Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Best of the Best (1989)

Director: Robert Radler

Writers: Phillip Rhee, Paul Levine, Max Strom

Composer: Paul Gilman

Starring: Eric Roberts, Phillip Rhee, James Earl Jones, Sally Kirkland, Chris Penn, John Dye, David Agresta, Tom Everett, Louise Fletcher, John P. Ryan, Edan Gross, Simon Rhee, Master Hee Il Cho

More info: IMDb

Tagline: There's a kind of inner strength you never know you have...until it's ALL you have.

Plot: A team from the United States is going to compete against Korea in a Tae Kwon Do tournament. The team consists of fighters from all over the country--can they overcome their rivalry and work together to win?

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I figured this was going to be a by-the-numbers sports movie and it is.  The setup is standard and there are few trials for the team to overcome in their training before the big match.  Everything is about as you'd expect in every department.  Sometimes the fight choreography is great and sometimes (but rarely) it's poor but the editing of the fights is outstanding.  I'm pretty sure everyone could kick above their head except for Chris Penn.  I'm not sure how he made the team and it all happened in front of my eyes. The competition takes up the final half hour and it's pretty damn good.  That final fight ends pretty strongly, too, and it would have more emotional impact without the cheesy synthesizer score.  Ooh.   So there you go.  Skip to the final third and enjoy the hell out of yourself.  The out of print Sony DVD widescreen print is fine and the only extras are for THE KARATE KID (fullscreen), RADIO (anamorphic wide), and HELLBOY (anamorphic wide).

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