Return of the Streetfighter (Satsujin Ken 2)

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 01/26/99 22:01:41

"'Sai daggers'... 'Bushido Blade'... 'Waste Of Time'..."
1 stars (Total Crap)

Sonny Chiba films are an aquired taste. If Bruce Lee, Blackbelt Jones, China O'Brien and Don "The Dragon" Wilson are names you look for on a video cover, then you'll have Chiba on your must-see list. However, most people wouldn't have the faintest idea who or what a Chiba is, nor would they really care.

What a Chiba is, is a 70's Japanese action hero who was the Nippon answer to Bruce Lee. When Lee stopped breathing, Chiba picked up the slack and made a name for himself in movies which, in the light of the 90's, look pretty awful.

The true fun of this film is in it's over-explaining of things oriental. When we see people training in their martial art, suddenly a big black and yellow subtitle appears on-screen explaining what is being shown. "Nunchaku Sticks".. "Bo Staff".. "Eastern Breathing Exercises". It's so bad that you feel like you're watching a cheesy 1971 documentary.

Thrown in amongst the crappiness is a score that would make a Ron Jeremy film soundtrack sound like Brahms, acting that will make you burst out laughing (the facial expression of the main bad guy is hilarious), a ridiculous plot, action that would make Tom Arnold look hardcore and ridiculous dialogue.

Despite Quentin Tarantino's appreciation of the Streetfighter series, the Sonny chiba legend is built on nostalgia and nostalgia only. This film, like the others in the series, is farcical, even for a martial arts action fan.

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