Review

Summary:

Years ago, Ken Min failed to stop his friend from killing a young couple, leaving their infant son orphaned. After his friend is sent to prison for the crime, Ken spends his life running away from his shame. Seeking redemption, he teaches mixed Martial Arts out of a community youth center. But Ken is ultimately forced to face his past when the orphaned boy finds his way into Ken’s life, and Ken’s murderous friend is released from prison. When he discovers that these two events are not a coincidence, Ken must choose between a heroic act of self-sacrifice or the self-preservation of running away.

Review:

Hapkido instructor and counselor at a neighborhood youth center, Ken Min (Jino Kang from Blade Warrior) has a dark past that is about to catch up to him. His former associate in crime Tokyo Joe (wrestler and NFL player Bill Duff) is about to be released from prison, and the only thing he has in mind is revenge. When Tokyo Joe is released, he recruits a new crew to assist him on his grand scheme to kill Ken, kidnap his girlfriend, and take over the neighborhood. Ken, who understands what’s coming for him, is prepared to face the man he betrayed, but Ken’s a different man than he used to be. He’s also incredibly proficient in martial arts, and nobody – not even Tokyo Joe – realizes that he’s such a force to be reckoned with. With the help and support of a few of his young students, Ken is able to defend his studio from these thugs, but after Ken’s wife is abducted, he is forced to compete in an underground fight tournament, where Tokyo Joe hopes to humiliate and emasculate him in front of a bloodthirsty audience.

Writer / director / star Jino Kang is really interesting to watch. This is only the second film he did (Blade Warrior was the first), and you can see where he’s coming from as a writer and an action guy. He’s not exactly what most would consider a leading man type, but he’s got a cool, controlled demeanor, and his abilities as a fighter are undeniable. His movies have a slow burn effect, and I think a mature, seasoned fan of these types of movies will appreciate him in the same way that I do. It’s a shame he hasn’t made more movies. Weapon of Choice was his next film.

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About the Author

david j. moore
david j. moore is the author of World Gone Wild: A Survivor's Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies and the upcoming book The Good, the Tough and the Deadly: Action Movies and Stars, coming April, 2016 from Schiffer Publishing.