Well, it’s that time of the week again. What’s the worst Martial Arts Movie you’ve seen lately? It’s time for No Skill November. The biggest train wreck of a martial arts movie I’ve seen recently is called Final Fight. I notice that Chong Li from Bloodsport was in it, so I figured it had a shot at being good.
When I noticed Chong Li was in this film, I didn’t realize it was an exact copy of Bolo Yeung’s character from Bloodsport. From the name chants to stealing his opponent’s headband, Final Fight’s Chang Li certainly has a lot in common with Bloodsport’s Chong Li. And even though there’s a minor spelling difference, the pronunciation of the name is the same. Chong Li. I’m going to spell it with an “O” because, in the movie, all the characters pronounce it like it’s spelled with an “O.” Anyway, the Chong Li gimmick being EXACTLY (and I mean EXACTLY) the same is just the tip of the iceberg. Final Fight is an awesomely bad martial arts movie for a variety of other reasons.
I had no idea what the hell was going on for the first forty-five minutes of this movie. It started with Chong Li fighting (quite badly, I might add) in what looked like a tournament of sorts. Alright, that’s not so bad. Suddenly, the movie flashed back two years. At this point, we get introduced to Masahiro Kai, which eventually becomes Chong Li’s opponent in the Final Fight. But he wasn’t training for a fight. NO! He was trying to run a failing gym. And do you want to know who his top student is? Some bum that goes around terrorizing young ladies with his gang of thugs. It’s not entirely clear that this swell guy (the star student of Masahiro) is such a bad guy in the early going. It certainly doesn’t take long to figure out this guy is a scumbag, but the point is it’s hard to figure out precisely what the hell is going on.
Ok, so the best part of the entire movie is when this martial arts student and his gang of thugs begins harassing this young lady. A scene that starts out looking like it may be a gang rape suddenly turned into the best scene in the entire flick. Boom! The young lady suddenly beats the crap out of them. But the leader wasn’t there when the fight started, and he ends up flooring this girl with a single punch upon showing up. Somewhere in there, Masahiro discovers how evil his woman beating student is and leaves the bum dead in his tracks.
On a completely unrelated note, a couple of car crash scenes in this movie are beyond terrible. The cars don’t REALLY crash. It’s more like they stop before hitting whatever they’re going to be striking, then the hood flies up.
Anyway, the next lousy twist in this terrible storyline is when Masahiro recruits his next student, Ryu. Also, I probably forgot to mention that Masahiro’s wife got pissed at him for running a failing gym and left his ass in the early going of this movie. So Masahiro’s got nothing but time on his hands, so he begins stalking Ryu in an attempt to recruit him as the only student into his failing gym that his wife left him over. Ryu resists until he gets his ass kicked. Then, after he gets his ass kicked, he wants the training. But in a surprising twist, Masahiro doesn’t want to train him at this point. Are you kidding me?
So, eventually, Masahiro accepts Ryu as his student. During the pathetic training Masahiro began conducting, Ryu explains that his father was a martial arts master. Ryu further explains that as a youngster, he was afraid to fight due to his bitch nerves. But the bitch nerves disappear when he puts on this magical headband his father gave him. Anyway, Ryu eventually comes up against Chong Li in the Championship Fighting tournament and is killed for his efforts. The fight ends with Chong Li ripping Ryu’s headband off before snapping his neck. Sound familiar?
Masahiro begins drinking. A LOT! He basically turns into an all-out drunken bum. His wife runs into him and explains that she’s glad she left his bum ass. This guy shows up out of nowhere and says he’ll train Masahiro again, which added to my confusion. Anyway, Masahiro is pulled from his drunken stupor and trains to avenge his only student’s death. Apparently, Masahiro was a fighting champion ten years ago or some shit.
The Final Fight keeps the same energy as the rest of the movie because it’s a total trainwreck. Chong Li puts Ryu’s headband around his waist in an effort to taunt Masahiro, then beats the shit out of him for most of the fight. When Masahiro appears to get the upper hand, Chong Li resorts to his cheating ways. There’s some broken glass conveniently next to the ring, so Chong Li places his glove in it?? I guess the glass is supposed to stick to his glove, but I didn’t see him dip his fighting gloves into anything that would make glass stick. Chong Li connects with a shot, but the cheating doesn’t work. Masahiro wins in the end, and everyone seems happy even though Ryu tragically died.
And there you have it. Thank you for reading. More No Skill November next week!!