REVIEWS: Action & Thrillers, Video — March 21, 2012 at 7:34 pm

REVIEW: Street Warrior (2008) + trailer

One thing a true martial arts fan never gets tired of – is watching the same movies about a bunch of muscle men beating the hell out of each other. Plot or no plot, nudity or no nudity, if there’s fighting and little sense, its automatically thumbs up. Now, let’s take a closer look at one of such cliche movies – “Street Warrior”.

The story, like already mentioned before is dead cliche – we have an ex-soldier, Iraqi war veteran Jack Campbell (Max Martini), who gets dishonorably discharged for beating down his officer in command.

So, Campbell returns to his hometown, only to find out that his brother (who doesn’t look like him at all) has compromised both himself and his family by fighting in the illegal underground “Gauntlet”.

As usual, things go wrong, Jack’s brother gets beaten to death, nearly, and put in a hospital. Being a hotheaded hero that Jack is, he naturally has “no choice” but to fight, to get to those who harmed his brother (saving brother’s pregnant wife, and his new love interest along the way).

Mr. Pope (Nick Chinlund) is the head honcho here, hosting the bloody fights of the “Gauntlet” and getting people to bet on the fighters, who fight like animals in a cage.

Pope is a calculating, ruthless villain, who not only pretends to be a freaking samurai (yes, we get to see one scene of his double beating down 5-6 guys, with swords), but he also seems to be controlling the whole town with police in his pocket.

The story is really easy to follow, as you just can’t not to root for Jack Campbell, who just seems to attract all kinds of troubles on himself wherever he goes.

Max Martini does well as Campbell, the actor is also a big MMA fan, according to his official website. He is not a martial artist, and “Street “Warrior” as a film really does more towards MMA rather than classic martial arts.

The film also featured a few familiar “fighting” faces, such as Gary Kasper, Lateef Crowder (brief appearance), Roland Kickinger (oh so misused here!), and Sidney S. Liufau.

As for the flaws, I would mention shaky camera work with lots of cuts (when will people understand that you simply cannot shoot fighting scenes like this, unless its a Steven Seagal movie), and some really unnecessary scenes.

One such scene is with Nick Chinlund and his “samurai training”. In the middle of the film, his character beats up 5 or 6 guys (who happen to be his own men), and this was probably done to make us believe Pope actually possesses some martial arts skills (he does a flying head kick for God’s sake!), however in the end of the film, we do not see anything spectacular from him, meaning the earlier scene was just left on its own.

If you think every MMA movie should definitely have some eye-candies, there’s plenty of that here, both dressed not so dressed. Jane Park Smith, Valerie Cruz and Rossie Cottrell should be mentioned specifically – those ladies are so gorgeous!

I won’t be spoiling anymore, so if you do like fighting movies, check “Street Warrior” out, it somehow managed to remain entertaining for me till the very end. Oh, and I think the title really sucks, they should have put the word “Gauntlet” in there somewhere.

The Japanese changed “Street Warrior” to “Pound”, which I think is a little better. The trailer however is the same, and you can check it below.

 

BZFILM SCALE: 4/10

 



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