Friday, September 01, 2006

RIOT
100min / 1997



It’s Christmas Eve and riots in the downtown LA have turned the area into a brutal, lawless, anarchist warzone. The British Ambassador’s daughter, in the wrong limo at the wrong time, is kidnapped and held for ransom by Shy Boy, leader of the 3rd Street Cripps gang. Enter Shane Alcott (Gary Daniels from Rage) an SAS officer who has been summoned with a simple mission: He has two hours to get to the drop site, exchange a suitcase with $2 million dollars for the girl and get her out of riot zone safely. Sound dangerous? It is. Why would Alcott be willing to do that? He's in love with the captured girl, of course! (She’s a model… and they want to get married.) Alcott must battles a couple of biker gangs, a hocking team sporting sticks, a baseball team sporting bats along the way only to find out it’s all been a part of a diabolical scheme by—wait for it—The IRA!!!! Using the riots as a cover, the IRA teamed up with the Cripps to capture the British Ambassador’s daughter to extract revenge on the British—on American soil! Sound ridiculous? It is! The IRA, sporting bad moustaches and berets, are a welcomed addition to the foul-mouthed, uzi toting gang members. Alcott and his love, manage to escape, he kills the bad guys and they learn the real meaning of Christmas all before the night is over.

THE LOWDOWN:
When a movie entitled Riot has its first shot of crazed black people rioting, you’re not going to be asking for your money back. Riot delivers on its one-word title instantly. Director Joseph Merhi (Last Man Standing, Rage) strays from his usual one man out for justice/corrupt cop storyline to give us this little flick that stars Gary “Australian kickboxing extraordinaire” Daniels, as a British officer. (If you’re hung up on a little hiccup like a Limey playing a Brit, then this movie is not for you.) The thing that Merhi and PM Entertainment does well with its DTV titles is this: it moves quick. The story is what it is and it breezes by to make way for action. And by action we mean glass shattering and stuff exploding. Everything’s in your face and nothing’s subtle, whether it’s a flashback or trying to show the hero is a good guy or the bad guy’s a bad guy, it’s very direct. The Hero, Alcott, starts the movie by saving the kids next door from a fire and makes them dinner. The Bad Guy shoots a girl in the face then pulls out a rocket launcher. Then, once you know who is who, a fight scene happens. It’s simple, but goddammit it works. The performances vary. The gang members and IRA guys are way over the top but the good guys put on decent performances given the small amount of material they’re given. I like Gary Daniels. He’s easy on the eyes, has an endearing accent and is great at playing the nice Aussie that will kick ass for the good guys… I have been real hesitant to watch this movie over the past few months—even if it is made by Joseph Merhi—mainly because of the DVD cover art. It makes it look like the film is 90 minutes of Gary Daniels and Sugar Ray Leonard street-fighting. Thankfully, this is not so (maybe that would make a good movie, who knows, I just watch the things). Sugar Ray Leonard? You ask. Yes. And we come to one of the setbacks of the film: Shuugie. He’s barely in the film. Which is a shame really. He’s a nice counterpart to Daniels and they are both extremely loveable. But poor Shuugie. He barely gets any screen time and then dies, falling to his death by slipping out a Michael Jackson-like glove on the edge of a building. All while gang members are on the ground rooting for him to do just that. And then the Cripps leader cheers when he goes splat. It’s sad. …or hilarious if you’re a sick bastard. Mr. Sugar Ray Leonard, also playing a British soldier is just not represented well giving the way he’s portrayed in the DVD’s already deceiving cover… Anyways, if you can track down Riot are willing to fork over the $4-6.99 it should cost, you should find it worth the investment. Especially if it approaching the holiday season. I can’t think of anything better to do in the LA area then snuggling to a warm, unnecessary fire and popping in Riot.

SCREEN CAPS:



Hockey Gang Fight (with Ref!)


I think every movie needs to have at least one scene with guy and girl running from an explosion. That'd get me into the theatre to see a romantic comedy.




Baseball team carries bats and fights ex-boxers.


Sugar Ray Leonard is not flying like a butterfly.


BY THE NUMBERS:
0:04 – Rioters: people that wave sticks in the air.
0:05 - Whoa---That guy’s playing the same character from RAGE.
My mind is FUCKING Blown.
0:13- A baseball team, that just so happens to each be carrying a bat.
0:15 – What’s with all this Christmas music already? A Xmas Rap!??!
0:17 – Okay. Awesome! Permission to rap way granted.
0:19 – Alfred? The Butler’s name is Alfred?
0:29 – Hockey Team Attack! + Ref
0:32 – Death by Christmas Lights
0:35 – “God gives you salvation, but he don’t give you
no fucking Mercedes.”
0:38 – Explosion Alert! Times 7!
0:39 – Rocket Launcher Explosion Alert!
0:51 – Return of the Rocket Launcher
0:51 – Moderately bad—okay, Terrible CGI.
0:52 – Explosion Alert!
0:55 – Enter IRA & plot twist
0:56 – “This whole thing is beginning to make sense now.” WHAT!?!
1:02 – Explosion Alert!
1:04 – Explosion Alert!
1:17 – Ghost Rider (Flaming man & motor biker alert!)
1:21 – IRA man on fire. That jacket is so hottt!
1:32 –
The lessons from the first Christmas
are as
relevant as they ever were before.
That the sword must give way to the plow sheer.

Sure... that wraps it up…

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