By Richard Winters
My Rating: 2 out of 10
4-Word Review: Too much Chuck Norris.
Josh Randall (Chuck Norris) works as a security guard at a Hong Kong casino run by Sam (David Opatoshu) and his son David (Frank Michael Liu). Stan Ramiondi (Michael Cavanaugh) approaches the two men about purchasing the casino from them, but Sam refuses due to Stan’s connections to organized crime, which makes Stan very upset. Soon Sam and David are found dead and Josh goes on a vengeance to seek justice, but it proves difficult because Stan seems to have spies and hit men everywhere who are more than willing to take Josh down.
The production seems less like a movie and more like a vehicle showcasing what a tough guy/stud Norris is. The characterizations are too broad and the meager plot is predictable and formulaic. I found it hard to get into and seemed to lose interest the more it progressed. Anyone looking for even an ounce of sophistication will surely be disappointed. Adding some humor might have helped. Norris’s voice-over narration has some, but it is definitely not enough.
The fight scenes really don’t add much. There are just so many high kicks one can watch before that becomes as monotonous as everything else. Showing some of it in slow motion only makes it cheesier. The fights also have too much of a predictable quality with the big bad guys standing dumbfounded while Norris kicks their ass. In fact the only fight sequence that was interesting is the one in which Norris is not in. There is also one fight shown at the beginning over the opening credits that gets repeated later in the movie, which makes it very redundant. The loud, booming music, which was done to somehow create tension, instead becomes obnoxious.
The acting is overall wooden and the dialogue is dull and uninspired. Even the old pros seem to be phoning in their parts. Norris in particular speaks in the same monotone voice and his face remains expressionless throughout. The only performance that I liked was that of Cavanaugh’s and that was because he has the perfect looking face for a bad guy especially with those clear blue eyes. In fact he has more than a passing resemblance to Terence Stamp and the fight that he has with Norris at the end while on a boat and using a wooden hook is mildly engaging.
The on-location shooting done in Hong Kong and the opening shot showing Hong Kong’s sprawling skyline is impressive, but everything else is not and I found this to be a real chore to sit through.
My Rating: 2 out of 10
Released: July 30, 1982
Runtime: 1Hour 30Minutes
Director: James Fargo
Available: VHS, DVD, Amazon Instant Video