Finally, a film that has been on the “waiting list” for a very long time. Despite have a very cliche story, “Forced to Fight” goes a bit further than usual recently released “mma flicks”.
Shane Slavin (Gary Daniels) is an ex-fighter, who now takes care of his family, and operates his own auto repair garage. His brother Scotty (Arkie Reece) though is going into a completely different direction – participating in illegal underground fights.
Scotty is in debt to the ruthless fighting promoter Danny G (Peter Weller), who will stop at nothing to get back what is his. Soon, Shane gets involved in all this mess, and has to pay back Scotty’s debts to Danny G.
Since Shane used to be a great fighter, he believes going through a couple of fights is not a big deal, however he soon realizes that a lot has changed in the fighting game, since he last stepped into the ring.
Blackmailed by Danny G, Shane now has to start all over again, training to fight younger, quicker fighters to pay his brother’s debt.
The worst thing is – the more Shane fights, the more he starts to change as a person, and the barbaric nature of fights starts to affect his family life.
He will soon have to make a decision on how to get out of the fighting circuit, and try to save his family along the way.
BZFilm talked to Gary Daniels back in 2011, when then “Forced to Fight” was still in production in Romania, and Daniels said at the time that he doesn’t even have time to see Romania, as it’s “on-the-set-and-back-to-the-hotel routine mostly”.
He did say though the film was not a straight up fighting film, but a martial arts drama.
“Forced to Fight” is in fact a drama, as we see Daniels’ character going through a lot of emotions, trying to solve the problems, both his own and his brother’s.
Just recently, in another short talk with BZFilm, Daniels noted that Forced to Fight “turned out to better” than he expected.
Shot almost completely in Romania, “Forced to Fight” mixes drama and fighting for some 100 minutes, and while the fights are not as fantastic as in some other more or less recent similar movies, Daniels is still a joy to watch.
He, thus far stands a head above those, who were once on the same level with him during the 90s “kickboxing movie” craze.
While such stars as Lorenzo Lamas, Jeff Wincott, Olivier Gruner have not made a decent film with a starring role in years, Daniels made several blockbusters in a row, adding “Forced to Fight” – which is enjoyable, yet not as entertaining as some of his earlier “fighting movies”.
“Forced to Fight” has a few plot holes, the most obvious one being the inability of police to track down, and shut down Danny G’s fighting business.
In the film, we’re occasionally shown that Danny G has a website (dannygfights.com or something) – a clue that would have easily led police to tracking down Danny, and shutting down his fighting business. And yet, Shane is the only one trying to solve the problem, only with his fighting.
The director wisely uses his main actors more, to keep the Romanians in the background, to make viewers believe the action takes place on American soil. If we skip the obvious looks of Romanian fighters, then it almost works.
So, if you are a martial arts fan, check out “Forced to Fight” – with a limited budget, the film was done with heart, and it does have some great fighting moments. For Gary Daniels’ fans – this one is a must.
BZFILM SCALE: 5/10
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