REVIEWS: Action & Thrillers — August 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm

REVIEW: “Fist 2 Fist” aka “Hand to Hand” (2011)

The story of the film centers on Ken (Jino Kang) a former robber who has to make a choice of standing his ground against his former friend Tokyo Joe (Bill Duff) or running away from his past, again… Years ago, Ken couldn’t stop Joe from killing a young couple, leaving their son orphaned.

After Tokyo Joe is sent to prison for the crime, Ken spends his life running away from his shame. He tries to seek redemption, by teaching mixed martial arts at a community youth center.

But, Ken is ultimately forced to face his past when the orphaned boy finds his way into Ken’s life, and Ken’s murderous friend Joe is released from prison. When he discovers that these two events are not a coincidence, Ken must choose between a heroic act of self-sacrifice or the self-preservation of running away.

The plot here is not really an excuse for mindless martial arts action, and its quite easy to follow. Leading character Ken is played by a real martial arts master Jino Kang (you can read his interview on the film here), and it shows. However, while watching, I caught myself thinking that some fighting scenes were directed by Kang, while others were not – too much of a difference.

Anyway, “Fist 2 Fist” at some point reminds me of a classic “Shootfighter” movie with Bolo Yeung and Martin Kove, although that one was slightly better.

In “Fist 2 Fist” the one who caught my attention was Bill Duff as Tokyo Joe (who ever came up with that name?!), he plays his part perfectly. I decided to contact him and give a few comments on the film.

This is what Bill himself had to say: “I auditioned for the film via video from location when I was filming “Human Weapon” for the History Channel. Working with Jino was great, he is a very good martial artist, and an even better man.”

“Fist 2 Fist” (or “Hand to Hand”) is a debut of Jino Kang as a director, and of course, with a bigger budget this would have been a much better movie.

If you’re a fan of martial arts movies (modern martial arts movies that is) or “mma dramas” this is probably your cup of tea.

BZFILM SCALE: 3/10


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1 Comment

  • Fist 2 Fist is one of the most realistic martial arts movies ever. The fighting scenes are executed professionally and artistically – but not flawlessly (as is usually the case when your adrenaline is pumping as you’re fighing). If they were perfect and showy, it would appear like a fake Hollywood movie. I am tired of seeing an overabundance of flying martial artists in film; they might as well be trapeze artists doing kicks and punches in the air. The cast in Fist 2 Fist, though not all seasoned actors, did a great job of portraying the innercity world of martial arts realistically. The matwork was great… and those tiny details like discussion and interaction during practice added flavor to the scenes. Jino Kang presents himself well and deserves accolades for presenting the art as it should be, with respect to the Masters. On a scale of 1-10, I’d give it a 7.5

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