Jason Stillwell, a Bruce Lee fan, is beaten numerous times and trains from the ghost of Lee. Jason then must use his newly acquired skills to save Seattle from a crime syndicate, whose top martial artist is the deadly Ivan.
Who is in it? Jean-Claude Van Damme
Genre: Action, Martial Arts
Was it full of action? It was full of something all right…
Would this movie be for every action/martial arts fan? This movie is only for the ‘so bad it’s good’ people.
Should you see it? Yes because although it’s not a comedy, it’s hilarious.
The acting in this movie is so bad, I think it gave me cancer. Moving past that though, it just has a quality about it that makes it kind of cool. Maybe it’s because I like older Van Damme movies AND terrible movies. The movie starts out with a bunch of New York thugs pressuring a Karate instructor (that looks like Michael C. Hall from Showtime’s Dexter) in LA to join their organization. The idea is that the New Yorkers want to make all the major dojo’s in LA part of a crime ring or something. The leader doesn’t accept and the New Yorkers unleash this crazy Russian guy (JCVD) on him and he breaks the leaders knee. Knowing that the New Yorkers will come back, he moves his family to Seattle Washington.
The dojo leader’s son Jason (the main character) meets a guy named RJ when he is moving in and quickly makes friends. For some reason there is an ugly fat kid that hates RJ and picks a fight with him at a burger joint named ‘Burger Time’ (which is totally the name of a video game). Jason sees RJ getting jumped and comes to his rescue and kicks some butt. The fat kid just so happens to be a member of the local Karate dojo that Jason tries to join. The fat kid lies to the fill-in instructor Dean and he gets upset and makes an example of Jason. The actual head instructor Ian, is off winning the national karate championship somewhere. When Ian returns he finds that the New Yorkers want his dojo for criminal activity and Ian doesn’t comply.
Ian just so happens to be the older brother to the girl that Jason likes by the name of Kelly, and Dean apparently wants her too. Are you getting all of this? Ok, while at a party to welcome Ian home, Jason is beat up by the fat kid and Dean. Jason storms out of the party and drives to the grave of Bruce Lee and begs for his help. When Jason returns home his father sees his torn clothes and they get in a fight about Jason getting into fights (fighting about too much fighting?). Jason’s dad goes out to the garage where Jason trains and tears a poster of Bruce Lee from the wall sending him running off about to cry or something.
Jason wakes up RJ and the two load up all the karate equipment and break into an empty house. Once inside Jason sets up workout equipment and erects a shrine to Bruce Lee and falls asleep reading Bruce Lee magazines. Bruce Lee’s undead corpse enters the house and trains him to kick ass. Meanwhile, Ian has challenged the New Yorkers to a karate match that determines the fate of the dojo. After the big introductions the New Yorkers change their line-up from three guys to just the Russian JCVD. The Russian destroys Dean and another guy almost instantly and slightly struggles with Ian (the national champ) for like 3 seconds. When JCVD starts really beating the crap out of him however Kelly tries to stop him and JCVD knocks her out of the ring.
Jason is not enthused about this and enters the ring to settle the score, and makes short work of him thanks to Bruce Lee’s zombie boot-camp. Whoopie, they cheer Jason… fighting solves everything! The End. I rate this movie a 5/10 for its hilarious acting and mediocre plot.
Official Nutshell-Movies Explanation
No Retreat, No Surrender (1986): A kid gets trained by Bruce Lee’s ghost and beats up a Russian bully.