|Mr. Chow and his niece|
Playing the injured brother, Eric Sloane, is Dennis Alexio, a real life kickboxer. To be honest, I didn't find his onscreen chemistry with Van Damme to be very convincing. It is explained to why they don't sound like brothers but it still sounds far-fetched. Making them close stepbrothers I think would have made things much easier and more believable. But as for characters, that's really the only weak link I found for that particular area. For Kurt, he must learn how to fight like the opponent who hurt is brother. The only way he'll be able to do that, is by being trained like the opponent.
The person to do that is Xian Chow (Dennis Chan), an old hermit who looks old but still packs quite a punch. To be brought to Chow, Kurt befriends a man named Winston Taylor (Haskell V. Anderson III), an ex-marine from the Vietnam War, now living in what he calls paradise. Anderson's character is partially the reason why this movie deserves to be seen. The early Van Damme films seem to contain the most comical characters. Also let's not forget the obligatory love interest that falls for Kurt Sloane, which doesn't bother me in the least. I understand that these kind of films need one because what would they be without? The love interest is Chow's niece, Mylee, played by Rochelle Ashana.
|Tong Po (Michel Qissi)|
There's only one other thing I found to be unnecessary. At one point, Chow gets Kurt drunk and asks him to start dancing. Yeah,...I know there's a point to it in the end of that scene but it really isn't needed. I didn't choose this movie to see Jean-Claude Van Damme dance. No thanks. However, the fight scenes were cool and it was good to see composer Paul Hertzog return to make the score for the film, even if it wasn't as present like his score from Bloodsport (1988). Other than that I was relatively pleased with the outcome of the film.
It is a little more cliche ridden than needed but it still works as a Van Damme sport film. The fight scenes as well as the characters are worth a watch.
Points Earned --> 7:10