Monday, 18 February 2008

Ring of Fire 2

RING OF FIRE 2 (1993)

Directed by: Richard W. Munchkin
Screenplay by: Steve Tymon & R.W. Munchkin
Starring: Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson, Sy Richardson, Ian Jacklin and Evan Lurie.

Ring of Fire 2 stars chop-socky stalwart Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson and while it is suitably over the top, it is no less entertaining, and surprisingly creative for an early 90’s marital arts flick. Johnny Woo and his wife are all set to get married when she is shot in a robbery at the jewelry store where they are picking out a ring. When the gang attempts to rescue one of their injured from the same hospital where Johnny’s wife is being treated, he accidentally kills the gang leader’s brother. In return, they kidnap his wife and hold her hostage in an underground lair full of martial arts gangs. Johnny then has to venture into the maze of tunnels in order to rescue his wife, teaming up with a homeless Vietnam vet (Sy Richardson). Confused? You probably will be as the plot is all over the place. But if you can suspend disbelief and ignore any lack of plot coherence, then there is a lot of fun to get out of Ring of Fire 2.

It will also help if you are fan of kung-fu flicks, as the main point of the ‘plot’ (as with all Don Wilson films) is to just get to the next fight, and there are plenty of them. As Johnny progresses on his journey the fights become more imaginative as he takes on an array of colourful characters. Choreographed by Art Camacho (Red Sun Rising), the fights display the characters kickboxing abilities to their fullest with a variety of high impact, brutal encounters. The fights are livened by the fact that the action takes place in what seems to be an underground, post apocalyptic, Mad Max style underworld. The film’s style is more fantasy than hard-edged thriller, giving the proceedings a rather otherworldly feel. The plot contrivances, outlandish characters and Wilson being shirtless for most of the running time are all completely ridiculous, but the filmmakers have injected the story with enough energy, imagination and fun to give the movie a real comic book feel. Ring Of fire 2 is certainly not your run of the mill fisticuff flick.

The acting is really not worth mentioning, as everyone (appropriately) hams it up but the script does take a moment or two to at least acknowledge the problems of the homeless. Solid direction by Munchkin (Out for Blood), some eye popping car stunts and explosions from the PM stunt team and a whole host of former kickboxers and martial arts movie regulars (including Evan Lurie, Eric Lee, Vince Murdocco and Ian Jacklin), along with some cool fights, help make Ring Of Fire 2 a barmy but incredibly fun action flick

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