Movie of the Day – No Retreat, No Surrender

I talked about Arnold’s first movie role in Hercules in New York, a movie that had the Austrian body builder and future catchphrase maker horribly act his way through a movie that would be considered lower than z-movie grade status.  Now I get to talk a little about the first film of Jean Cluade Van Damme’s career, well one that didn’t have him billed as Gay Karate Man in Monaco Forever, and one in which he has to be typecast as a jump kick, leg split doing, Eastern bloc bad guy who decimates his foes with perfectly sculpted hair.  This is a pretty fucking kick ass movie with a special appearance by Bruce Lee!!!!…..not really.

No Retreat No Surrender 1a

This film is a kind of David meets Goliath story told in martial arts terms. Young Jason Stillwell (Kurt McKinney) moves with his parents to Seattle, where local bullies harass them without mercy. Jason’s father Tom (Tim Baker) does not believe in violence, so the family takes it on the chin. One day Jason enrolls in a martial arts class and quietly rises in rank to be a major contender. His mettle is tested in an international match against Ivan, a Russian champion (Jean-Claude Van Damme), expanding the “enemy” beyond Seattle’s borders. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

If you love action, and I mean well done action fight scenes, this is the sort of movie you want to see.  If you love seeing training montages where a fake Bruce Lee trains some white kid in the ways of flowing like water or some shit, you will want to see this.  No Retreat, No Surrender is certainly one of the better high octane martial arts movies out there and set the stage for Van Damme to being Bloodsport which came just a year after this release.  Aside from that, we have to thank action choreographer Corey Yuen for directing this schlock fest, but more so thanks for the action sequences.

So let’s get down to the brass tacks of this, the fight scenes.  The final moments of the movie are where we get to see Yuen fights sequences flourish in an astounding way.  I would venture a guess and say this is where the most care went into for this movie.  It sure as shit didn’t show up anywhere else in the flick, other than the montage, but the final showdown between Van Damme and the finest combatants that Seattle has to offer.  Van Damme makes relatively quick work of the three main dudes, one in which Van Damme starts outright choking and pummeling the guy to death.  I am not sure that is regulation, but no one really tries to honestly stop the dude.  That is until Jason Stillwell comes in and does some fancy Bruce Lee footwork.  The whole final fight is really pretty damn awesome, epic even considering the fluidity of the combat and showcasing Yuen’s eye for the showy art.  It is the only crowning piece of the film, other than this gem.

Yeah that’s right, Bruce Lee or Tony Lung for that matter, paid a visit to some pencil-necked geek to train and guide him in the ways of beating the Russians.  That’s right kids, if you want to get better, you have to have a Bruce Lee knock-off help train you in the classic staple of any 80s movie, the montage.

Well worth the free watch on Youtube or Netflix.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

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