Michael Jae White is at it again! As both director and actor, this time with his main adversary the colossal Nathan Jones, as the surprisingly authentic-like Brazilian/Portuguese madman Caesar Braga.
Tony Jaa makes a small cameo too, in the most respectfully entertaining way, and not just him but also the so-called female Tony Jaa: JeeJa Yanin. The fans have been hoping to see the both of them in the same movie a long time (I should know), and here they are! Though not with prominent roles they're an appreciated surprise. A fun bonus. Props.
As for the movie: I barely remember the prequels of this series, but the story is certainly not the strongest point of the franchise. Nor is the acting... or the dialog. The script's that of pretty much any traditional fighter movie: a guy signs up for a fight, his friend comes along, unexpected things happen, the main guy goes down and the buddy takes over, there's a girl, there's an antagonist with a lot of cash, and things get problematic. Good versus evil. Ethics over cash. Friendship over all.
It's predictable, but it ends the way it should! With justice... and violence.
The fights are really the only thing you're looking to see here, and maybe some creative training accompanied by heavy hiphop music, and of course a happy ending. That and the cameos mentioned above, maybe some of the corny comedy, and of course some of Thailand too! It's a nice place, with nice people, and plenty of nice fights.
The choreography gets better with each one, and though it's not enough to redeem all and make it a great movie they make it well worth watching. Good fun, just nothing spectacular apart from the action.
rated 3/5: not bad
Looks like Jae White's become the star of his own show! He brings this to a Rocky level type fight club, with a little intrigue behind the scenes, business type of stuff, a little love on the side, a Tony Jaa cameo! And JeeJa Yanin too! Wooooooooooyeah! It's got Nathan Jones as the big bad wolf too! All greats from the martial arts Thai era come together.
But, it's lost the underdog tone. And the fights aren't half as flashy as they were in the original duo. It's a shame. I really loved the prequels, but although this one brings in some impressive names, and has potential to be all as good and better... it just doesn't reach that level. Not a bad fighting movie as is, though. Not bad.
rated 3/5: not bad