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Wow, what starts off as a pretty decent and entertaining fight movie ends in a total disaster! I just can't believe how this movie wasted its potential and threw away its chance to become a totally fine and enjoyable, low-budget, action flick.

At first it seems like the movie is going to be a very straightforward and simplistic fight movie, tournament-style. Nothing too fancy or original but the movie was perfectly fine and totally enjoyable to watch. The fights were all well choreographed, the female fighters impressive to look at and everything got filmed in a pretty good and definitely professional looking style. I wasn't too concerned about its story, which actually is pretty suiting for a movie of this sort. However about halfway through the movie decides otherwise and suddenly becomes more of a story-driven movie, while both the story and the handling of it is extremely poor.

The movie basically has no idea how to tell its story. It completely fails to build up any tension or credibility and everything that happens in either feels rushed or terribly out of place. The one moment the movie is about one thing and the next its suddenly about something completely different, that hardly seems relevant to anything else, that happened before in the movie. It lacks a good focus but it also absolutely lacks an engaging enough plot line, that gets told in a both relatable and realistic enough way.

An example of its random- and messiness is the Dolph Lundgren character. It feels and looks like he is a totally different movie on his own and his story and scenes have absolutely nothing to do with any of the other characters and main story-line of the movie. It is almost as if they started working on one movie, that never got finished and Incorporated the already finished shots into this movie, without making a natural connection.

In a way the movie takes itself far too serious. Rather than simply being an entertaining and spectacular fight movie it also tries to really tell a story and incorporate a lot of needless and pointless distractions, such as an absolutely redundant and poor love story, in order to add some more weight to the movie. This fails miserable and even makes the movie a real bad one, despite the fact that it is an absolutely fine one to watch for its first 30 minutes or so.

What the movie also lacks is a decent enough villain. I don't know, the villain in this movie is just plain weird. The one moment he is normal, the other he is completely over-the-top and psycho. The one moment he is friendly, the other a complete animal. The movie just can't seem to make up its mind about anything. It is confusing, but what is worse is that it also isn't making much sense in the context of the movie. And besides, the actor, Rey Goyos, that portrays him is just plain bad. Hope he himself at least had some fun with it, because I certainly didn't. The female characters are all better and also better portrayed by the actresses, who next to that are great fighters. The movie is filled with expert fighters and stunt performers, which explains why the action and fight scenes all work out so well for the movie.

Great fights but a very poor- and insanely badly handled story makes this movie an absolute waste of both time and some decent enough potential.

4/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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