Black Cobra could've been so much more! It stars T.J. Storm as expert martial artist Sizwe Biko, starts out with a showdown somewhere in Africa/Latin America (?), yet soon moves to the US where it leads us on a cat-and-mouse chase after primarily money, and secondarily the freedom and prolonged life of the main character's father.
There are some really good martial arts sequences here, and a few good actors, but most of them... just don't permeate the intensity I feel this type of movie requires. Often, the characters feel corny and artificial, and both the script and filming sub-par.
In a lot of the fights, the lighting is so bad you can barely follow the action. They tumble around like shadows... which does give a sense of realism, but not really that sense of realism you want from the movies. That realism you can perceive and see clearly, from the right angles, with the right timing between moves. It could've been good, but comes off feeling sloppy and somewhat unprepared.
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa makes an appearance as a Yakuza boss (you might recognize him from Tekken), and gets a somewhat happier ending than the Yakuza boss in Johnny Mnemonic... at first I actually thought it was the same guy! For shame, confusing actors of such grand stature and caliber just because they hold similar titles and act alike. Deja vu in that one scene, though! In the end, it was worth watching for the fights, but probably not so much worth watching I'll watch it again.
rated 2/5: decent