Saturday, March 3, 2012

B-Movie Kicks: Max Havoc- Curse of the Dragon

Who demanded this movie?  Mickey Hardt is a Swiss Actor who does martial-arts.  According to IMDB, he was given his first big break by Donnie Yen.  Anyone remember that?  Didn't think so.  Well, a year after that, he got a starring role in Max Havoc: Curse of the Dragon.  Anyone remember this movie?  In the old days (read: about two years ago) when video stores were prevalent, crap like this was all over the place.  Studios were churning generic action film after generic action film, attempting to make them look more interesting in a variety of ways.  In this film's case, it's Joanna Krupa in a bikini.  Well, it's better than Afghant Knights.  So what is the film about?  Well, Max Havoc is a man with a past...but now he takes photos.  His adventures take him to Guam, where he gets caught up in a plot involving a stolen artifact and...David Carradine.  Aw, you could have done better.  The other formerly-big star here- Richard Roundtree.  Don't worry- he's not in it long.  To find out if one of Hardt's two U.S. films is any good, read on...
Max is a man with a past.  He abhors violence.  In his second scene, he gets in a random and pointless fight.  Make sense to me.
The plot involves the Jade Dragon- nice and cliche- being taken from David Carradine's house and taken to Guam.  If you're going to sell illegal goods, why not go there after all?
Havoc is troubled by his past.  He was a kickboxer and he accidentally killed a guy.  Look at the bright side- at least you didn't kick his head off!  Oh yeah, they play this footage at least five times- I hope you like it!
In Guam, Havoc meets up with his old trainer, who also buys antiquities.  Gee, I wonder what he gets at his shop...
Enough of that plot- women in bikinis.  What was I talking about just now?
Oh right- murder.  Carradine sends his thugs to Guam and they kill the lady that stole the artifact.  They also kill Roundtree.  Sucks for the audience, but at least Richard got to enjoy the rest of his vacation.

Of course, he's also never shown outside.  For all we know, he shot his scenes in Los Angeles.
Did I mention that Carmen Electra was in this movie?  Well, she is.  She's completely unimportant and only appears three times, but she is in it.
Our heroine doesn't show up to the first meeting to return the Dragon.  She says that she won't do it, since she needs to sell it to help her sister out.  Her sister tells her to give it back.  So she decides to do so.  That happened.
In the Finale, Max fights this bald, martial-artist guy named 'Baldy.'  He wins, so Carradine gives her a super-expensive sword in exchange for giving them their stuff back.  The End.
What can I really say about this movie?  It's a dumb, silly action film.  It doesn't have a lot of action in it, at least not regularly.  The action scenes are randomly-cut in here, not really being set up all that much.  That opening action scene is just random and unnecessary.  One of them is supposed to 'ironic' because it interrupts a wire-filled Wuxia fight scene being filmed...outside of a Guam hotel.  That makes sense to me!  The movie is loaded down with romance and an attempts to make us care.  There are a few problems with this.  One- the characters have all the depth of a puddle.  Two- Joanna Krupa and Mickey Hardt are not great actors.  Three- their chemistry is pretty much non-existent.  When Electra shows up in her second- and last- actual scene, they set up a romantic conflict.  It's resolved within seconds, rendering the whole thing- entirely pointless.  The action scenes are decent enough, but the final one is way too short.  Plus, it's shot in a dimly-lit room, rendering it hard to follow.  As a side note, this fight was apparently Directed by someone other than Pyun.  That man- Isaac Florentine.  No, he's not a dish with spinach in it, he's the guy who made Ninja.  Give him actual lighting and he can actually make a decent scene happen- they don't.  Maybe the sequel will get things right (ha ha).  Take us away, thing I can find on the Internet and also in this movie...
Next up, another Albert Pyun film (no, I didn't plan this).  It's the long-delayed sequel to a 1982 film...and boy is it awful.  Stay tuned...

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