Monday, July 19, 2010

Undisputed II: Last Man Standing - 3/5

The film "Undisputed" is one of those surprisingly solid films that garnered quite a bit of attention. Was it a film that needed a sequel or to start off a franchise? No. Not at all. But it did. And surprising as it is, its first sequel "Undisputed II: Last Man Standing" is a romp and a half of bad film fun. It's a bad film with quite a bit of heart, even if most of the film is so over the top its hard not to laugh and probably more than deserving of at least a rental.

George "Iceman" Chambers (White) is a world champion boxer whose career is on the downturn. While on a random tour of Russia, he is set up on false drug charges and sent to one hellish Russian prison where the mob seems to be intent on setting him up to fight their Prison badass champion Boyka (Adkins) for a little money runs in exchange for his freedom. His stay at the prison might kill him, but he's going to learn some valuable life lessons too.

There are really only two reasons that this film ended up on my viewing platter. Michael Jai White and Scott Adkins. These two men have like a bajillion martial arts skills between them and putting them in a ring together gives that area of the Earth so much muscle weight that it would create a gravitational pull not unlike a planet. Honestly, I wanted to watch this film for those guys and the fights. That's basically what this film is too. Two charismatic action stars (with a lot of bad acting and dialogue between the two) beating the shit out of each other with some badass choreography. Quite frankly, I was loving every moment of it.

Don't expect too much else though, otherwise you will find yourself in a permanent eye rolling position. The cliche story elements, the over the top and knee slapping hilarious directing, and the poor script all make this film something of a bad film cornerstone in this modern age. Yet despite all of that, it does retain a lot of heart in its basic messages and in its many, many, many attempts at building something more. It very much knows that its bad, and goes over the top in pointing out its own ridiculousness (to its own benefit) but I'll be damned if I didn't care about Chambers position and find myself rooting for him all the way to the end. So something must have worked.

"Undisputed II" may not be Oscar material, but I had a blast watching it in all of its cheesy glory. Over the top, melodramatic, and with fight sequences to wet yourself over, this film is an A grade B movie masterpiece for an era where Action films and their stars are slowly dying. Definitely worth the watch, but bring the salt along to take it with.

BONUS RANT: The random Rap music used in this film is just as hilarious and over the top as the film was. Turn or closed captioning and read the lyrics as they play in the film and over the end credits. Its awesomely bad. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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