You've already seen this rumble before; the stars may have been different, but the recycled plot about the gladiatorial thumbs-down boxing biz remains unchanged. All the world's an arena, and everyone in it is a fighter with a short life expectancy.
When his son Joe (Joseph Cox) dies while trying to quit the mortal combat rackets, San Francisco Police Chief Lew Rawlins (Chase Randolph) squeezes his snitch Eddie (Jorge Gil) for profiles on shootfighters (freelance warriors). Because Miami is the newest hotbed of illegal kickboxing exhibitions,
Rawlins decides to pool resources with Lt. Jamison (W. Paul Bodie) to bust up the death games in the Sunbelt. Reluctant at first, four retired vets of the lethal sport agree to go undercover for Rawlins with Eddie posing as their manager. Backed up by Jamison's force, Rawlins sets up a sting
involving Ruben (William Zabka), Nick (Michael Bernardo), Shark (Brett Clark), and Shingo (Bolo Yeung) in an effort to put jackal Lance Stuart (Joe Son) out of business. Expecting to pull out of the operation safely, the quartet is shocked when Lance strong-arms Eddie into betraying them; they're
forced to lay their lives on the line for Lance's profit. Separated from the protective buffer of the police, the shootfighters are thrust into fatal skirmishes and eventually pitted against one another. Nothing evil is beyond Lance, who's Shingo's long-lost brother; he even throws Rawlins in the
ring when he comes snooping. Cheered by a bloodthirsty crowd, Shingo challenges pistol-packing Lance to combat. Already stripped of his gambling fortune by the heroic shootfighters' victories, a disgraced Lance loses to Shingo and commits hara-kiri. Another pugilistic scourge is vanquished.
As expected, the hand-to-hand combat is choreographed with pugnacious panache and plenty of high energy. Those adjectives do not apply to any other department of SHOOTFIGHTER 2, a drably shot assembly-line sausage. Sluggishly directed, tepidly acted, and annoyingly written with no boxing cliche
left unturned, the film plays out like one of those early all-star revues (e.g., 1930's PARAMOUNT ON PARADE), where the contract stars strutted their stuff in specialty spots--just replace the time steps with flying kicks, and you get the idea. Aficionados are advised to fast forward to the
mini-spurts of violence and to treat SHOOTFIGHTER 2 as if its expository scenes were boring ring announcements in between world championship karate events at Madison Square Garden. (Graphic violence, extreme profanity, extensive nudity, sexual situations.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1996
- Rating: R
- Review: You've already seen this rumble before; the stars may have been different, but the recycled plot about the gladiatorial thumbs-down boxing biz remains unchanged. All the world's an arena, and everyone in it is a fighter with a short life expectancy. When… (more)