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Directed by: Lucas Lowe
Starring: Loren Avedon, Keith Vitali, Joseph Campanella, Sherrie Rose, Luke Askew, Wanda Acuna, and Rion Hunter
The Alexander brothers couldn’t be more different: Casey Alexander (Vitali) is a CIA operative like his father, is a straight shooter and a dutiful son. His brother Will (Avedon), however, is a disaffected and unlikable jerk who gets irritated any time anyone says anything to him. Even when their father John (Campanella) is mercilessly killed, the brothers have their own ways of doing things. Will travels to Florida and goes undercover as a guy named Jesse just so he can get close to the evil Franco (Hunter) and his criminal organization. Casey also goes to Florida and teams up with Maria (Acuna) to try and get answers in his own way. Of course, the paths of the two brothers intersect and they end up fighting Franco together. Will this be the end of sibling rivalry after all?
The No Retreat No Surrender series have all been solid entertainment, and this installment is no different. It’s an in-name only sequel, with Avedon playing a different character, but no one really cares. It’s all about the great stunts and very impressive Martial Arts fights. Funnily enough, Avedon’s character, Will, goes through no arc whatsoever. He’s a jerk at the beginning, remains a jerk, and is still a jerk at the end. It’s a good thing Avedon is a competent Martial Artist, or there would be nothing for audience members to latch onto. His counterpart Keith Vitali is cool, and the guy definitely has moves as well. He more than holds his own with his on-screen brother and in many cases outshines him. Rion Hunter of Cage (1989) fame plays the very Matthias Hues-like baddie well, and only a bad guy could have hair like that.
The weirdness quotient is maintained with such moments as when a video-generated on-screen quote from Chairman Mao is randomly inserted into the proceedings and looks like an editing mistake. Avedon drives angrily while chomping down equally angrily on a piece of bread, and Casey’s one-way conversations with a computer, which predate Siri by twenty years or so. But the old standbys are here too, such as the abandoned warehouse and the prerequisite torture. But the movie undoubtedly gives you what you want, especially the blowout ending. The actors and stuntmen clearly were working overtime to entertain the audience, and that effort is on screen, and much appreciated.
Written and directed by the same guys that did King of the Kickboxers (1990) and American Shaolin: King of the Kickboxers II (1992) (Keith Strandberg and Lucas Lowe, respectively), and released on VHS by Imperial, surely a good time will be had by all with this classic 90’s beat-em-up.
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett