Monday, September 3, 2012

Escape from the Bronx


  Well, I praised the first one in a previous review. Thought it was great. Creative, clever, action packed, silly, basically everything that you might want from a midnight B-movie.  Well, if it was at all possible... it's sequel outdid it. In friggin spades.  Right away we see something different, GUNS. The heroes use guns. And lots of them. Guns are like in style now. As opposed to the melee-heavy first movie, this movie rarely has a fight in it that doesn't involve guns or flamethrowers. And the sound effects are ridiculously powerful too. At one point a .38 snub sounds like a .50 cal handgun.  It packs a punch but isn't very realistic.
But as any fan could tell you, realism is NOT what they're shooting for.

  The story is thankfully not a total retread. Instead, this time, the movie opens with a 'Sanitization squad' "evacuating" the Bronx. Cause it's been deemed unlivable and the corporation is going to graciously provide all the residents with new homes in New Mexico. Right.  In reality the "evacuation" is brutal, residents are hurt if they resist. Shot or burnt alive if they put up a fight.  Which includes the parents of our hero, Trash (Mark Gregory).  Enraged over their death, and along with the help of some familiar faces and a few new flamboyant personalities, he sets out on a big crusade to stop the evacuation and reclaim the Bronx using any... means... necessary! Dun dun DUN!

  The premise is an effective vehicle for an hour and a half of violence and carnage. Which will undoubtedly satisfy most action fans and b-movie freaks alike.  Though without fail, there is always a crowd who will not like a movie no matter what. They complain about one flick that there's not enough action and all the action looks cheesy, and then they find a well made piece of 'trash' like this and complain that there's TOO much action. Come on. These kinds of b-grade movies aren't expected to be anything deep or even well made.

   All I expect and want from a flick like this is shootouts and explosions. Hopefully some T&A and then some creative gore scenes.  I would love it if all the low-rent cheesy movies had shootouts that looked this convincing and thrilling, and this well staged. But they don't. Which is why Bronx Warriors 2 is a gem. It's technically good looking. It may look cheap, but it doesn't look cheesy.  It's pretty cool looking to be honest. These movies (Bronx Warriors 1 & 2) are very competently made.

  Speaking of the action, it's nonstop. It's never overkill in my opinion, but it is over the top. In a very good and welcome way.  It's proportionate to the events as they progress in the movie. Theres a small skirmish in the beginning, a fight in an apartment later and then a small little shootout, and it escalates until it gets to the twenty minute climax in the streets of the bronx with more bad guys than Darth Vader has stormtroopers.

   It's a massive battle full of very clever little camera shots and lots of slow motion explosions.  I swear, one imdb reviewer complained that the movie fetishized death scenes. Well... yeah. Cool. It does. And... it's cool. What did you really expect from an exploitation knock-off of already violent movies? In my opinion, if you sought out this movie, you should like the genre and the shtick to begin with. If you don't, stay away.  It's clearly not going to be something you'd like.

  The movie is very very watchable despite some poor dubbing and of course, hokey dialog. Though none that manage to be facepalmingly bad.  The silent but badass shtick would fit Gregory well because he still sounds a little off... Fortunately supporting characters are actually well acted and very likable.  Except for a few bad apples who manage to be either bland or annoying.  It's all good though. Mark Gregory's outfit looks servicably bad-ass instead of borderline gay-ass this time. From GO this flick has a hell of a breakneck pace. Wasting no time padding out the proceedings for any reason, the plot kicks right in and we actually get to see some more interesting aspects to this world that was established in the first one. Also, Gregory doesn't entirely sound like a tool this time either.

  This movie is insanely action packed. I can't believe they still had time for plot and everything.
Yet they made it work. The body count is outrageous and it's all gunplay and shootouts this time around. Which brings me to my only real complaint. Although it makes up for it in plenty of ways, this one lacks some of the low-er budget creativity the first one had. The elbow spike, motorcycle blades, finger claws, spike poles, etc. And, sadly, no Fred Williamson. But overall, I got what I wanted. Action, blood, shootouts, explosions (and holy shit theres alot) and cheesy one-liners. Great midnight 80's b-grade actioner.

   As much, if not, more fun that it's predecessor, Bronx Warriors 2 earns it's positive review with flying colors not for being quality cinema, but for being such a damn fun and undeniably explosive ride. If you see the first, which you should, and like it, you should definitely check this one out. I recommend them both.

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