Sunday, May 1, 2016

One Down, Two to Go (1982)

Director: Fred Williamson

Writer: Fred Williamson

Composers: Herb Hetzer, Joe Trunzo

Starring: Fred Williamson, Jim Brown, Jim Kelly, Richard Roundtree, Paula Sills, Laura Loftus, Joe Spinell, Tom Signorelli, John Guitz, Richard Noyce, Peter Dane, Victoria Hale, Warrington Winters

More info: IMDb

Tagline:  Forget the A-team. This is the kick-ass team!

Plot:  During a high-stakes east-west karate tournament, coach Chuck suspects the match is rigged against him. When looking around the other team's locker room gets him shot, he calls in Cal and J, his partners from California. After exercising a little persuasion and a lot of brute force, they discover who's behind it all. Now the only problem is getting back the money Chuck is owed.

My rating:  5/10

Will I watch it again?  Nope.

It's a shame this wasn't made a decade earlier.  It might've had the added benefit of that great 70s look and feel when it came to Blaxploitation flicks.  You don't need a great story to make a fun movie.  You don't have to have great acting or any number of things.  Sometimes it boils down to charm, sometimes innocence, budget and so on.  Besides looking good, this film, though, suffers from a lot of things, the most of which is fun.  It's just not fun.  It's neat seeing these Blaxploitation icons all in the same movie but it's too bad it's not a better vehicle.  It feels different, the action is OK and the music is below average.  It plays more like an 80s action movie that went direct to video.  There should be a better sense of camaraderie from these guys.  I realize the story isn't a fun one for the characters but the picture mostly sits there.  I was bored but I really wanted to like it.  If it was made 8 years earlier with a fraction of the budget and with a rag-tag bunch of film makers, this could have been a hoot.  I would say that this great bunch of guys deserved a better movie than this but then one of them wrote, directed and starred in it.  The Anchor Bay DVD presents this with a nice anamorphic widescreen print.  For extras you get a commentary track from Fred Williamson and the theatrical trailer (anamorphic widescreen).  On the flipside of the disc is BROTHERHOOD OF DEATH (1976) which was a lot more fun despite being in shitty fullscreen.  As an aside, a couple of years ago I met Williamson at a ComicCon and he was cool as shit.  I don't know who is smoother, him or Billy Dee Williams but Williamson has charisma to spare.  And his autographs were only twenty bucks.  What a guy. 

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