REVIEWS: Action & Thrillers — April 23, 2012 at 7:34 am

REVIEW: The Girl from the Naked Eye (2012)

Jake (Jason Yee) is in big trouble – he has recently lost his boss’ brand new Mercedes in a poker game. Now he has to pay up a $100,000 debt.

Not having that amount of cash, Jake is hired as a driver by Simon (Ron Yuan), an owner of the “Naked Eye” strip club and escort service. Jake’s job is easy – to pick up call girls, drive them to location, see that they get paid, and get them back to the club safely.

One day, Jake meets a new call girl – young and beautiful Sandy (Samantha Streets). Needless to say, the two soon develop some feelings towards each other. Jake is a lone wolf, and he sees Sandy only as a friend, while Sandy wants more.

Later, Jake finds out that Sandy is only 16 years old, and wants her out of the business. He wants the youngster to have a better life, and urges Simon to release her. And then – BANG! – before Jake knows it, Sandy is found dead in her appartment.

Enraged by the fact that his only friend is murdered, Jake doesn’t have much left to lose but his life, so he decides to go on a manhunt to find the one responsible for Sandy’s death, and he isn’t going to stop until he finds the truth.

Since Jake is a skilled martial artist, those who stand against him will be likely left beaten down, with broken noses, jaws, hands and legs…unless he gets killed first.

“The Girl from the Naked Eye” could have been much worse, if it hadn’t been done in an interesting mix of film noir and comics. Instead we get a seemingly simple “revenge story” nicely wrapped up in a “comic-noir” box, with some really cool martial arts and amusing scenes thrown in.

The end result is a winner in its own right, if only the film had a slightly bigger budget.

Jason Yee seems to have been born to play Jake as he looks ridiculously believable in his part, and while his martial arts scenes are not as vivid as those of Scott Adkins in “Undisputed” series, they surely look more real.

Yee was the first American to medal at the World Wu-Shu Free-Fighting Championships in Beijing, China in 1991. In 1993 he was inducted into Inside Kung-Fu Magazines’s ‘Hall Of Fame’.In 1994 Jason Yee won the 1st Unified U.S. San-Shou Kick-Boxing title in the Super-middle weight division.

As a top San-Shou Kick-Boxing coach Jason Yee trained several national & world champions such as, Al Lorieux, Marvin Perry, Rudi Ott, Josh Bartholomew, Albert Pope & Mike Norman.

And he also fought Cung Le on television in the first ever Sanshou Pay-Per-View event.

While there are not many recognizable martial artists in the film (the great Lateef Crowder is an exception), the film is never boring, and you actually enjoy seeing Jake expressing his anger on his opponents.

I should specifically note (without spoiling too much) a fantastically made fighting scene towards the end of the film, where Jake fights with a bunch of security guards in the hall. The scene has to be seen to be believed. Great stuff.

Ron Yuan (plays Simon) has restrained himself from any martial arts in the film, but aside from acting as one of the leads, he was also the action director, meaning he’s responsible for the action that “The Girl from the Naked Eye” provides, and there’s plenty.

A Sonny Landham lookalike Gary Stretch plays a dirty cop, and does his part fairly well, while the newcomer Samantha Streets (Sandy) is a real eye-candy. Looks like a girl I used to like.

Dominique Swain on the other hand, is the only cast member here that seems to be out of place. I wonder if her character was written into the story at the very last stage.

She plays a bar prostitute that “helps” Jake using her extensive knowledge of the Nancy Drew mysteries. James Lew, Woon Park and pornstar Sasha Grey (?!) appear briefly in a few scenes.

Overall, the film is great, it doesn’t really qualify as a martial arts flick, yet its exciting and a recommended watch.



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