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The American Streetfighterz Trilogy: Street Godz Of War II (2006)

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Overall Rating 63%
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Randal Adamek
Randal Adamek
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
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Review by Chad
Added: August 20, 2006
Do any of you fine readers out there remember the late-eighties game "Final Fight"? It started the whole trend of beat 'em up arcade games, managed to eat away a sizable portion of my allowance every week, and it was also one of the first games that I purchased for the (at the time) newly-released Super Nintendo console. Those were the good ol' days, and tonight's film is heavily reminiscent of that game; in fact, if you've played the game in question, then you pretty much know how the storyline goes in this movie.

For those of you haven't played the game (for shame!), the storyline found in this movie centers around a young girl who has been kidnapped by a local gang which is led by the villainous Snake Eyez (Jonathan Cook). Snake demands a ransom from this girl's grandfather, who just so happens to be the king-pin for another gang, and also demands that he leave town before they release his granddaughter. King-Pin, not wanting to abandon his city or pay the million dollar ransom to this accomplished martial-artist and his similarly-trained thugs, hires the services of a local streetfighter who goes by the name of Drakka (director David Daze). Drakka, as it turns out, has a long history with Snake Eyez and his organization, and the rest of the film leads us through his quest of taking down every last member of the gang, defeating their leader, and rescuing the little lady.

Much like the game that I'm comparing it to, this movie doesn't have a whole lot going for it in terms of storyline. We learn a few bits of information about both of the main characters as the film progresses and we also meet a few people who join up with either gang, but to be honest, the storyline aspect of this film is brief and to the point: King-Pin wants his granddaughter back, Snake Eyez wants his ransom, and Drakka wants to dispose of this ruthless gang-lord. There's not a whole lot of shocking plot twists or in-depth character development to be found here, but since that wasn't the intention of the film, it works out in the end.

In a newspaper clipping sent to me along with the movie, Daze was quoted as saying that he "just wanted to make cool fight scenes" with this release. Tired of the increasing numbers of stale fight scenes shown in Hollywood films, he set out to prove that action sequences could be done much better even in a low-budget - strike that, a no-budget - environment. With that in mind, the film is a success. Even though there was no Hollywood budget behind this movie and even acknowledging the fact that (I'm assuming, anyway) most of the guys were untrained in martial arts, Daze has put together a good number of fight and karate sequences that put some of the big-budget Hollywood action flicks to shame. While not every last scene is a home run, the vast majority of these scenes are excellently choreographed, especially the final battle in the organization's headquarters (which features sword-fights, men being thrown through walls, and a damned nice bo-fight in addition to the martial arts).

My only real complaint about the movie, and this is a minor one, is the way that the storyline is played out at times. I was well aware that a riveting storyline wasn't going to be the focal point of the film before I even popped the disc into my DVD player, but some of the scenes in which we learn about what's going on are painful to sit through. For example, some scenes may only reveal the most basic of information ("they're hiding out at such-and-such location"), but the conversation surrounding this revelation may run for about five minutes. It goes without saying that some of these scenes are heavily padded, and in my view, this takes away from the whole point of the film. While I didn't expect ninety minutes of pure fighting from start to finish, a better balance would have made the film much more interesting. To be fair though, this was originally a fifteen-minute short that was expanded to a feature-length movie on short notice, so some flaws are to be expected.

Overall, this film had a problem or two, but Daze still successfully accomplished what he set out to do. If you're a fan of the classic Bruce Lee flicks, karate movies in general, or if you just want to see some damned good action sequences, check this one out. You can head on over to the Film 1 Studios site for more information, and keep an eye out for Street Godz Of War I which is currently three-fourths of the way done - I certainly will be. 7/10.
Alex Chill #1: Alex Chill - added 09/26/2009, 05:54 AM
Great Movie! i loved working with the cast and crew on this action film.
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