Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Remember That One Time Brock Lesnar Botched A Shooting Star?

It’s funny, in reading some of the comments on this video; it became apparent to me that a lot of people really like Brock Lesnar, both as a former WWF wrestler, and current UFC fighter.

I don’t know what it is about the guy, but for whatever reason; I just don’t like him.

He was kind of fun as a wrestler, back when he was doing squash matches for Paul Heyman and, y’know; not talking, but in his MMA career, I’ve seen little to like.

In the UFC, the man is a symbol of meatheaded-ness and muscular hypertrophy… And gaudy/hideous phallic tattoos:

Yes it is, Brock. Yes it is...

More than all that though, it may just be my inner conspiracy theorist talking; but I see Brock Lesnar as UFC’s mascot.

I think Dana White saw the image Lesnar projected, and adopted it as the ideal of the UFC demographic.

I think Lesnar was positioned, from the start, to be their Heavyweight champion (after only 4 fights) and become the highest paid fighter in their roster, regardless of whether he deserves it or not.

Not every guy gets to make the cover of their sport’s official videogame after 5 fights and barely 3 years of activity in the league.

Such is the kind of sleazy shit one can pull when they own the promotional rights to every athlete in an organization.

He’s their John Cena, a t-shirt and supplement seller.

I hate him, but I gotta' give him credit: The kids love him.

Maybe it’s just my undying allegiance to boxing talking, but I’ve never been able to see the beauty of Brock Lesnar’s fighting soul.

From what I’ve been told, the man has a legit background in wrestling, however his approach to MMA rarely shows it.

He’s quick on the shoot and intimidating as fuck, but his lateral movement is non-existent, and his bulk utterly unwieldy when it comes to anything other than lifting heavy objects, or failing that; laying on top of them.

"BROCK STRONGEST ONE THERE IS!!!!!! Brock take nap now...."

I may not be speaking from experience on this one, but I think it’s safe to assume 60 lbs. arms don’t exactly make for the best handspeed or coordination.

Ever since he debuted, Brock Lesnar has been my go-to guy for taking jabs at the UFC.

I’d be lying if I said watching Cain Velasquez beat the ever loving fuck out of him wasn’t one of the happiest moments of my sports viewing lifetime.

Well, there's goes Brock's sponsorship with Jimmy John's...

Anyway, I don’t know why I decided to use an afternoon of my Memorial Day Weekend to write about this; but oh well, at least the video was funny.

I don’t hate MMA, I just hate the image the UFC projects.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Oh Brock, we keep finding ways to slip you in...

Filed under: Boxing, Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Demon’s Souls: Conquered

*Ahem!* I win...

*WARNING! SPOILER ALERT PERTAINING TO END GAME EVENTS.  NO SPECIFICS, BUT IF YOU REALLY WANT THE END-GAME TO BE A SURPRISE, TURN BACK NOW!*

Last night was easily one of the worst of my life.

Don’t expect this to happen on this blog all too often, but I’m sorry to say that my experience of being stuck in a snowy traffic jam in the Seattle area for 6 hours straight was horrible to the point in which I don’t think I want to share the details.

Seriously, it was that bad.

Anyway, as a result of getting home from work at around 11:30 PM, as well has having my body be a complete wreck as a result of the harsh cold and tight confines of my car, I decided that I simply could not allow myself to go to work today.

Despite this, Amazon saw fit to penalize me for doing so; even going so far as to call me in the morning to chastise me for my actions.

Though I love buying products the company, working for Amazon gives me an insight into the inner workings of their ground-level management that really leave a bad taste in my mouth.

Oh well, it’s a job, and that’s more than a lot of people have at the moment, so I’m thankful.

Moving on, as any self-respecting survivor of a 6 hour traffic jam would do, I decided to use my self-enforced day off from work to play Demon’s Souls.

No way was I gonna’ go outside today, even to pick up a copy of The Expendables.

I’ll do that tomorrow…

*Ahem!* Anyway, in short; I managed to beat Demon’s Souls today.

Much like the rest of the game’s limited story sequences, the end of the game was quite flat, and very much anti-climactic.

Truth be told, it had been so long since I had started the game (just over 20 hours of game time) that I honestly didn’t even remember who the last boss was, or why I was fighting him for that matter.

In either case, the last boss was pathetic.

Like, “he couldn’t hit me if he tried,” pathetic.

On one level, this was quite disappointing, as many of the earlier boss fights in the game were quite epic, and fairly inspired in how the actual battles were carried out.

At the same time though, as I recall bits and pieces of the supposed “story” of Demon’s Souls, (seriously, there’s not much to be found) I’m starting to understand that the final boss of the game was supposed to be a pitiful creature, to the point where it’s ironic that it serves as the game’s final challenge.

Demon’s Souls was an excellent game.

While it indeed has flaws, as pretty much any game does; it benefits from an indefinable element in it’s gameplay and presentation, a “hook” that serves to draw in a certain demographic of gamers.

As it turns out, I fit pretty well into that particular category of gamer, as I enjoyed my time with Demon’s Souls.

In regards to it’s vaunted, and supposedly impenetrable difficulty level, I have this to say:

The game is indeed quite difficult, but only if you’re bull-headed and refuse to adhere to the “rules” of the game.

The gameplay of Demon’s Souls is methodical and rigid, meaning the game is difficult; but everything has a rhythm and a weakness, so it’s up to you the player to determine these factors before charging headlong into things.

Hell, I game in practically reverse order, resulting in most of the enemies being far too powerful for me to handle most of the time, and yet in the end, I managed to get past them all through careful planning and observation.

As you play Demon’s Souls, just remind yourself:

The game is challenging, not unfair.

If you get pissed and break your controller when you die in a game, then I’m sorry, Demon’s Souls is probably not for you.

Seriously, controllers are what, $50?

You’d be bankrupt in a week.

If however, you take every death in the game as a sign of your own failings, an indication that you could’ve played better or smarter, then chances are you’ll have a lot of fun with Demon’s Souls.

Now that I’m done with my little advertisement for the game, I feel I should take a moment to talk about some of the random things that stuck out to me in my first playthrough of Demon’s Souls:

I was a little upset at the very limited selection of armors I ran across in the game.

While it’s probably my fault moreso than the game’s, I found that as a Knight, I only ended up changing my armor maybe twice throughout the entirety of the game.

Maybe it’s just because I selected a Knight, who just happens to start out with some the better starting equipment, but I felt myself getting bored of constantly finding new weapons and equipment, but never finding an armor that was good enough to switch over to.

Seriously man, I ended up beating the game wearing Mirdan armor, something the Temple Knight starts the game out with if I recall.

To me, that’s the equivalent of watching a version of the Iron Man movie where Tony Stark remains in the original Iron Man suit throughout the entire movie.

That’s that just plain sad.

Another quick thing, from a gameplay standpoint, those fuckin’ dragons were truly fucking pathetic.

Seriously man, they’re not enemies, or bosses for that matter, they’re fuckin’ scenery.

Destructible scenery that can, and will; wreck your shit 20 times before you figure out how to get past them.

I found one of those dragons on a list of 2009’s worst boss fights, and I can honestly say, whoever wrote that list is certainly justified in doing so.

Don’t ask me how I found the patience to actually kill those motherfuckers, but I did; and that’s largely the reason why I’m writing this “I beat Demon’s Souls, quick everyone, suck my golden cock!” article today instead of a week ago.

Seriously man, that traffic jam last night might’ve taken 6 hours of my life, but I’ll be damned if those dragons didn’t take at least an hour between the 2 of them.

Other than that, I think that’s about all I’ve got to say about Demon’s Souls for now.

Now that I’m done with the game, I think I’m gonna’ move on to something radically different.

With Metal Gear Solid 4 as my first PS3 game, followed by Demon’s Souls, I think it’s time I played something besides a 3rd person action game.

My gut is telling me to try Valkyria Chronicles, but I’m also leaning towards something a little more mindless like UFC: Undisputed 2010 (*Gasp!* but Azn Badger, I thought you hated the UFC!?).

At the same time though, who knows; maybe I’ll surprise even myself and hop back on the Final Fantasy wagon, of which I’ve been off ever since VIII.

There’s a lot of great games out there for the PS3, old and new; so feel free to let me know what I should look into.

Anyway, happy snow day to me; hopefully everyone drove safe this evening!

Filed under: Comics, Games, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Miguel Cotto: I Worry Some Times…

I worry about Miguel Cotto.

Ever since the first time I saw him fight, back in ’05 against Muhammad Abdullaev, he was supposed to be my guy in boxing.

He was supposed to be the fighter whose career I would fervently follow and admire, win or lose.

He wasn’t supposed to be the fighter I was always worrying about.

Miguel Cotto is, in many ways; the quintessential Puerto Rican fighter.

While his style consists of a combination of pressure-based infighting and skillful counter-punching, (backed by an impressive jab) everything he does has a “swagger” to it, a sense of theatricality and flash.

Unfortunately, it is this “swagger” that has always made me worry about Miguel Cotto.

Boxing is a sport that is, above all; won through skillful observation and analysis.

Occasionally, a fighter will come around that can overcome their opponents with pure athleticism and raw physicality I.E. Roy Jones Jr., but in most cases it is a fighter’s mind, timing and reflexes that win the day.

It is a sport wherein predictability and tendencies are a fighter’s worst enemy.

Miguel Cotto has quirks, and they aren’t the good kind.

Most of these quirks are fairly minor, and aren’t really an issue, such as his tendency to cross his legs or readjust his footing prior to stepping in.

The most visible of these quirks however, is one that seems to surface in-between exchanges, particularly when Cotto parries, or is caught by a right hand.

For whatever reason, Cotto has a tendency to tuck his chin against his left shoulder, drop his left arm to his waist, and cup his right glove against his temple.

Don't even try to tell me that's a shell defense...

My theory as to it’s existence, is that Cotto has a habit of “hanging on to” his perceptions and visualizations of the fight.

That is to say, the image in his head of what he should have done tends to linger and cause him to physically carry out the appropriate action just a moment later.

I swear I’m not a psyche student.  Scout’s honor.

In my eyes, it’s an immensely visible, and more importantly; exploitable tendency that I’ve always feared would lead to Cotto getting steamrolled by aggressive fighters with accurate punches and/or high workrates.

Oh wait, that happened already.

Twice.

Now don’t get me wrong, I started out this post being pro-Cotto, and I intend to end it that way too, but it goes without saying that Miguel Cotto is a fighter that, at this stage in his career; is all too vulnerable.

Just to remind everyone, he’s only lost twice.

The first time, against the bionic Mexican, Antonio Margarito; he may have been facing a man with loaded gloves.

The second time, against Filipino phenom Manny Pacquiao; he was facing one of the best (active) fighters alive.

Neither loss should stand as a condemnation of Cotto’s standing as a fighter, however both losses were very hard to watch.

Not because he was pummeled so horribly, (he was) but because of the way he handled it.

Early in Miguel Cotto’s career, as a Junior Welterweight, he made his mark in the sport by being a “comeback kid” of sorts.

He was a dynamic and explosive fighter that had a reputation of being floored in his fights, only to get up and mount punishing offensives that would send his opponents packing.

After Cotto moved up in weight to Welterweight, a weight he claimed was healthier for him, his somewhat questionable chin seemed become less of an issue.

Personally, I feel that Cotto will never find an ideal weight class in boxing, (he’s too short for Junior Middleweight, and not all that big for a Welter) his chin will always be an iffy subject,  it just wasn’t until years later that we saw it tested again.

In his fight against the talented, but RETARDED, Zab Judah; Cotto took a monster left uppercut to the jaw during the first round that had him reeling.

He never went down, and he went on to win the fight by KO, (though Judah’s ADHD may have had more to do with that than anything else) but the point was, he was seriously hurt in that fight, and it showed.

Hell, he only punched Zab in the balls like, 30 times that night, sounds like the behavior of a hurt and/or pissed off fighter to me.

The next time we saw him seriously hurt, he was being swept away by the human tidal wave known as Antonio Margarito.

Pictured: The Bionic Mexican, Antonio Margarito

I remember the Cotto/Margarito fight vividly.

I was watching it with my parents, and my dad was rooting for Margarito, while I was backing the Puerto Rican.

My dad and I both knew Cotto was probably going to lose, but unlike my dad; I had a personal stake in the fight.

I wanted Cotto to win.

That’s what made it so hard when my guy looked the slickest he ever had in the first 5-6 rounds, only to slowly, and decisively; get clubbed to death against the corner post.

I remember my heart sinking the moment I saw Cotto take a knee without taking a punch.

It was like my generation’s “No Mas” moment.

Well, maybe not that dramatic, but it was important to me.

I wasn’t mad at Cotto for giving up, I was just blown away by the fact that actually got up and tried to fight.

It was stupid.

Pictured: An Idiot. It's Ricky Hatton, look him up.

When Arturo Gatti, or Jake LaMotta, or Tony Zale did their thing, nobody could stop them because they couldn’t stop themselves.

In their prime, you could beat any one of those guys over the head with a shovel, and somehow their mind, their body, no matter how fragmented and crippled; would find a way to stand in front of you and just keep swinging.

Hell, they used to say that Gatti was no good unless he was bleeding, God rest his soul.

Good thing he was usually swollen and/or bleeding on his way down the ramp.

Pictured: Arturo Gatti BEFORE the fight.

Seeing Miguel Cotto stand up and expect to turn the tide, after 4-5 rounds of awkwardly circling and half-heartedly jabbing at Antonio Margarito, was just plain sick.

When Miguel Cotto gets hurt, he makes mistakes.

When fighters make mistakes, they get hurt even worse.

Dissecting Miguel Cotto’s behavior while in “survival mode,” is painfully simple, even for a armchair quarterback like me.

Keep in mind, we’ve only really seen Cotto in this way on two occasions, though in this case, two times is twice too many.

Everything about his fighting reverts back to his quirks.

In short, his boxer’s mind sort of fizzles out, and all he’s left with are the comforts of his muscle memories.

Only problem is, most of his muscle memories are wrong.

He crosses his legs, he crouches too low, he retreats straight back, and he does that weird thing where he drops his hands, all while staying on his feet, but doing very little to keep himself in the fight.

Well, short of this anyway.

There are situations when the trainer should step in and stop the fight, and both of Miguel Cotto’s losses were those sort of situations.

Against the genetic freak, Manny Pacquiao, Cotto was in serious trouble for most of the fight.

In the early rounds, he did alright, landing the first real decisive blow of the fight, (a jab) and maintaining a degree of composure for the most part.

I was non-partisan for the Cotto/Pacquiao fight.

I remember watching the fight in a bar with some friends and saying to myself in the third round:

“Aw fuck, his feet are all over the place.  Pac-Man’s runnin’ circles around him.”

And it was true, Cotto was caught on far too many occasions, clumsily trying to reset his feet as he tends to do, while Pacquiao would dart in from the clever angles that have always made him dangerous.

This, is not one of those angles.

Let it be said also, that Cotto’s forehead centric guard is tailor made to make him eat straight left hands to the jaw.

Not a good thing when that’s your opponent’s money punch.

After Cotto went down, he was out of the fight.

Perhaps if he had better powers of recovery, or hadn’t been fighting as aggressive and accurate a puncher as Pacquaio, he may have been able to regain his senses and get back in the fight.

This was not the case however, and, while Cotto managed to keep Pac-Man at bay with the occasional stiff jab off the ropes every now and again, his legs spent the whole night fighting a losing battle against Pacquiao’s constant pressure.

It was truly unfortunate, for me anyway, to have had to watch Cotto stumble around, making all the same mistakes as he had in the latter rounds of the Margarito fight, for almost the whole of 12 rounds.

On a side note, I got a similar feeling of disgust watching Yuri Foreman hobble around on one leg for 3 rounds during Cotto’s most recent fight.

Mercante: "C'mon kid, suck it up." Kind of hard to do when YOU HAVE ONE LEG. Dumbass...

The Cotto/Pacquiao fight should have been stopped in the 9th round, or perhaps even sooner; end of story.

Maybe Cotto’s “survival mode” is just too good for his own safety.

Maybe he does just enough to keep the ref happy, and his opponent at bay in the hopes of hearing the final bell.

Maybe it’s his own damn fault he doesn’t just get knocked the fuck out and call it an early night.

I don’t know what to think of Miguel Cotto when he’s hurt, and all of the familiar quirks and bad habits boil to the surface.

I would never go so far as to say that Cotto’s days are numbered, and that his career is on the downward spiral, however that doesn’t keep me from worrying.

I’ll never stop watching all of Miguel Cotto’s fights, and he’ll never stop being my guy in boxing.

I am a Miguel Cotto fan, and by golly, I worry some times…

Filed under: Boxing, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thoughts on Mortal Kombat: Rebirth

If you’re like anyone else surfing around on the intersnatch these days, then you’ve probably heard news of Kevin Tancharoen’s 8-minute pitch video for a new Mortal Kombat movie.

If not, then you should probably click the video above and check it out.

I for one was very impressed, not just by the production values and artistic design of the video, but also by it’s cast.

In case you didn’t know, Michael Jai White of Undisputed 2 and Black Dynamite fame plays Jackson Briggs,

You knew I had to use this one again.

Capoeira expert, Lateef Crowder from Tom Yum Goong and Undisputed 3 plays Baraka,

Funny, he doesn't look like a brutha' to me...

and Matt Mullins, who is currently on the American Kamen Rider TV show and will be playing Vejita in the new live-action Dragonball movie, plays Johnny Cage.

Glad to see they upped the budget for the next Dragonball movie.

To top things off, the fight choreographer of the video is Larnell Stovall, who you will of course remember conducted the fights in Undisputed 3.

And we all know how well that turned out.

From what I can tell, the basic premise that Tancharoen was working from for his “new” Mortal Kombat, is something along the lines of Se7en/8mm/Saw meets Enter the Dragon/Bloodsport.

Okay, this movie needs to be made. NOW.

That is, I believe the idea was to combine the bloody, dark, urban and “ugly,” aesthetic, atmosphere and subject matter of Se7en, and combine it with the underground fighting tournament plot-line of Enter the Dragon.

On paper, I think it’s a great idea.

Though the Mortal Kombat series of games were never really my favorite, (I was a Capcom and SNK kid) one thing I will admit about them, is that they always had a pretty impressive roster of characters.

Sure, the digitized graphics of the older games in the franchise seriously restricted the developers ability to create truly outrageous and memorable designs, and palette swapping was often out of control, but even so; most of the character designs had a lot of charm and personality to them regardless.

Jax: He's a black guy. Yeah, that's all he's got goin' for him.

I have to say, it was truly refreshing to see some of the more gruesome and imaginative character designs in the series I.E. Baraka and Reptile; be integrated into live-action in such a way as to highlight their gruesomeness.

I for one would love to see a character like Kabal, or even Kano, redone in this style.

Previous attempts at doing so in the film series were often cheap looking, and very “PG-13” in their approach, so much so in fact, that most of the costume and makeup designs were often times laughable, especially in that piece of monkey-crap, Annihilation.

Say what you will, their costumes are still better than the ones in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.

Some purists may object to it, but I feel that moving the Mortal Kombat series away from it’s “Outworld” elements is a good move.

I always felt that Mortal Kombat games were at their best when they kept the mysticism and inter-dimensional bullshit on the fringe instead of at the forefront of their presentation.

Goro was fun and memorable because he was the only inhuman character in the first game.

That and he was a broken-ass piece of shit that knocked you across the room anytime you tried to do anything but jump-kick his ass.

Silly Scorpion, 'told you to jump-kick his ass, but NOOOO.....

By the time we got to MK3, and we reached a point where it was becoming hard to distinguish just who the hell wasn’t some crazy fucked-up monster from Outworld, I felt like things started to get gimmicky.

No wait, THIS, is gimmicky...

Mortal Kombat: Rebirth seems like it’s trying to keep things grounded in a twisted and warped, but otherwise fairly believable reality.

No mention is ever made as to Shang Tsung being any kind of sorceror, nor are Reptile and Baraka ever made out to be anything more than malformed and psychotic men.

May I just say, that after all the internet crap about Harlequin fetuses and what not, I always figured it would only be a matter of time before someone tried to use the concept in a movie.

Congrats to Mortal Kombat: Rebirth for being the first movie I know of to actually do so.

Now here's a picture of Harley Quinn, 'cause Harlequin Ichthyosis gives me the heebie-jeebies.

So, we’ve established that, conceptually and artistically speaking, I think Mortal Kombat: Rebirth has something going for it.

But what did I think of the fighting?

In short, the action put on display in this 8-minute video is pretty much on par with some of the better American martial arts movies.

Lateef Crowder is his usual impressive self, with indications of his Capoeira skills being restricted largely to his posture and the occasional hand-plant or spin-kick.

He, along with the choreographer, seemed to play up Baraka’s fierce and brutal nature in such a way as to tone down the sleekness of Crowder’s movements, and put more of an emphasis on throwing his weight around and giving power and intent to his attacks.

His strikes, particularly his punches, were a little bit guarded and slow, a fact that may have been due more in part to the cinematography than Crowder himself.

Even so, I felt some of his punches just didn’t have the right “big-ness” to them that a character as vicious as Baraka should have had.

Crowder’s performance was pretty good for what it was, but sadly I believe he has little hope in his career of ever being cast as anything but “the Capoeira guy with the dreads.”

Hell, they already cast him as Eddy Gordo in the Tekken movie, that must have been just about the easiest casting job ever.

If you type "Eddy Gordo" into Google, Lateef Crowder is the second result. No joke.

Matt Mullins’ Johnny Cage was pretty good as well.

His movements were sharp and impressively quick, however I felt his attacks during some of the longer, and more complex sequences, were a little bit off.

While Crowder’s punches seemed to be overly restrained at times, Mullins’ seemed to come out half-cocked.

There is a 4-5 hit sequence early on wherein Mullins hits all his marks, but I get the sense he’s just putting his hands where they need to be, instead of fleshing out, and “selling” every move.

It’s a minor gripe, especially since Mullins was actually able to carry out the choreography quite well, and indeed left somewhat of an impression, but it’s still something I felt needed pointing out.

One thing worth noting is that probably the most impressive moment in the whole fight, a inside-spinning-kick, was delivered by Mullins and not Crowder.

Mullins’ form in executing this kick, compared to his somewhat wimpy movements during the longer, more contact oriented beats of the choreography lead me to believe that it may just be a lack of comfort that is holding him back.

Flashy acrobatics and kicks seem to be his forte, but not complex hand work and sparring.

The cinematography during the fight was classy and efficient, with very little unnecessary movement or trickery being emplyoed.

The angles were well selected, and some of the panning shots during the more complex sparring were very nice.

Though I can’t say I am familiar with Tancharoen’s directing skills, I have read that he is a dance choreographer and has directed several dance videos and features, which, on paper should make him well-suited to filming any sort of physical action, in particular man-to-man combat.

In all, the fight was well shot and choreographed, and I have no doubt that, given a longer production schedule, all the players involved in the film, both in front of and behind the camera, could produce something pretty impressive.

...Or they could just make this.

On the whole, I found the Mortal Kombat: Rebirth video to be quite impressive.

I feel that, should it get picked up for production, chances are it would do best as a straight-to-video feature.

The straight-to-video market has been rapidly legitimizing as of late, and given the grounded in reality, but otherwise ridiculous subject matter of Tancharoen’s concept thus far, I don’t think it would be taken as seriously in theaters as the director might hope.

Regardless, Tancharoen was fortunate to score a stellar cast for his production, one that I hope he manages to maintain if the movie ever gets picked up.

We all know Michael Jai White can fight, and we all know he can play the lead, so why not let him do both as Jax?

I would watch that, in fact I would look forward to that.

Well, those are my thoughts on Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, chances are the buzz surrounding it has already past, but oh well.

Filed under: Games, Kung Fu, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Best Track in the Game #9: Final Fight

Looks like a gay porno cover. Not that I would know anything about that kind of stuff.

Final Fight is one of the finest beat ’em ups ever made.

It’s not the prettiest game, nor is the gameplay the most complex, but for some indefinable reason, it endures to this day as a poster child for the genre.

The plot of the game is pretty simple, but fairly involved given the strength of it’s characters.

The mayor of Metro City, former pro-wrestling champion Mike Haggar’s daughter, Jessica; is kidnapped for ransom by the local Mad Gear Gang, resulting in Haggar, Jessica’s boyfriend, Cody, and in the case of the arcade version, Cody’s gym buddy and ninja friend, Guy, taking justice into their own hands until they rescue her.

Asses are kicked, heads are busted, and wheelchair bound men are tossed out 30th story windows.

Seriously, check it out (skip to :58 for the paraplegic beat down):

Of the two characters available for play on the Super NES version of Final Fight, (Haggar and Cody) Cody was my favorite to play.

I know, I know:

“Haggar’s the coolest fucking character in gaming, he’s the motherfucking MAYOR.  How could you not pick THE FUCKING MAYOR!?”

Don Frye: The Closest the World Will Ever Get to Creating a Real-Life Mayor Mike Haggar

Well, because as much as I love Haggar, an as much fun as it was to piledrive the shit out of Mad Gear chumps and deliver swift justice via my ass in their faces, as a kid I vehemently subscribed to the theory that Cody was the more well-rounded, and thusly, better choice.

That, and he wore blue jeans and a white t-shirt.  And we all know how cool that combo was back in the day…

You don't mess with success, man.

Most importantly though, using Cody allowed me to more easily pull off my patented “Super Combo” (coined well before Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo!) much easier than with Haggar.

The “Super Combo” by the way, consists of starting a punch combo on an enemy, and then during the second-to-last hit of the combo, you press the directional pad in the opposite direction you are facing while still mashing the attack button.

When done correctly, this will result in your character throwing the enemy behind them instead of finishing their combo, thusly giving you a few invincibility frames, as well as knocking down anyone behind you.

Okay, maybe the REAL Super Combos are a lot flashier than mine was, but still...

Remember how I said there were 3 playable characters in Final Fight?

Well, you can thank U.S. censorship, lack of confidence in the Super NES hardware, and a poor conversion from the arcade version robbing you of Guy, as well as a host of other tidbits.

For instance, the (supposedly) transvestite enemies Roxy and Poison were redrawn for the U.S. version to become the male characters Sid and Billy.

Evolution: From "Wannabe Female", to "Mostly Male."

Also, many character names were changed, which I have noted later in this post, and Haggar’s daughter’s portrait was changed to show her in a dress instead of a brassiere.

The Goods.

I can understand most of these changes, trannies weren’t exactly socially acceptable for “family friendly” consoles of the time, but really all I was bothered by was the whole “no Guy” thing.

Blockbuster took 5 bucks off of me just so I could rent the bullshit Final Fight: Guy, only to find that in that version, Cody was removed and there still wasn’t two-player simultaneous support.

Fuckin’ bullshit I tells yah’.

Bitch stole mah' money.

Playing Final Fight as a child gave me a feeling that I imagine kids these days get from games like God of War III, or one of those UFC: Undisputed games.

It made me feel like a bad ass, like I was the toughest of all the tough guys and all the world’s problems could be solved via a few repetitive punch combos.

Basically, I felt like this guy (the guy on the right dumbass). God rest his soul.

At it’s core, the gameplay of Final Fight consisted of little more than walking to the right, stopping to mash the games’ one attack button until everyone onscreen was dead, and then repeat until you beat the game.

I know, it sounds boring and dumb, but that’s beat ’em ups for yah’.

Same shit, different vehicle.

There were of course, various subtleties to the gameplay that made Final Fight special.

While there were only two buttons, attack and jump, pressing both in tandem allowed the player to perform a life-draining, spin attack that was useful in interrupting and canceling overzealous enemies’ attacks.

Okay, fine, that move is in every beat ’em up, but still, it’s worth mentioning.

My favorite element of Final Fight’s gameplay was it’s general feel.

The various punches, kicks and throws, both from the player and the enemy characters; all had a satisfying “oomph” to them that made it hard to get bored of busting heads, even after you’ve been doing the same 3 moves over and over again the whole game.

Or in the case of Golden Gun matches in Goldeneye, the same ONE move over and over again.

One key rule of thumb that is prevalent in virtually every sidescrolling beat ’em up ever made, is the fact that approaching enemies from an angle, that is; from any direction other than straight-on, is always the wisest course of action.

Because the 2-D sprites were drawn flat, attacking from an angle effectively allows the player to bypass any sort of reach advantage that the enemy characters may possess, thereby severely limiting the chances of a successful counter-attack.

Essentially, you do this to them.

Final Fight took this elementary gameplay element, and made it feel just plain right.

When I swooped in at a 45° angle and slipped into an enemies’ reach to grab hold of him, it felt like I earned it.

I know it sounds trivial, but think about it in terms of say, a first-person shooter.

Most of them tend to play similarly, but it’s the one’s with the right feel, the right amount of “oomph” in the weapons, and the right amount of weight, of “drag”, when readjusting ones’ aim, that stand out from the all the hum-drum and chaff.

Well okay, 100 million dollar production budgets seem to help these days too, but you know what I mean.

*AHEM!* Not that I'm talking about anything in particular...

The expertly crafted hit boxes and trembling, painful looking damage animations for the various characters in Final Fight, were a huge contributing factor to it’s success in my opinion.

Unlike say, any of the games in the Rushing Beat AKA Rival Turf series, whenever it looked or felt like I hit someone in Final Fight, the game always agreed with me.

Don’t get me wrong, as a kid Brawl Brothers was one of my favorite rentals, (purely as a result of Hack having a bad ass bomber jacket.  Hey, I thought it was cool back then.) but compared to Final Fight, the sprites were ugly and the collision detection was atrocious.

...Although it did have the best cover art EVER.

Attack damage was probably the icing on the cake for Final Fight in terms of achieving this impossibly gratifying  feel that I keep gushing about.

Attacks in Final Fight did a fuck-ton of damage, especially when the bad guys were beating on you.

Unlike the Rival Turf, or Bare Knuckle AKA Streets of Rage series, enemies didn’t swarm you and whittle you down in Final Fight, so much as they snuck up on you an made you pay your mistakes.

Taking on the bad guys in Final Fight required you to corral them in such a way as to keep them from getting your back, or any angles on you really.

Even the wimpiest of characters, Two-P or J, had a significant amount of pop to their punches that would make you think twice before letting them slip behind you.

"Sand People always walk single file to hide their numbers."

Let me tell a little story about a nasty guy named Slash.

Slash is a mid-tier grunt in Final Fight that where’s cowboy boots, and an all red-leather biker outfit.

Lookat' 'im, pickin' his cock...

In short, he looked like Swayze if Swayze had no shame.

SHAMELESS. Oh wait, maybe that was just Farley...

Slash appears from the first stage on, and in his earliest appearances he has a miniscule, almost laughable (given his considerable size) life bar.

Slash’s one outstanding trait in the game, is the fact that he, along with his palette swap, Axle; is the only enemy in the game that can block your attacks.

This man however, has yet to grasp such a concept.

Slash only has two attacks, a wimpy kick, and a DEVASTATING double axe-handle.

Guess which one he uses ALL THE FUCKING TIME.

Slash’s double axe-handle can take you out in two hits, no foolin’.

If you see this, it's already too late.

I didn’t mind this so much in the earlier stages of the game, but there’s this one part in the LONG-AS-FUCK Bay stage, in a public bathroom, (not gay, I swear) where you are assaulted about a half-dozen Slash’s in all their red-leather clad glory (also not gay.)

Among a cast full of colorful and iconic characters, Slash stood out to me, not for his look, or his personality, but simply because I hated his guts.

Hugo Andore, the giant-fucking Andre the Giant look-alike, was tougher for sure, especially in his ‘roided out Abigail form, but aside from El Gado/Hollywood always catching me with their goddamn jumping knife attack from off-screen, I can think of no enemy in the game that consistently pissed me off as much as Slash did.

Look at him, you just know he's about to do something sketchy...

Well, except for maybe Sodom AKA Katana, he was a cheap bitch that really didn’t like it when you tried to pick up his swords.

In all, not a man I would fuck with.

Now that I think of it though, Simon could also be a bitch on account of his broken-ass, twenty layers thick life bar.

And his fuckin' memory game bullshit.

In case you couldn’t tell from my ramblings, Final Fight was a tough game, with tough enemies, and yet it was still buckets o’ fun.

More importantly though, the strength of it’s characters really shines through, given how easily I am able to recall each of them by name and appearance.

Final Fight was a great game that will always feel right to me, regardless of whatever advancements we may achieve in the future of gaming.

How the fuck do these Best Track in the Game posts always end up with me rambling about everything but the music?

Guess we’ll never know.  Anyway, The Best Track in the Game is…

Subway Alley/Sodom’s Theme:

Why?:

Final Fight’s soundtrack is a typical example of arcade game music.

You ever been to a video arcade?

They’re noisy places, aside from the chiming of the token machines and the kids cursing God for their lack of Missile Command skillz, you can’t hear shit.

In that sense, music was never the most essential aspect of the production for arcade games.

The Super NES era of gaming was one of the last ones that saw prevalent releases of arcade conversion games.

Mind you, this was back when “arcade conversion” meant “shitty, peared-down version” to console gamers, not like today where everything is “arcade perfect” or bust.

Pretty much the only example of an arcade conversion that was infinitely superior to the original.

As a result, Final Fight has a distinctive, but hardly exceptional soundtrack.

It is worth noting however, that the Super NES arrangement of the music sounds much better than the arcade original in my opinion.

The tracks are appropriately dingy and gritty given the back alley street fighting gameplay.

Sodom’s Theme is one of the more uppity tracks in the game, but, once again, appropriately so.

The battle takes place in a hidden boxing/wrestling ring setup somewhere in an abandoned subway.

As you fight Sodom, the massive samurai wannabe clad in football pads and a traditional kabuto.

Oh yeah, and he has two katanas.

(pic)

You of course have only your fists, (or in the case of Haggar, ass) making for an exceptionally difficult fight.

I think the completely off-the-wall and ridiculous nature of this situation, coupled with the dire circumstances as a result of the difficulty of the fight, are what make this scene, and this track, so enjoyable.

With it’s loud and grandiose nature, the music feels like a late 80’s version of gladiatorial arena music,.

During the fight, there is a massive (and hostile) crowd present, adding to the theatricality of the situation.

At times the music takes on an almost baseball anthem like sound.

Sodom’s Theme is hardly a work of art in the realm of videogame music, but for Final Fight, it’s pretty damn good.

Runner-Up:

The Bay:

Why?:

The Bay Theme in Final Fight is pretty much right on par with Sodom’s Theme in terms of overall quality and enjoyment, however one key factor separates them in my eyes:

I got sick of listening to The Bay Theme, while Sodom’s Theme has yet to wear out it’s welcome.

I mentioned earlier that The Bay was a LONG FUCKING STAGE, and as a result, you end up listening to it’s theme music for A LONG FUCKING TIME.

True, the music changes no less than 2-3 different times, with the latter portion being an almost irritatingly energetic standout,

but for the most part, The Bay Theme always sticks with me as the theme music of the stage.

In addition to it’s length, The Bay is also an exceptionally difficult stage, which often caused me to have to continue, resulting in my having to play through the stage more than once to beat it.

In short, as good a piece of music as it is, I was simply overexposed to The Bay Theme as a kid, to the point in which it lost it’s luster before I could even be nostalgic about it.

Filed under: Games, The Best Track in the Game, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Movie Review: Undisputed 3: Redemption

*If all you care to read about is the fighting element of the movie, scroll down to the heading titled “Action“*

The Story So Far…

The Undisputed franchise has the unique distinction of being quite possibly the only film series I can think of where the first entry was my least favorite.

Well, that is unless you count THIS as the "first" in the franchise...

Released in 2002 and directed by Walter Hill of The Warriors fame, the original Undisputed was, at the time, an odd combination of genres, specifically that of the “prison drama” and “underground fight club” niche genres.

Pictured: An overrated film.

More of a B-Grade drama and social commentary film than anything else, the film featured several prison-based boxing sequences nonetheless.

Tonight on UPN: Nekkid Prison Fights.

Though Ving Rhames and Wesley Snipes performed their boxing scenes ably, the fight scenes in the film served more as story beats and bookends to the drama, rather than rousing set pieces, kind of like the difference between the fights in Rocky 1 and Rocky 3.

2006 saw the straight-to-DVD release of Undisputed 2: Last Man Standing.

Directed by prolific straight-to-video action film director Isaac Florentine this time around, the film retained it’s predecessor’s hokiness and melodramatic atmosphere, while placing a much greater emphasis on the execution and “wow” factor of the fight scenes.

Wrong "wow" dumbass.

Featuring Michael Jai White handling Ving Rhames’ role of George “Iceman” Chambers (a character analogous to Mike Tyson), and Scott Adkins as the villainous Uri Boyka, the film featured stunning fight work and cinematography, as well as a storyline that was far more personal and organic than it’s predecessors’.

Undisputed 2: A Tale of Love and Understanding.

Undisputed 2 was simply a better film in every way.

The most important element in the films’ success however, could be attributed to one man: Scott Adkins.

Despite having several acting and action roles prior to Undisputed 2, (most notably director Florentines’ Special Forces) Adkins’ performance in the film could easily be regarded as his “arrival” to the action movie scene.

Possessing a chiseled musculature, and an uncommonly large frame, Adkins’ fighting movements were spell-bindingly exacting and swift, with many of his strikes coming from unique angles, often while airborne.

The signature "Guyver Kick" as it's come to be known.

Together with J.J. “Loco” Perry’s choreography, and Isaac Florentine’s elegantly framed and almost balletic use of steadicam work, and under and overcranking, Adkins and White put out some of the best fight scenes ever seen in an American film.

Since the release of Undisputed 2, Michael Jai White has gone on get shanked by Heath Ledger, and write and star in his first film, Black Dynamite.

Although THIS is the REAL reason people still remember who Michael Jai White is.

Scott Adkins on the other hand, has largely kept to fringe of the industry, continuing to star in straight-to-video projects with director Florentine, as well as score a few bit roles in major Hollywood films.

Most notable of his appearances have been as a fighter during the swimming pool fight in Jet Li’s Unleashed, a Black Briar agent in The Bourne Ultimatum, and as Weapon XI in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

What? You really thought Ryan Reynolds could move like that?

Plot Summary:

As mentioned before, the story of the film concerns an 8-man fighting tournament sponsored by shady gangsters, and conducted in a Georgian prison (the one in Europe.  Well, kinda.  Actually it’s kind of close to Asia too now that I think of it…).

It's right HERE goddamnit.

Boyka enters the tournament, eventually befriends Turbo, and together they work their way through the ranks in hopes of facing the installed betting favorite of the tournament, a ‘roided out Colombian named Dolor (“The Pain”).

As it turns out, the tournament is rigged, with all the fighters but Dolor being restricted to one hour a day of training, while at the same time being forced to eat a poor prisoner’s diet, and do back-breaking hard labor every day.

Dolor, meanwhile, lives a life of leisure outside of a prison cell.

No Comment.

Oh yeah, and he’s on the ‘roids.

By stories’ end, Boyka puts his pride at stake and faces Dolor in the final match of the tournament.

Merry mishaps ensue.  Roll credits.

The end.

Acting:

Undisputed 3: Redemption sees Scott Adkins in the leading role, once again reprising his role as Uri Boyka.

The plot of the film has Boyka, still hobbled from his shattered kneecap in previous film, retraining himself and earning the right to enter an international 8-man prison fighting tournament.

In the second film, Boyka was largely one-dimensional.  Pious, and possessed of a rudimentary sense of justice and fair-play, but otherwise devoid of character.

Now imagine a whole movie of this.

This time around, nothing has really changed, however, due to circumstances that are out of his hands, he softens over the course of the film and actually manages to hold a conversation or two without hitting anyone.

Despite this, his motivations never rise above that of “God gave me the tools to fight, so I fight.”

As in the previous film, Adkins assumed a convincing Russian accent, however my reaction to it, given the character’s role as the protagonist this time around, was not as favorable.

In Undisputed 2, Boyka is gruff, and often unpleasant, making his constant frown and drawn out, slurred words seem appropriate given the character’s menacing nature.

In this film however, Adkins recycles many of Boyka’s quirks, however now that he’s front and center for most of the dramatic scenes, his character comes across as petty and childish, like a kid that doesn’t want to share his Playmobils.

Motherfuckin' Playmobil! YEEEEEEEEEAHH!!!!!!

For the most part however, Adkins gets the job done, with his eerily even more expanded and toned physique, and his heroic features more than making up for his delivery or intonation.

Most of these conversations have Adkins playing opposite a very charismatic Mykel Shannon Jenkins’ Turbo, a fellow entrant in the tournament and essentially the Apollo Creed to Adkins’ Rocky Balboa.

There are some fun parallels to be found between Jenkins’ Turbo and the previous films’ “Iceman” Chambers, both in their fighting styles and general reactions to prison life.

That is one happy prisoner.

For the most part, I enjoyed Jenkins’ performance, particularly during the scenes in which his character’s vulnerability shone through.

His character came across as one of those guys that just can’t shut up ’cause he can’t stand silence.

Kind of like this guy. Only I don't LIKE this guy...

Special note should be made in regards to the acting performance of the film’s villain, Chilean martial artist and actor, Marko Zaror’s Dolor.

The man obviously is not an English speaker, and indeed much of his dialogue is stilted and awkward at times, however much like Scott Adkins, his natural gravitas and body language allow him to get away with it.

The man is able to chew scenery with what few scenes he’s in just by bugging out his eyes and doing a little jig.

I’m serious, at one point during a training scene he does a little dance, seemingly just for the hell of it.

DISCO DANCE! DISCO DANCE!

I came into the film half for Scott Adkins, and half for Marko Zaror, and this marks the first time I’ve gotten to see Zaror.

From what I’ve read, Zaror’s Chilean films, Kiltro, Mirageman, and Mandrill are all supposed to be the bee’s knees, and I’ve been meaning to see them.

Based on his performance in Undisputed 3, I now feel that I need to see them.

In general, most of the ancillary performances are hammy and over-the-top across the board, with Mark Ivanir’s Gaga and Robert Costanzo’s Farnatti turning out fun performances despite a few hiccups in the script.

"Yah' blabbed Quaid, yah' blabbed about Mars!" ~ Famous last words of a very fat man.

It should be noted that one of the key villains in the film, Vernon Dobtcheff’s Rezo, seems to be dubbed or ADR’ed, and very poorly at that.

Though it’s not that big a deal, and doesn’t impact ones’ enjoyment of the film whatsoever, I found it distracting and somewhat disappointing given that the actor’s face seemed to match his role so well.

Action:

*Warning! Spoilers Ahead!*

Undisputed 3 is, like it’s predecessor, a powerhouse when it comes to fight sequences and choreography.

While Undisputed 2 felt a bit thin at times in terms of the amount of running time the fight scenes occupied in the film, Undisputed 3 feels much more balanced.

The fights are plentiful and varied, with a number of different disciplines and styles being represented throughout.

Sadly, no, there is no Ladder Fu.

Conventions of the “fighting tournament” genre are all met, with most of the preliminary fights being staged as nothing more than exhibitions of the more story relevant character’s skills as opposed to actual give-and-take fights.

The sole exception to this is Jenkins’ fight with the Croatian, which begins as being totally in Jenkins’ favor, only to suddenly shift to a shockingly close fight as his character’s focus begins to falter after being hit for the first time.

OUCH! Right in the Jimmy!

In general, Jenkins’ manages to be convincing in portraying a fighting man.

His movements are sharp and educated to some extent, leading me to believe he may have at least some martial arts background.

In the film, his character utilizes a primarily boxing based fighting style, and when on the offensive, that is, delivering double jabs and 2-3 combinations, Jenkins looks great.

BOOM! HEADSHOT!

On the defensive though, executing elbow blocks and parries, I have to point out that Jenkin’s timing seems off at times, which lucky for him, actually seems to go with his character given his insecurities.

Jenkins is featured in about 3 fight scenes, only 1 of which takes place during the tournament.

Hey, it wouldn't be a prison movie without the requisite prison yard brawl.

Despite the unbelievable amount of hype surrounding Scott Adkins after his performance in Undisputed 2, he somehow managed to live up to all of it in Undisputed 3.

In the nearly 4 years since Undisputed 2, Scott Adkins grew eerily close to losing his appeal in my eyes.

I’ve always maintained that, as an actor in action films, his good looks and charisma could take him very far.

I'd lose the suit though...

As a screen-fighter however, I began to feel as if his talents were being abused.

I attribute this to the various choreographers that were handling him, as for the most part, it seemed like he was no longer doing fight scenes, but instead was being told to simply run down a list of his trademark moves, like I being forced to watch the same highlight reel over and over again.

That feeling evaporated from the first moment Adkins struck a fighting pose in Undisputed 3.

Pictured: Said moment of awesomeness.

Adkins’ movements in Undisputed 3 are just are quick and fluid as ever, however this time around his repertoire is more varied and the “wow” factor generated by his attacks is more the result of entire beats in the choreography, rather than flashy, singular motions.

I suppose this is appropriate, seeing as Adkins’ Boyka declares several times in the film that “he is the most complete fighter in the world.”

Throughout the film, the intensity of Adkins fight scenes escalate in concert with the drama.

His first fight, against a burly and somewhat slow fighter named Sykov, is brief and somewhat disappointing.

Did I mention he was ugly too?

There is a surprising amount of honest to God contact during the fight, particularly in an instance when Adkins check-hooks the poor Russian in the face, but outside of a 3-kick combination, and one of Adkins’ trademark flipping side-kicks, the fight is entirely one-sided and is very short.

Slap the fatty!

His first fight in the tournament sequence on the other hand, is excellent.

During the fight, Adkins manages to pull off nearly all of his trademark moves, though most of them are framed in such a way as to appear less showy, and more believable as practical fighting moves.

Well, maybe not all of them...

As I mentioned before, the preliminary tournament fights are devoid of drama, and Adkins’ fight is no exception.

In total he is hit once, seemingly out of negligence on his part.

A highlight to this scene is Adkins performing a believable German Suplex on the poor Frenchman.

Not as good as Donnie Yen's in Flash Point, but then again, nothing is.

Following this, Adkins takes on a Brazilian Capoeira fighter played by Lateef Crowder from Tony Jaa’s Tom Yum Goong.

Crowder’s performance in Tom Yum Goong, was impressive, as any performance of Capoeira always is, but hampered by overuse of slow-motion and water-on-the-floor gimmickery.

The scene was also cut short, which I’ve read was a result of injuries during filming.

Well, Mr. Crowder looked pretty healthy to me in Undisputed 3, ’cause he did a bang up job.

Capoeira in movies tends to suffer from the choreographer’s over-reliance on the flashier and more acrobatic motions associated with it.

This was not the case in Undisputed 3, as Crowder’s attacks, while spectacular and full of gravity defying maneuvers, also incorporate basic punches and grapples, effectively making his fighting seem less like a performance, and more like a fight.

Pictured: Attempted Arm Rape.

Watching Adkins and Crowder flip and roll about the mat in tandem was truly impressive, with neither man upstaging the other.

Also, it needs to be said that Crowder’s first fight in the movie, against a Greek fighter, features an amazingly long take (26 seconds by my count) with extremely complicated choreography.

Kudos to both men.  Oh yeah, and the camera operator for keeping up.

I have no idea who you are Mr. Greek, but thanks for getting your ass kicked by the Brazilian!

The final fight in the movie, the battle between Scott Adkins and Marko Zaror, is separated into the 3 classic phases of movie fights.

Equilibrium is reached in the opening few minutes.

The bad guy starts to take control in the middle.

And then finally our hero makes his miraculous comeback, winning against all odds.

It’s a classic formula, and Undisputed 3 loses no points for using it, however it gains an insane amount of brownie points for the content it uses to fill these 3 phases.

In short, the fight is spectacular.

Like many of the tournament fights in this movie, the fight is dropped into our laps with surprisingly little fanfare or build-up, but when the bell rings, we don’t care either way.

It’s fast, it’s furious, and the choreography communicates the character of the two men so very well.

Despite the fact that I said I was hyped about this movie because of both it’s stars, In many ways I felt I was more impressed by Zaror in this sequence, largely because of his speed and ferocity.

Adkins’ punches come out in classic “movie punch” fashion: wide, and with a lot shoulder put into them so as to maximize the urgency of the movement, while at once allowing for a degree of control.

Zaror’s punches on the other hand, are obscenely fast and compact.

In short, Zaror’s attacks look dangerous, their intent is clear and they don’t feel like fake punches.

Early on in the fight there is a sequence in which Zaror throws a feint, followed 1-1-3 combo.  That was the moment my eyes started to shift their focus from Adkins to him.

That would be the "3" of the 1-1-3.

Though Adkins has Zaror beat in terms of elegance and precision in his execution of some movements, particularly spinning kicks, I have to say, Zaror’s footwork in simply a wonder.

Even when he’s simply standing around keeping his rhythm,  his feet remain busy and explosive, shooting out with his punches and springing to life with stunningly realistic counter-movement in response to his opponent.

DISCO DANCE! DISCO DANCE!

Zaror was pretty much the perfect choice for a man to play opposite a talent like Scott Adkins, mostly because they are so similar.

While Zaror is definitely a much bigger and taller man, both performers have an acrobatic style that the choreographer, Larnell Stovall, was wise to have them pit against one another.

Watching one big man defy gravity during a fight scene is always thrilling, but to watch another, even bigger man do it response is a thing of beauty.

I won’t say much for any specific beats during the final battle, but I will say this, find a way to see it, because it’s easily the best fight scene of 2010, well, that is until I see Ip Man 2, then we’ll know for sure.

One thing worth noting is that I the phase of the fight in which Zaror took command, lasted just a little too long.

As you may have noticed, I truly enjoyed Zaror’s fighting in the film, however the middle of the final fight had him laying waste to Adkins so severely, that I simply couldn’t suspend my disbelief when the big comeback finally came.

Though I did like the way they had Zaror “sweep the leg” in terms of incorporating Boyka’s bum knee into the choreography.  That was fun.

"GET HIM A BODYBAG! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!

That being said, the ending portion of the fight was a little awkward as well, with the changes in Adkins’ approach to the fight being less than obvious.

It should also be noted that whoever made the decision to incorporate songs into many of the fights should get a big fat slap to the face.

I don’t appreciate LYRICS drowning out the ambience of my fight scenes, particularly when none of them are edited in montage.

Despite my gripes, the final battle, along with many of the others, were truly amazing, and definitely makes me want to see more from both actors, as well as director Florentine.

Well, that’s Undisputed 3: Redemption, hopefully I didn’t bore you too much with my Scott Adkins/Marko Zaror cock-sucking.

Filed under: Kung Fu, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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