Best known as Lance Cumson on TV's long-running "Falcon Crest," prime-time hunk Lorenzo Lamas has flirted with movie stardom in the disco drama BODY ROCK and martial arts sagas like SNAKEEATER II. In NIGHT OF THE WARRIOR he combines both genres in a banal blend that stumbles both ways.
Miles Keane (Lamas) is a kung-fu enthusiast and proprietor of the Playpen, a dance club he bought with money borrowed from crook Lynch (Anthony Geary), who has Miles repay the loan in a series of illegal martial-arts matches. Miles decides he's had enough of the fights, but Lynch has committed to
yet another battle. Meanwhile, Miles is smitten with art student and waitress Katherine Pierce (Kathleen Kinmont). Lynch's predictable strongarm attempts to force Miles back into the arena culminate in Katherine's kidnapping. Miles enters and wins the big brawl, but the ungrateful Lynch tries to
kill him and Katherine in multiple anticlimaxes that make the whole thing overlong at 100 minutes.
Written by actor Thomas Ian Griffith (who played Rock Hudson in the TV biopic) this $3 million production emerged from Lamas's own film company, Blueline Productions, founded in 1990 with Japanese partners, which may explain why the nasty Asians who patronize Lynch's games are loudly identified
as Koreans. Lamas himself acts alongside wife Kathleen Kinmont and mother Arlene Dahl (THREE LITTLE WORDS, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH)--in her first big-screen feature in 20 years--gets rather unflatteringly cast as Miles's own mom, a dotty, faded glamour queen. Son of the late Fernando
Lamas, Lorenzo makes a convincing chopsocky artist, but devotees of the sport will find too long a lag between bouts.
Rafal Zielinski, best known for his teen-sex comedies like SCREWBALLS, directs with the sort of music-video panache that turns every camera technique into an MTV cliche. The film's worst sequence juxtaposes Lynch's torture of Miles's mother on the Playpen's dance floor with shots of Miles and
Katherine making love atop his motorcycle. Sex-on-a-bike has become a reliable indicator of low-grade material. Zielinski brings appropriately lurid lighting to music-video choreographer Sarah Elgar's erotic dance routines, all to silly techno-pop music. (Violence, substance abuse, profanity,sexual situations, adult situations, nudity.)
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- Released: 1991
- Rating: R
- Review: Best known as Lance Cumson on TV's long-running "Falcon Crest," prime-time hunk Lorenzo Lamas has flirted with movie stardom in the disco drama BODY ROCK and martial arts sagas like SNAKEEATER II. In NIGHT OF THE WARRIOR he combines both genres in a banal… (more)