Kombat, The Man in the High Castle), Eric Roberts (Runaway Train, Best of the Best, Raptor), Billy Zane (Titanic, Phantom), Michael Jai White (Spawn, Black Dinamite), Bai Ling (Age of Hobbits,The Crow, Crank 2), Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), Kristina Loken (Terminator 3), Armand Assante (The Odyssey, Prophecy) and Danny Trejo (Machete) all working on the same freakin’ movie!

And it’s about manhunt + reality TV mix with a fare share MMA action to boot- who can say no to that?

 

Now that you’ve enjoyed the trailer, prepare for more Kazahstani goodness ’cause we are expecting another offering from them this year and that’s The Whole World at Our Feet with unlikely mix of Armand Assante, Peter O’Tool and Bolo Yeung!  Hope they never stop doing what they do.

 

 

 

    *Here you can marvel at Gruner as he demonstrates his  kickboxing skills on
a bad stop- motion Terminator rip- off.

One of those films that start kinda gritty Cyber Punk-ish with a possible promise of good innocent fun and then… goes absolutely nowhere! Director Pyun (somewhat rightfully claimed to be a Hawaiian reincarnation of Ed Wood) wanted to make a film with a dystopian , almost William Gibson SF atmosphere and every time he got close to nailing it he found a new way to royally screw things up (adding women with big muscles in the scenes has been known to do that.) It takes somewhere around a half an hour to set up our story and after that he just trows it all away the same moment our hero Rain (Olivier Gruner) gets to the island and fists start flying/guns start blazing.

Event that could be forgiven (often enough SF is just a backdrop for a classic action fest) if those same action scenes made some kind of impact but there are just cartoonish violence at it worst. Incoherent story gets completely lost in translation really fast while bizarre bunch of characters kill/fuck/or save one another almost randomly.
At some points you have to ask yourself did those people follow a REAL SCRIPT and soon after you start doubting that the script even existed. Perhaps they had a 10 page treatment… for the beginning of the movie and then they improvised from there. That would explain a lot of things. There is also a hilarious moment when a gun packing grandma starts unleashing hell, it is absurd as it gets, but at least it’s fun and you can’t say that for the rest of this picture.

THIS. IS. BAD.

Olivier Gruner ( our cyborg ex-government agent) is karateka/ ex- kickboxing champion and he demonstrates his skill here and there (in-spite of the laughable choreographed fight scenes ) but he’s acting is so woden that after a while you start appreciating all the subtleties of Schwarzenegger’s performances and that is never a good sign. On the + side (if there is one here) he gets to fight a crazed robot, terminator style stop- motion monstrosity that explodes for no apparent reason and takes his arm with him!*
One of his sidekicks (the only one that actually survives) is irritating teenage girl who becomes extremely important character out of nowhere in the last half an hour of the film– against all common sense. His dog at the beginning of the film had more character and a hell lot of more story potential than she ever had!
Legendary “Cary” Hiroyuki Tagawa (Sheng Tsung himself) makes an appearance as the crazy Yakuza boss in a Hawaiian shirt but not even his devilish charm can make this crap watchable.

Verdict: If you have to watch an Albert Pyun film watch his eulogy  of Cannon Films in the form of Van Damme’s Cyborg, Cyber- Punk angle is better realized and despite the fact that JCVD wasn’t  much of an actor back then/ or much of an English speaker back then he always had a ton of charisma, the thing that Gruner sorely lacks.

Trivia: Pyun is doing a (joint) prequel of both Nemesis and Cyborg. Unfortunately he discovered digital technology/ CGI (nobody told him that you need some money to make it work) so his movies are now worse than ever. Here’s a trailer for Cyborgs: Rise of the Slingers so you can remember to avoid it if you have the bad luck of seeing it somewhere.

You can actually find better special effects (and acting!!!) in Porn these days .