The US national Karate team is training to take on the dreaded Korean team in a tournament set to take place in three months. Their coach has that long to whip them into shape before they are all killed by the crazy Asians that train all day and all night, which seems to consist of the Koreans breaking cement blocks, standing in waterfalls, and yelling at the camera.
As the tag-line implies, the guys must come together as a team before they can even hope to take on the Korean fighters. Can they get past their personal problems and prejudices to kick some Korean ass? Hey, with terrible 80's music and lots of montages, how can they lose?
Tommy - Phillip Rhee
Alex - Eric Roberts
Travis - Chris Penn
Virgil - John Dye
Sonny - David Agresta
Coach - James Earl Jones
Wade - Sally Kirkland
Dae Han - Simon Rhee
Director - Robert Radler
Written by - Phillip Rhee, Paul Levine, & Max Strom
First, I'd like to say: RIP Chris Penn, your performance in this and part 2 will be remembered by legions.
Next, I'd like to ask: how the hell do you have a tournament with two teams? The whole movie is about Korea vs. US. How is that a tournament? I'm confused.
Anyway, you've probably seen this movie a thousand plus times on TV, so you already know the basic idea. Upon further examination, it's easy to see how it makes its way onto the site.
The acting by Eric Roberts is absolutely top-notch, let me say. As a humongous fan of the esteemed Mr. Roberts, this movie is way up on my scale simply because he is in it. He's not quite as memorable as in Best of the Best 2, but it's up there. You KNOW when that fool is on screen. Some of the faces he makes defy gravity and logic, and his strange speech impediment is pretty prominent. I love it.
Phillip Rhee as Tommy is the average "tortured hero," so he holds his own...he's also known as "the only one in the movie that can fight, really." Roberts holds his own pretty well, but it's obvious when Rhee comes on the screen that he's much more well trained.
Chris Penn is the "asshole that comes around in the end" and does his part pretty well, adding some humor and depth (hahahahha) to the mix.
It's really kind of a surprise to see James Earl Jones in the movie, considering the material, but needless to say, he is a commanding force up until the end when he becomes kind of a doofus as he cheers on the US team.
The only problem I had was the other two fighters are lost in the mix, and don't really serve a purpose. Especially since they basically get their asses handed to them in the "tournament."
I thought this movie was based on a true story, but apparently I was completely wrong. This kind of throws me for a loop, because the overly cheesy nature of the montages and over-dramatic sequences involving Tommy Lee watch kids eat ice cream was less painful if I believed it actually happened.
There's plenty of good fightin' action, and watching Eric Roberts overact when he hurts his shoulder is classic. I was rolling on the floor the first time I saw that, and it's made better later when he forgets and mumbles his lines, "No. Tommy. No," looking off into the distance. Maybe he was wondering, as I do, how he got this part and the other five trillion movies he's been in? The man is clearly an inspiration to us all.
True or no, the movie is a pretty classic example of cheesy 80's, obviously inspired by the Rocky series. Even the damn theme song sounds like "Eye of the Freaking Tiger." Like I said, you've probably seen it a thousand times on TV, but I recommend owning it, just so you can pop it in at random and watch Eric Roberts attempt to act. Besides, Kane Hodder is in a cameo as Burt!Hide Full Review
First, I'd like to say: RIP Chris Penn, your performance in this and part 2 will be remembered by le ...
Ha! Upon further review Fox? I don't think further review is necessary to see how this movie made it here. The lines are classic, and nearly everything that is spoken can be a one liner. The acting is incredibly bad, with incredible facial acting by the man himself, Eric Roberts.
The fighting is not that bad, with some of the Korean team actually being able to demonstrate truly amazing aerial martial arts. The American team on the other hand has the talent of a ninja frog.
This movie is an instant classic, as everything with Eric Roberts is (don't believe me, watch "It's My Party"). It makes it even better that they made a hundred sequels.
I don't know about you, but I would have a hard time taking orders from a martial arts trainer that looked like James Earl Jones. His voice is used greatly throughout the movie though, so that makes up for it.
Owning this is a must. It is a great addition for a time filler movie. It could make great background for discussion when lots of drinking is involved, or when you get tired of playing all of those video games.Hide Full Review
Ha! Upon further review Fox? I don't think further review is necessary to see how this movie made i ...
Requisite bar fight - yes
Cheesy inspirational music - yes
Montages - yes
Acting - no
Theme song - yes
Wow, the message of the movie so early?
Extreme running into a door!
Pointless mouth trumpeting!
Patented Eric Roberts fish surprise face.
Talkin bout a montage! With pointless slo-mo!
Montage 2! With the great "Eye of the Tiger" rip-off theme song.
Super dramatic lighting in the practice room?
Ice cream dream sequene...did he just pass gas?
THAT inspired Tommy to go back?
Right, people watched Korean Tae Kwon Do matches in US bars in 1989.
Eric Roberts - "What about my son? Mummu, I love you."
Eric Roberts - "A medal."
Walter - "Can I have it?"
Eric Roberts - "Yes."
Walter - "Then you better win."
Travis - "Should've blocked with your face."
Coach - "U.S. National teeeeeeeeeeeeem."
Travis - "Where do you live, Kelly?"
Kelly - "About a drink away."
Travis - "That's a good neighborhood."
Tommy - "I didn't want a fight."
Eric Roberts - "All I wanted was a beer, shit happens."
Travis - "Are you yellow? Huh?"
Tommy - "Obviously."
Eric Roberts - "My kid might lose his leg."
Coach - "We all have our priorities."
Coach - "Point good!"
Super gay Travis - "Take that!"
Eric Roberts - "Goodamnit I said tape it uaauahhaaaahhhh!"
Eric Roberts - "Ah, Tommy yeah!"
Travis - "Drop him like a toilet seat Tommy!"
Eric Roberts - "No. Tommy. No. TOMMY NO!"
Eric Roberts - "I know all I will ever know about you."