Friday, August 31, 2012

The Street Fighter

  Sonny Chiba is quite a character. His martial arts is brutal no doubt, but his personality is a cross between a mysterious ronin and a monkey on crack. This movie exhibits both sides, quite excellently. It has a good reputation for him just kicking ass and taking names. The plot muddles itself alot around the midway, but he never lets up with the ass kicking and strange chimp like karate yells. What can I say? The man's so badass, it's not one bit funny.
Well... maybe a little.

  The plot has something to do with the sole heiress to a now ownerless multi billion dollar oil company targeted to be kidnapped. No doubt to be forced to sign over her company. The film then somehow, maybe it said and I missed it, maybe it was lost in translation, or maybe I was just losing focus before the ass kicking started, but the film somehow brings our protagonist (Sonny Chiba. Duh.) into this as her protector. Which means lots of confusion and people thinking he's trying to kill this person when he's trying to kill the other person and then the other person thinks- you know what, it felt like a mess. But that doesn't mean that you can't follow the basics. Bad guy. Good guy. Damsel in distress. (even thats foggy at times) Fighting ensues. Pretty great formula.

  There's lots of quotable dialog and really unique clever shots that cement this flick as a cult FAVORITE. It's the kind of movie I love to recommend and the kind of movie I love watching with a bunch of friends. The scene where Sonny rips off a guys junk right through his pants is bound to get some reactions.
And if that doesn't, then you're watching the movie with a bunch of corpses. Despite being dated, and the fake blood being a tinge too bright, it still has impact and feels gritty all the same. There is a shlocky b-movie quality to it, a retro appeal, but the movie doesn't feel low budget or amateur at all.  The acting is mainly pretty good, but I mean, it's only as good as you can expect when the dialog's averaging stuff like "If I'm not your partner, let me be your slave!"
Yeah. It's that kind of movie.

  Sonny Chiba prowls from scene to scene with an undeniable cool and ease.  He knows he's the baddest guy on the scene, we know it, and everyone else just... can't get it through their thick skulls. But you know what never has a problem getting through their thick skulls? Chiba's fists of fury. Lots of bone crunching, skull cracking hits. Lots of blood sprays and gore galore. If this isn't the over the top kung-fu actioner you've been looking for, I don't know how to help you.  This doesn't feel like a rip-off of anything else. It may be muddled and such, but it's still pretty great. The last 40 minutes feel especially cohesive and easy to follow so the fights and action scenes are easier to enjoy that much more. Very cool movie all around. Not much to dislike here.

Overall it's a damn solid chop-sockey flick meant to be enjoyed with a switched off brain and a bowl of popcorn. (just make sure you're done by the testicle-rip...) It can hold it's own with alot of Bruce Lee flicks, and has a charm to it that alot of Martial Artists just can't pin down.I loved it and I'll own it the very first chance I get. It's a good, bloody, fast, fun, cheesy good time.

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