Much as a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet, the renamed NO HARD FEELINGS still reeks. KICK OR DIE, the new moniker slapped on this five-year-old South African actioner, does nothing to improve the film's idiocy and cut-rate fisticuffs.
After several female coeds are attacked by a mysterious rapist, Don Potter (Kevin Bernhardt), kickboxer par excellence, is hired to protect the beleaguered university's female population from further assaults. In the course of this assignment, Potter falls head over heels for attractive singer Eve
Campo (Holaday Mason). Another rival for Eve's affections is Potter's old macho antagonist, Craig (Tim Wallace). As sure as a roll of the dice will never abolish chance, Craig happens to be the college rapist and has set his sights on Eve. During an addle-brained chase, Craig becomes the recipient
of an officer's bullet as Potter utters the punchline, "No hard feelings, buddy."
As written and directed by Henro Mohr, KICK OR DIE's chief failing is that it wobbles uncontrollably and without warning from the glaringly obvious to the glaringly moronic. Mohr eschews any form of suspense by making Craig so malignant and lowbrow that the only one who seems shocked by his
actions is Potter. Viewers are left stupefied at the obtuseness of the film's characters, who clearly inhabit a world of their own. Mohr also blunts any interest in his narrative by promoting dreary stereotypes. Granted, this is a South African production, but even so, its half-witted attempt to
make the rapist appear to be a Black man is so shallow and retrograde that the device becomes cynically calculating and appallingly insensitive.
Another questionable maneuver Mohr pulls out of his ratty magician's hat is setting up the audience for an intense, kick-boxing finale that never occurs. It seems that one well-placed bullet can quickly allay just about any ancient Asian discipline. Unfortunately, this ploy leaves the audience
waiting 85 minutes for a cathartic release that never happens, rendering viewers limp and slack-jawed.
The title KICK OR DIE, although much more belligerent in tone, should be replaced by NO HARD FEELINGS. At least with its original title, the filmmakers would be making their apologies to the audience in advance. (Excessive violence.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1992
- Rating: R
- Review: Much as a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet, the renamed NO HARD FEELINGS still reeks. KICK OR DIE, the new moniker slapped on this five-year-old South African actioner, does nothing to improve the film's idiocy and cut-rate fisticuffs. Af… (more)