It's a mantasy. One lone hero, lots of fighting and grunting, killing,
violence, hot sexy women, sex, money and slick cars.
The basic story idea, that some devious villain is sponsoring an underground fighting syndicate, has been done many times before.. and certainly has been done better. The plot idea is a sound one, and honestly one that resonates with a type of viewing audience. As a kid, I grew up on "Bloodsport" so I know a little of the feeling. There's a lot of fun movies with the same plot.
In this particular reiteration of the idea, the fun is not here. I suspect that the reason is because the writers didn't take the time to fill in the smaller details that would make the plot believable. There are simply too many holes and too many inconsistencies with the real world. As a result the movie doesn't grip you at all, it just leaves you shaking your head. (The biggest question mark for me personally was how the writer expects people to believe that this "fight club" would be an internet sensation when there are NO CAMERAS filming anything anywhere. What are people watching exactly? Security footage?) In addition, the action is routinely halted by the director's insistence that the hero needed to be developed as a character. Normally I would applaud this. A simplistic character can be boring, but this time it did not come off well.
The hero begins as an angry warrior, a Don Quixote, someone who is genuinely unhappy with the world and wants to change it by battling evil wherever he finds it. But just like Don Quixote, he is completely unable to express exactly what that evil might be. Thus, he comes off as unstable, and violently so. He is constantly speaking out a bunch of rhetoric about the world's twisted and greedy leaders and such, but never names any particular politician, or even a political side. He gripes about street crime, and proves himself to be no better than a thug with a temper. He talks about saving people but ends up killing other fighters (this is legally murder, by the way). Don't even get me started on how he tosses money to teenage prostitutes telling them to "run away", which is very noble but also absolutely stupid.
As a hero, he is wanting in every respect except for muscles. He's got those. But that's just not enough to make him interesting, and in a movie like this that is ALL about the hero, if he doesn't get interesting, people stop watching. Unfortunately for the viewer, the hero does get some development time, but it is unclear exactly what it means to the hero. He didn't really seem to change at all.
Getting to specifics, the filming was actually done fairly well, the director preferred to get close in the fighting and the choreography was not quite as bad as the other reviewer suggests. The fight scenes were carefully matched to avoid vicinity errors (when the placement of objects is inconsistent from scene to scene), which was appreciated. However, the fight routines themselves were not very original and felt predictable.
The sound was atrocious. The poor balance between background noises and the music was very distracting, and I got really tired of people speaking at different volumes based on their closeness to the camera. A qualified sound editor would have been able to work on this.
The the film's real struggle was with the acting. And here I must concur with the only other review that is currently here. Every character was terrible. The sexy vixen was trying really hard to sound sexy every time she said a line, the police chief was so inarticulate that he was barely understandable, and the hero himself constantly sounded as though he didn't really understand exactly why he was where he was.. all of them left me frustrated as a viewer.
I'm giving this a 2, it was not the worst movie I have ever seen, but it also just wasn't fun to watch at all. It was pretty boring throughout.
Sanctioned to Die
Action / Crime / Drama
Sanctioned to Die
Action / Crime / Drama
When a highly-skilled martial artist turned rookie cop loses his best friend to a gambling syndicate that runs a to-the-death fight competition, he makes it his mission to bring justice.
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July 09, 2015 at 09:44 AM