Undisputed II : Last Man Standing (DVD)

Undisputed II : Last Man Standing (DVD)

Adkins is truly a marvel to watch. His Ivan Drago-esque statute combined with his formidable presence is enough in itself, then watch him bounce around a boxing ring – wow-whee! The man has skill.

Michael Jai White, Scott Adkins, Ben Cross

These days, direct-to-video sequels are like bananas: now and then you’ll get a rotten one, but by and large, most of them are pretty good.

Yes, Ok, they never have the budget of theatrical releases (of which their predecessor usually was); usually have the star equivalent of an Iraqi charity croquet match; and there’s less razzle-dazzle, but sloppy seconds aren’t the untasty; unappealing; cheap offerings they were say, ten years back. With DVD quickly becoming the main medium to see movies – a cinema release has been described as a ‘teaser’ for an eventual film; something that’ll hit DVD in due course – more and more effort is being put into these things.

From Dimension’s entertaining “Dracula” series to Universal’s “American Pie Presents” franchise, DTV has actually remerged as a genre to be reckoned with.

“Undisputed II : Last Man Standing” is a sequel – though, with its different cast and unconnected storyline it could almost stand on its own – to the 2002 actioner from director Walter Hill. With Wesley Snipes on the run for tax evasion and Ving Rhames preoccupied in whatever zombie-movie-of-the-month he’s been suckered into, director Isaac Florentine (known for his slick martial-arts action movies) has had to find a couple of other puppies to do the barking. In this case, Scott Adkins and Michael Jai White (“Spawn”) – the latter reprising the role played by Rhames in the original – are impounded for duty.

George ‘Iceman’ Chambers (Jai White), the famous boxer we met in the first movie, finds himself back in prison when he’s set-up on drug charges. When he gets to the slammer, he meets an enemy in the resident fighting champion (Adkins), who has been hell-bent on meeting the celebrity in a roped ring from day one.

If it helped get financing, then so be it, but the film really didn’t need to be called “Undisputed II”. Besides the lead character, there’s no other connection – even the tone and storyline of the two films are oranges and apples.

This one is as Cheesy as a twistie, and the storyline ain’t much chop, but emphasis here seems to be on the stunningly-choreographed fight sequences. In fact, all emphasis seems to be on the fights. If that was the plan, then Florentine has succeeded. The mixed martial arts sequences are truly amazing to watch. Fast, furious and eye-poppingly impressive, the skirmishes are some of the most entertaining and best looking brawls to ever grace a TV tube.

Adkins is truly a marvel to watch. His Ivan Drago-esque statute combined with his formidable presence is enough in itself, then watch him bounce around a boxing ring – wow-whee! The man has skill.

Needless to say, “Undisputed II” isn’t aimed at a wide audience – it’s a film for fans of fight movies, but if you do love a bit of well-designed biffo, you’re going to need to wipe your chin.

Rating :
Reviewer : Clint Morris

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Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole. Loves David Lynch, David Fincher... actually, any filmmaker by the name of David.

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