Tuesday, 12 August 2008

No Retreat No Surrender 3


Directed by: Lucas Lo
Screenplay: Keith W. Strandberg
Starring: Loren Avedon & Keith Vitali

Or Blood Brothers as it is also known, was the third official film in the NRNS series and while not quite as good as Part 2, is nevertheless an enjoyable romp that showcases the excellent fighting skills of Loren Avedon and Keith Vitali. They play feuding brothers (Vitali a cop, Avedon the martial arts trainer) who must put aside their differences to avenge the death of their father at the hands of the Mafia. Fairly standard stuff, which is basically an excuse for some show stopping fight scenes.

Avedon exudes his usual screen likeability and fairs better than Vitali in the dramatic department. Vitali struggles somewhat, making the drama aspect slightly laughable. Scenes are often unintentionally funny as the cheese factor is amped up. However, this is more than compensated for by the abundance of well stage action, the brisk pace and Lucas Lo’s competent first time direction. He replaces Cory Yuen (The Transporter) from the first two entries and while he is not quite up to that action director’s level, he more than holds his own, especially come the finale.

Going toe to toe with blond bad guy Rion Hunter (Cage) the final sees Avedon, Vitali and Hunter busting moves in a brutal dust up that still holds up today. Excellent choreography and kicking skills form all three participants make NRNS 3 a worthy American martial arts film. Stranberg’s script may be over cheesy in some parts but at least he was branching out with story ideas and attempting to add some dramatic depth to all the fisticuffs. A definite guilty pleasure that holds its own in the fight department and showed American martial arts movies could cut in the fight department.

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