Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lorenzo Lamas Week: Sci-Fighter

When in doubt, go with crap you own.  I really, really wanted to do Terminal Justice for this week's reviews.  That didn't I'll just have to do it later.  In the mean-time, here's a movie I bought on the cheap from Hollywood Video and have done nothing with for two years.  Time to dust this crap a sentence that should never be said again.  Sci-Fighter is known by many names, including X-Treme Fighter, which my DVD is called.  The film features Don "The Dragon" Wilson, Lorenzo Lamas and a few other people that some of you may know.  The plot involves a virtual-reality game in which people do kung-fu.  This is not to be confused with Virtual Combat, a 1994 film featuring Don "The Dragon" Wilson doing the same thing.  It's also not to be confused with Sci-Fighters, a movie featuring Roddy Piper and Billy Drago...that is also Out-of-Print.  The gimmick here is simple: real, credible martial artists.  This is not all about show- it's about substance.  These guys really know what they're doing...and are really boring.  The reason I even own this film is for this reason.  To find out more- and why the movie is not called Sci-Fighter- read on...
Early on, we see Lamas in a computer simulation trying to rescue a hostage.  It's all part of an experiment to help save lives...or something.  Either way, Lamas is in the film for five minutes.
The movie shifts awkwardly to Don and his family life.  It's important that you relate to this character...because I don't.  Hey look- a TV that connects to something...but what?
Seriously, Don can't act worth shit.  When you are supposed to act or react, you should change tone or expressions.  He just makes this awkward face for 90 minutes.
"Help me, Don, your acting is the only thing that can save me.  Oh crap- I'm screwed!"
Do I care that Cynthia Rothrock is in this movie?  Nope.  Any film that features stuff like this just gets that reaction.
If you were wondering where Lamas is, he appears in this fight scene from the beginning.  If you tint it blue, it's still Stock Footage!  Oh and the two leads meet for about twenty seconds.  Yea.
Without Lamas, X-Treme Fighter still features lots of action.  Unfortunately, it involves Don and this middle-aged guy...on the beach.  Have fun with the same two Judo throws over and over again!
The climax involves Don fighting some muscular guy and then Scorpion, this lady who can make bad particle effects appear.  In a film about Don's son learning to stand up for himself, Don saves the day...alone.
Don's son does do an exhibition the next day...or whenever this takes place and does well.  That makes up for...well, everything.  The End. the X-Treme!  Good God, this movie should not suck as much as it does.  Consider the basic premise: a bunch of martial-arts experts fight each other with a vague connective-thread throughout. How do they mess this up?  I don't quite know.  I wouldn't say that these guys don't know martial arts or how to fight on film, because that's not true.  However, when they do fight each other, it either appears too-staged or not professional enough.  The movie is full of awkward pauses, clear misses and just generally fake-looking fighting.  Did they just not give a shit or were they just rushed for time?  I will say this- Lamas continues to not try at all.  Like Blood Angels, Alien 3000 and Lethal (to a certain extent), he barely appears.  In this film, he has about three scenes, only one of which involves any action.  Even that bad scene is re-used later, just with Don showing up at the very end to change things a bit.  He really just wanted that meager paycheck, huh?  Considering that this is a guy who later went on to make a Reality Show...with his Mother, I'm not that surprised by any of this.  The bottom line: this movie's only good trait could have been it's acting.  There was barely any budget, barely any plot and zero drama.  For whatever reason, all of the action sucks serious balls.  Take us away, super device made up of two bike helmets and a Nintendo Gamecube...
Next up, a week of films with Steven Seagal- minus one Holiday film.  First up, a much-less fat Seagal stops terrorists- but nobody cares the second time around.  Stay tuned...

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