Bloodfist II (1990): Breakdown by Rutledal
A kickboxer retires after killing a man in the ring, but is kidnapped and forced to fight for life or death in a martial arts tournament.
After the surprise hit of the first Bloodfist movie, Concorde seized the opportunity to make some more cash and rushed a sequel into production. Since last film’s conclusion, Jake Raye has become a professional kickboxing champion with the nickname “The Dragon”. Must have been a real stretch for Don Wilson, that one. This change is an odd one since Jake last time was a retired boxer and the reason he had retired was that having donated a kidney made fighting potentially lethal for him. Let’s, for the sake of this movie, just assume the writers of this didn’t have time to watch the first film when production was jump-started on this one. After killing a man in the ring Jake calls it quits for his fighting days, but soon has to eat his own words when he gets a phone call from a friend telling him that he is in need of some help. Where else than Manila? I say “where else” because knowing Roger Corman I suspect that the two first Bloodfist films (and probably several other Concorde movies released between 1989 and 1990) where shot on the same location (Manila) to save money.
After arriving in Manila, Jake quickly realizes something is fishy when no one seems to have seen or heard of this friend and upon looking for help in the local gym he is attacked by several mysterious fighters. Before he can find out what is really going on Jake gets drugged by bad guys and wakes up on a boat with several other fighters, including the dad from No Retreat No Surrender. Turns out the boat is headed for an island where a gambler named Su is arranging a modern day gladiator tournament and is kidnapping fighters to compete for life or death against his own brand of super fighters. Soon after arrival Jake escapes, but is re-captured shortly after when he tries to rescue the rest of the unwilling combatants. All this only to realize that his missing friend is really one of Su’s super fighters, having tricked Jake into coming to Manila in order to facilitate his own capture. Now Jake and the others must fight the odds to stay alive against Su’s ruthless juiced up super fighters. Oh, and did I mention that Su is played the mango-obsessed Mr. Miyagi clone Kwong from the first Bloodfist? Because he totally is. And that’s not all. Ned Hourani, who played Jake’s brother Michael, returns too, only to get killed again. But this time in the ring, by Jake. Guess he wasn’t too glad to see him again.
I complained about the choreography being rubbish in the first movie and that it ruined what could have been a much more enjoyable movie. This time around, though, the movie delivers top notch fights making for one heck of an enjoyable watch. The well done fights and mix of various fighting styles puts this high on the list of martial arts tournament movies. It is not up there with best like Enter the Dragon or Bloodsport, but it is right below next to the likes of Best of the Best and The Quest. This is one sequel that doesn’t just surpass the original, but kicks it’s ass from one end of the screen to the other.
[HOW BAD-ASS ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERS?]
Don “The Dragon” Wilson is Jake “The Dragon” Raye
Don delivers the goods this time around kicking ass all over the place and not even doubting whether or not to blow away some bad guys with a shotgun, which might be completely against his established character, but it sure is badass. To top it off Jake has since last defied his mentioned kidney issue (or maybe forgotten that he has it) and become the undefeated kickboxing world champion. Not bad.
The other “selected” (read: kidnapped) fighters are:
Timothy D. Baker is Sal Taylor
Shotokan Karate world champion, between 1985 and 1987 he had 150 fights, no defeats (no retreats, no surrenders).
James Warring is John Jones
North-American Heavyweight Boxing Champion, rated third in the world.
Richard Hill is Bobby Rose
US Ranger, hand-to-hand combat instructor.
Steve Rogers is Ernest Santana
Greco-Roman wrestling champion.
Monsour Del Rosario is Tobo Castenerra is An Awesome Name
World Taekwondo champion.
Manny Samson is Manny Rivera
Pro-American Judo Champion, gold medal winner 1988.
[THE BODY COUNT: 12]
The body count has more than doubled since last time which is due to the fights now being for life or death, and that the number of villains that needs to be put to sleep had been one upped as well. Jake really outdoes himself when it comes to the kills compared to the first one racking up five kills, including two delivered from the barrel of a shotgun.
[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING & DEATH]
Jake vs. Vinny
When Jake realizes that his friend is not in trouble, but the trouble, the eventual facing off between the two becomes just a question of when. Turns out that this when is when it appears that Jake and the other selected fighters are actually winning the tournament. So Su sends in Vinny to finish them off. Jake throws about with his lip some, trying to convince Vinny to drop the fight as he doesn’t want to fight him.
Vinny, however, does not have the brains to do so and the result is a kick ass brawl spanning near five minutes and culminating when Jake delivers a fly kick straight to Vinny’s neck and breaks it.
[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]
Like in the first entry the gayness is delivered in the form of shirtlessness in the male department, but beyond that the movie keeps a fairly clean sheet.
[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]
This movie gives us more of them titties in the first ten minutes than the last movie did at all when Jake, only in his second scene, sleeps with a prostitute. The credits say it’s his girlfriend, but I sure never had any girlfriend that left in the middle of the night and demanded I pay her fifty bucks. No, sir, that there is a prostitute if I ever saw one.
Su isn’t any better in the charm department, having Vinny whip the tar out of his henchwoman for disobeying orders. She does however pay him back by joining Jake for some smooching and a little ass kicking for the good guys.
[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]
When he arrives in Manila Jake goes to a gym to ask after his friend Vinny, there he runs into Sal who tells him that he only talks to fighters, and then magic happens. Words simply can not describe this moment, as it needs to been seen.
[flashvideo filename=videos/BloodfistKick.avi.FLV /]
Jake once again keeps a vocabulary short on one-liners Bobby Rose however delivers this while blowing away Su’s mandatory German henchman. “Let go of the case! That’s an order, shithead!”
“Over and out.”
[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]
When you compete on performance-enhancing drugs it doesn’t matter if you win or lose. You’re still a loser. Because winners don’t use drugs.
[THE CHECKLIST: 11 outta 25]
[X] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[X] 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
[ ] Giant Explosion(s)
[ ] Heavy Artillery
[X] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation [Helicopter]
[ ] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[ ] Manly Embrace(s)
[ ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[ ] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[ ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[ ] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[ ] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[X] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[ ] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[ ] Tis The Season
[X] Torture Sequence(s)
[X] Unnecessary Sequel [Bloodfist III: Forced To Fight]
[ ] Vehicle Chase(s)
[ ] Vigilante Justice