Notable Cast: Amy Johnston, Muriel Hofmann, Jenny Wu, Kathy Wu, Jet Tranter, Ng Mayling
Having tempered expectations when going into straight to home video action flicks is usually the smart approach to appreciating the genre. Not that the style doesn’t have its merits, as I mentioned not to long ago in my review for Boyka: Undisputed 4, but the smart approach usually means you’ll have more fun in appreciating them for what they are. This is the case with Lady Bloodfight. On paper, the idea of a Bloodsport/Kickboxer knock off seems predictable and unnecessary, yet the attached stuntwomen and talent behind the film would indicate it would be something much more effective than the trailers and hum-drum concept would indicate. While this is true, there is much more to Lady Bloodfight than its ‘been there, done that’ plot and narrative would have one believe, it’s still a mixed bag of efforts that is benefited from one’s skepticism of the entire thing when going into it. For fans of the martial arts tournament films that ruled the lower budget realms of the late 80s and early 90s in western action cinema, Lady Bloodfight has something to offer in its modernized throwback style but it certainly trips on some of its own ambitions as it goes leaving the entire thing feeling a bit mixed. Yet, it’s hard not to be pleasantly surprised with it in the end. It’s fun, it has some great moments, and it showcases that Amy Johnston can hold her own as the lead in a film.
|Learning is tough.
Truthfully, the predictable script and rather straightforward narrative don’t necessarily provide a lot of unique flavor outside of the usual corruption and gimmicky villains that offer the tension, but the film uses its tropes to its advantage by allowing the film to be an easy to consume and entertaining affair. The rest is problematic at times as it shoehorns in a gambling subplot that feels unfinished and silly in the last minutes of the film and tries desperately to add a sort of spiritual thing at the very end with our heroine’s ghost dad. There are other times though where the film tries to ambitiously pull off the unique process of explaining some of the core fundamental discipline aspects of marital arts training. This is most effective in how our heroine’s teacher approaches her learning compared to the rival student and her teacher’s heavy-handed discipline over learning technique. It’s a tad too Karate Kid at times for the sake of the westernized audience it is appealing to, but it’s ambitious enough to work just enough to sell the entire idea.
|Not learning is much tougher.