Blood And Bone (2009): Breakdown by Rantbo
Michael Jai White ruins mother fuckers with martial arts. Not their day, not their careers—them.
In the future, I am happy to say, I will now be able to mention a 3rd movie when recommending an awesome illegal, high-stakes street fighting flick. BLOOD AND BONE is now synonymous with LIONHEART and FATAL CONTACT for how to do this sub-genre right. So listen up FIGHTING, RIGGED and THE BIG BRAWL, you fucking pussies, school is in session. But first, allow me to put sucking this film’s dick on pause for a minute to tell you the story.
Michael Jai White is the enigmatic man named Bone. An untouchable fighter, just out of prison and on a mission to fulfill a promise. One he plans on keeping by using his proficient martial arts skills to physically extirpate copious amounts of men. Now, this is a very standard ‘vengeance by way of the fist’ story, so the thrills and spills rely on how worth while the journey to the end confrontation is and if said ending delivers the film’s built-up promise of retribution? And, I’m happy to say, BLOOD AND BONE delivers like next day air.
Example: The film opens up with Bone in a prison bathroom, taking a piss when UFC fighter Kimbo Slice and a gang of thugs strut in and begin to verbally soften Bone for an impending gang rape. Bone speaks and gives the men 5 seconds to turn around and leave. They laugh, Bone counts to three and then makes an early delivery on his promise. What happens next is a blur of sheer badassery, as Bone just—fucking—destroys them. The fight ends with a kick to Kimbo’s face and the scene explodes into the film’s title spraying across the screen in blood (see the top of the breakdown).
Now that’s what I call a pre-credits sequence. Fresh from the fights of UNDISPUTED II: LAST MAN STANDING, Michael Jai White shows no signs of stopping the BAMF train he set in motion. No longer content to see his talent pissed away in bit roles (THE DARK KNIGHT), shitty sequels (UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: THE RETURN), the cutting-room floor (KILL BILL) and pussified garbage (SPAWN), White has taken his place amongst the Action Icon Stars. Whether or not he stays there, who can say, but what I do know is, if he continues to put himself out there as well as he has been lately, this guy has the macho potential to become one of the greats. And with all the classic African American Action Brothers (Fred Williamson, Richard Roundtree, Carl Weathers, etc) entering their twilight years and Wesley Snipes sucking hind-tit, it is especially awesome to see a strong black man showing us honkies and Asians how whoopin’ ass is still an all racial sport.
The supporting cast, which features not one, not two, but three AMERICAN GLADIATOR alumni: Tanoai ‘Toa’ Reed, Justice Smith and super-babe, Gina ‘Crush’ Carano.
Not to mention, a bunch of martial arts movie master cameos, including Bob Wall ‘reprising’ his role of Oharra, from ENTER THE DRAGON. Add to that Dante ‘Rufio’ Basco as Bone’s loudmouthed manager, Julian ‘The Warlock’ Sands as the mysterious fight enthusiast and the provocative and enforcing Eamonn Walker as James, the wanna be big-time player and lead villain—and you have a performance cocktail straight from the vein-coated tap of awesome.
Walker was one of the best antagonists I’ve seen in a long while. The man is a profiteer, a gambler, a pimp and a killer. Yet he doesn’t believe in cursing, is an animal lover and shows passion for the arts, so you don’t completely hate him. Also, he kills his yuppie golf partner with a sword for no discernible reason after a spontaneous singalong to Wang Chung. That’s worth the price of a rental right there.
So, needless to say, I loved this one. It’s a bloody, battered, broken, bruised bash and it’s all I can do to keep from straight-up begging for a sequel. And it might come true as Bone’s past is never really revealed outside the fact that he had a twin brother that was mistaken for him and killed. Also, why was he in prison? UNANSWERED. Where did he learn his craft? UNANSWERED. What are the ‘things’ he says he has to do, just before the credits? UNANSWERED. Why is Michael Jai White my undisputed (II) new favorite martial artist-actor? BLOOD AND BONE. Also, this has to be the first movie I’ve ever seen, whose bonus credits sequence features a violent prison gang rape, sans jokes. There truly is a first time for everything…
[HOW BAD-ASS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER?]
Michael Jai White is Bone
“The one-technique knockout artist, who’s breaking down pros like they just got started. The brother man with death in each hand, the man they call Bone, because… that’s what his parents named him.”
Hard lookin’ stoic mother fuckers better recognize—their king has arrived—and it’s time to bow. In fact, I’ll go on record right now and say that Bone is easily, easily inside my ‘Top 10 Baddest Mother Fucker Action Characters Of All Time List’. The guy is like the natural progression of Steven Seagal, had Seagal laid off the twinkies and pumped iron instead. And somehow became black… To explicate, Bone shows practically no sexual interest in women, lives only to physically ruin bad men’s lives and is untouchable in a fight. I think I counted 3 times in the whole movie where one of his opponents actually managed to clip him, which is a pretty low number considering several hundred attacks must have been lobbed in Bone’s direction over the course of the film, and connected hits did nothing, if not make him stronger. Bone’s like the antithesis of John McClane, as the film’s suspense is never derived from, ‘How can this man keep fighting!?’, but rather ‘How quickly will he make the next guy have to shit into a bag the rest of his life!?”
And that’s just one side of him. Would you believe Bone is also a selfless humanitarian? You better. A man of integrity, honor and his word, Bone puts himself through a gauntlet of deadly MMA fights, shootouts and a sword swinging showdown, ALL for the sake of a promise he made in prison to a dead man. He even finds time amidst all the ass kicking to get a woman off drugs, reunite her with her estranged son AND teach his landlord to fucking own her inner-demons with tai chi. Jesus wasn’t this saintly.
[THE BODY COUNT: 09]
Not high, but the sheer amount of beatings within overshadow the kills 10 to 1 (don’t quote me on those numbers, but it has to be close). Four of the kills go to the man himself, Bone, in an out-of-nowhere shoot-out sequence, proving that his appendages aren’t his only means of mastered disposal tools. James, the psychotic, yet entertaining asshole that he is, gets two memorable novelty kills. Two more by a couple randos and Rufio even pops a cap in a pirate bitch—but he doesn’t crow. Unfortunately.
[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING]
Bone vs. Nameless Henchman #47
Every—single—fight. There isn’t a single one that isn’t thoroughly entertaining. Though, since I have to pick one, my choice would be this one very fast, very short one-move ‘fight’. Bone moves so fast and hits so hard, that he’s able to strike this one guy so perfectly that the poor bastard’s back cripples under the weight of the blow, dropping him to the ground with a sickening ~CRUNCH!~ so fast that his feet don’t even have time to leave the ground.
[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]
Prisoner: JC’s crew is heading this way to bump you, and they all got shanks.
Bone: I know.
Shy of like 3 people, the entire cast is made up of martial artists. Which, I shouldn’t have to explain, means shirtless and sweaty; abs, legs, arms and chests. 98% of which is male. Tasty.
“And the winner! Coming straight from the New York City penal system—the homicidal homosexual, the savage faggot, the queer that inspires fear, the butt-battling bandit—Mommie Dearest!!!”
And of course, there’s the aforementioned prison rape sequence during the credits. It’s not alluded to, it’s not part of a blooper reel, it’s just pure AMERICAN HISTORY xXx.
[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]
Illegal street fighting is apparently a lot like illegal street racing, in the way that both are spectated in droves by retards and nappy-ass hoes. Which generates some questions: What is it about inner-city parking lots, rap music and goofy loudmouthed Mexicans and wiggers, that attracts such sexy* specimens of the female gene pool? What happened to them to make them give up on science, politics and reading? At what point did being seen on the arm of some low-level criminal douche, replace the importance of higher education and self worth? Now, I am no expert on the female brain, but I believe that these ladies are in sad need of a self esteem-coated hug.
*before the paint, injections, surgery and slut-uniforms.
OK, so it’s not nearly as bad as a Fast and Furious flick, so far as floozy groupies go, but what it lacks in decoration, BLOOD AND BONE makes up for in abuse. To avoid ruining the entire plot, I’ll just say that James is being sought out by Bone for a very good reason. And before that we get a sample scene of just what a man, James can be. Chasing down one of his fleeing bitches in his SUV, he corners the poor panic-stricken girl in an alleyway and after trying to sort out the problem (crying, screaming and pleading vs. rage, shouting and bloodlust), James ends the negotiations by flooring the land-rover into her mid-section, crushing the life out of her. And sick though I may be in admitting this, I laughed my ass off at this scene. Especially when the driver sprays washer fluid on the widow to get rid of her blood, before even backing up.
[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]
When the showdown between Bone and James finally comes to pass, James (of course) cheats and uses a katana. Being a fan of fair matches, Warlock orders Bob Wall to even the odds and toss Bone a sword. Which, Bone takes, unsheathes, performs an impressive demonstration with and DISCARDS, KEEPING ONLY THE SHEATH TO DEFEND HIMSELF WITH.
THAT’S how BAD-FUCKING-ASS Bone is, ladies and gentlemen. Fuck swords, he’ll beat your monkey-ass with a fuckin’ stick!
Though it is completely unnecessary to prove the badass point any further, here it is, delivered by the man himself…
Bone [To Some Fallen Prey]: I need you to deliver a message. I want you to tell every mother fucker, behind these walls, that if they get the notion to fuck with me—don’t.
[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]
If you have a Bone to pick, best make sure it’s not MJW.
[THE CHECKLIST: 12 outta 25]
[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[ ] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[X] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[ ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[ ] Factory/Warehouse
[ ] Giant Explosion(s)
[X] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[ ] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[ ] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[X] Manly Embrace(s)
[X] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting [Tanoai ‘Toa’ Reed, for one…]
[X] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[ ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[X] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[ ] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[ ] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[ ] Tis The Season
[ ] Torture Sequence(s)
[ ] Unnecessary Sequel
[ ] Vehicle Chase(s)
[X] Vigilante Justice
Blood And Bone © Remarkable Films, Michael Mailer Films and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment