Posts Tagged ‘No Retreat’

We already covered one of the “crown jewels” of Loren Avedon’s career King of the Kickboxers but it’s time to take a closer look at the movie that propelled him to his short- lived B movie stardom. After launching his career with Corey Yuen’s “classic” “No Retreat No Surrender II” (remember- the first one introduced the world to the awesomeness of Van Damme and his incredible splits) he continued his rise thru the ranks with the sequel. Now, this sequel is mostly a sequel in name only- having completely different tone, and abandoning previous “Tournament”setting for more urban of a urban Kickboxing meets Spy Thriller style.

This dude cracks me up!

Films starts with a fitting quote from Mao Tse Tung of course fallowed by a terrorist action by bunch of ridiculous mustached idiots. Their plan comes undone when one of the hostages turns out to be CIA agent Casey Alexander, man whose kickboxing skills are only overshadowed only by his  over the top facial expressions (ala Erik Roberts). He kills the bad guys and gets the girl (there’s always a girl there somewhere). In the meantime his younger brother Willis beating up some noobs.It turns out those are his students and he is just “preparing them for the street”. I am always shocked and amazed by complete lack of charisma and acting ability by this man! Anyway he is called by his father on his birthday party/ family reunion and he reluctantly agrees.

No.Retreat.No.Surrender 3.1990.DVDRip.XviD BROTHERS BLOOD.avi_000147600Mao said it best…

He arrives at the birthday in an old Volkswagen Beetle and ripped up jeans with some Communist insignia. Hmm… I’m wondering if the Chinese director is trying to tell us something here. Anyways, kudos for sneaking in thing like that in something that is an American production. He then menages to get into an argument with his rich CIA brother and quickly leaves. After the party’s over a new party begins as the old man faces bunch of assassins who look like Ninja Bee Gees in his very home and he even menages to kill one of them.Unfortunately he menages to die by flying out of the window like a freakin’ cannonball in one of the many hilarious highlights of this movie. His killer is devious Franko, a man that can be best described as am albino mulleted mongoloid.

Avedon returns home but it’s already too late, his father’s carcass is floating in the family pool. He then has a dramatic, tearful scene with his older brother and I painfully realize that his Keith Vitally is just as terrible actor as Avedon himself, hell maybe even more so! Next thing we see is a funeral and the FBI brother who gets a tap on his back via one of his superiors with words like “he was my partner and my best friend”. We momentarily realize that this man was in fact responsible for the murder… yeah cliches galore in this one!

Avedon journeys to Hawaii to have his revenge and his brother tries to track him down (unfortunately it seems CIA didn’t train him enough cause he fails miserably). First thing Avedon does is find a local dojo and gets into the fight with the friends Martial Artist he has here (how convenient). After blowing some steam they use their prowess and also their acting skill to get Avedon into a gang that they suspect is responsible for the murder. The less said about the way they manage to do that- the better. He ends up being rapidly inducted into the gang with his first mission to… KILL HIS BROTHER! No, I am not making this shit up.

After a disastrous “fake” subduing of his brother, the boss finally figures thing out (he’s no the head of operation for nothing) and starts torturing the brothers and the random girl the older brothers is having sex with when he’s in Hawaii (how conveniant). After being electrocuted the devious plan of CIA agent and Albino dude is finally clear, they want to use Avedon to kidnap the Ambassador of Mozambique and make a diversion which they’ll later use to FUCKIN’ BLOW UP THE PRESIDENT WITH A BAZOOKAA! These men aren’t thinking small.

No.Retreat.No.Surrender 3.1990.DVDRip.XviD BROTHERS BLOOD.avi_004907800

Of course they have a hiccup in their plan and that’s older brother Casey freeing himself and threatening their whole plan. Then finally two brothers team up and put all the evil folks thru their Martial Art blender. It’s also fun to note that the Lowe, the director desperately tried to tone down his usual sensibilities and make fight scenes a bit more in American Karate/ Kicboxing style opposed to over the place Chinese Wire- Fu but it’s like he said “fuck it” in this last scene and went over… and out.

Notice the joyful death of Franko, the albino killer!

Verdict: Director Lucas Lo shows everything that was wrong in Hong Kong cinematography of the 80’s/ 90’s in one place. And Avedon- well he proves why he was never propelled to the stardom of his dreaded nemessis Jean Claude Van Damme.

Trivia: Same director and lead actor had another team up not long after and that resulted in probably the most over the top Martial Arts film of all times- King of the Kickboxers. If you missed it- you enjoy the review here.

PS Loren is having a comeback of sorts these days acting in Frank Caruso’s vehicle Risk Factor and the movies seems like something you can watch straight after NR NS III without spiking a beat.

This movie was originally to be a third sequel in the  horrible, horrible Karate Movie franchise No Retreat, No Surrender aka Karate Tiger. The fact that they changed their minds didn’t make this movie a whole lot better anyway.

As with any action film of the 90es era this one is a rip- off of Van Damme’s  Kickboxer and Bloodsport with boosted levels of craziness and sheer idiocy.It is also a combination of Chinese production, horrible American actors and cheap sets on Thailand- and with a combo like that you know you’re doomed from a start!

The movie starts with Jake Donahue and his older brother in Thailand. Jake’s brother is fighting for the Kickboxing title of Thailand and wins his bout defeating a former champion, Manny Pacquiao- looking fellow. Then they leave the areana in some silly car wearing a championship belt but– soon enough they are ambushed by evil Khan and his henchmen. Khan is none other but mighty Billy Blanks. Yeah, the idiotic inventor of  Thai Bo exercise program* (Blanks didn’t learn to read or write ’till he was 40 years old and it shows.) He looks like some kind of steroided up, rag-top wearing Orc more than he resembles a normal human being. Apparently angry with Sean for taking Thai title- don’t know why, he doesn’t look Thai to me, Khan kills him with some silly kick combinations despite holding a machine gun the whole time!!! When a younger brother Jake tries to save him he gets schooled, but left alive despite suffering practically the same hits like his now deceased brother.

Ten years later, Jake is now a undercover police officer, doesn’t look anything like he did when he was young but he’s got a scar from the fight with Khan so it must be him.  He is a notorious lone wolf stooping crime by fighting criminals with kickboxing skills, defeating one mullet wearing baddie at the time. His commanding officer Captain O’Day tells him that there are filmmakers in Thailand who really kill the actors on the sets of their films (???) and that Jake has to travel to Thailand to stop them. Why would an American cop travel to Thailand to do some Interpol stuff is beyond me. In one of his rare moments of sanity Jake refuses but he unfortunately takes the VHS tapes with him anyway. After casually watching them (he had nothing better to do I guess) he notices the guy “who’s kinda good” and then the dude turns and he sees- The Khan. He calls his boss and accepts the assignment with crying voice and then screams his lungs out so we could all know what kind of pussy he really is.

Avedon and Blanks having a moment.

The he travels to Thailand. Decides to beat up some Muay Thai dudes for no reason but to feel good I guess but one of the students from that camp fallows him and kicks his ass to even the score. Humiliated Jack admits he is no match for Khan but a fighter tells him about Prang, a man who is now a drunken recluse living in the wild but was evenly match with Khan in the past. Jake finds Prang who at first rejects his offer but changes his mind when Jack tries to save him from some punks. In the middle of all that Prang’s monkey steals Jack’s passport ,maybe hoping he can use it to get out of the country?

If that wasn’t enough Jack succeeds in befriending ( and soon enough bedding )  idiotic trailer thrash blond Molly who was coincidentally almost raped by Khan only hours ago. I personally believe that there is no audience for love scenes between such ugly individuals but I could be wrong, it’s a strange world we live in after all.

Anyway we are treated with the most imbecilic training montage in history of training montages (which are not the most intelligent dramatic tools as it is)  where we see Avedon  being stretched, beaten and stretched some more and the mere glance at a skinny dude blocking three stomps with his elbows will make you laugh until you cry.After reaching masteryin something that should be Muay Thai Jack challenges a bunch of dudes in the illegal  fight circuit, and beats every one of them while at the same time wearing a female shirt?  One of the evil producers sees a potential in him and invites him to the set. Now his wish is granted and he can finally face the Khan and have his revenge!

    HO- MO- SEXUAL!

Obviously there is not a chance in hell he could beat Khan. Even if we presume that their technique is equal (and it’s not) Khan is far bigger and stronger fighter and would naturally tear him apart. Movie doesn’t concert itself with thing like that, you know common sense and  runs into a climactic final fight between Avedon- dressed like a court jester and Billy Blanks- who’s just being himself. The moment in which Khan deduces the identity of Jack  aka “you are… the BROTHER” after Jack throws him the old photograph is pure cinematic gold. And then as if that wasn’t enough he threatens to kill him and make him join his brother in hell- at that moment Jack loses it, yells “I’ve already been there… for 10 years” and then unleashes a girlish scream that would leave many of the ladies from horror movies envious.

                The proper way to evade a punch.

The fight itself is incredible mish- mash of American kickboxing, pro- wrestling,  Chinese wire-fu with some Muay Thai thrown in for good measure and yeah, they succeeded to take all the worst elements of them all and combine them in such God-awful way that the end result (which was indeed physically demanding and hard to accomplish) ends up being nothing short of absurd and laughable.

Cops -as the cliche goes- arrive late and do the only thing they can- START DESTROYING THE CRIME SCENE WITH FREAKIN’ BAZOOKAS! FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, WTF?!

Verdict: If you like kickboxing, Thailand, Ninjas, Blonds with pathetic boobs, training montages, Billy Blanks, random Zen riddles, Savages and monkeys- this is your movie!

PS For additional footage of  Billy Blanks embarrassing himself find any Tai- Bo instructional DVD.

               *???