Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blood and Bone

Blood and Bone is an English language street fighting Martial Arts movie.

Anyone left?
Ok, you fans of Bloodsport and Lionheart, gather round for the no hecticam, no flash edits, no wire 7 black belt holding Michael J White battle(s) royale.  He is a pleasure to watch, the embodiment of power and grace in the over the top flash of the LA street-fighting scene. This scene is, apparently, the proving grounds for the "international underground fight scene" run by the nefarious and largely invisible "Consortium".
Besides the fighting and moralizing there is the Genghis Khan center filtered through the screen burning Eammon Walker, who is also a fan of Wang Chung. Mr Walker commands the screen without taking his shirt off, though he does bare his sword.
What sets this film above the usual suspects is the subtle application of restraint in the tropes. The crowd is not filled with society women in finery savoring blood spatters off of their cleavage. The mixed races of LA are authentic, the stakes are in the hundreds not thousands and millions, at least at the beginning.
The slow burn of the plot is punctuated by the ratcheting up of the skill level of Mr White's opponents, the replacement of the rims on his promoter's car, and flashbacks to the prison he just left. What's not to like about a chess playing Tai Chi master?
The climax of the film is all too brief, and betrays the careful pacing of the rest of the film, but is not a dealkiller. Did I notice Zoe Bell in the credits :)

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