Thursday, 29 May 2008
No Retreat No Surrender 2
NO REATREAT NO SURRENDER 2: RAGING THUNDER (1989)
Directed by: Cory Yuen
Screenplay: Keith W. Strandberg, Maria Elena Cellino & Roy Horan
Starring: Loren Avedon, Cynthia Rothrock & Max Thayer
Originally filmed as Raging Thunder before the producers decided to use the NRNS title, this sequel to the original No Retreat No Surrender finds Loren Avedon replacing Kurt McKinney in the central role as Scott Wylde, an American kickboxer who must journey into the heart of Vietnam to rescue his girlfriend from some evil Russians. Teaming up with another brash American (Max Thayer) and a feisty female (Cynthia Rothrock), the three engage in all out war in a sequel that ups the action and fighting to giddy heights.
Once again directed by Cory Yuen, with a little help in action department from Mang Hoi (The Blonde Fury), NRNS 2 is a no holds barred action film. Gone is the ‘believe in yourself’ message from the first film, which is replaced by an onslaught of brutal fights and stunt sequences. While Avedon will never be mistaken for an Oscar worthy actor, he acquits himself well and is a very gifted fighter, ably supported by Thayer and Rothrock (also excellent in the fight scenes). The theme of Russians being the bad guys was very popular around this time and carries over from the first film. This time, the chief bad guy is played by genre stalwart, Matthius Hues (Mission of Justice), making his big screen debut. Another excellent fighter, his showdown with Avedon is exciting stuff.
Speaking of genre stalwarts, NRNS 2 is packed full of them. Along with Avedon, Rothrock and Hues, Hwang Jang Lee (Secret Rivals) and Roy Horan (Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow) also put in appearances, with Horan also contributing to the screenplay. With these familiar faces and Yuen’s assured handling of the action, Seasonal Films (the producers of the NRNS series) were really able to show what they could with an American martial arts film. Add in some great locations, action scenes that are still fun to watch today and a good dollop of cheese, you have the best of the NRNS films. Highly recommended.