If you know me, you know that I love action films. I love action films of all shapes and sizes, A grade to Z grade, from all 4 corners of the globe. I have an especially big heart for direct to video action films (sometimes VOD as well). So much so that I almost started a one man podcast called DTV Delicacies (that I might bring back to life). So when I got the chance to check out Jino Kang’s newest film Weapon of Choice (also known as Fist 2 Fist 2, a name only sequel of Kang’s first film), I jumped at the chance. And while it isn’t a masterpiece, it definitely had me cheering on the fights and wondering where the film was going to go next.
A throwback to 80’s and 90’s style action (a favorite), Weapon of Choice stars Jino Kang (who also co-directed with Tony Urgo) who plays Jack Lee, a former criminal assassin extraordinaire, who walks away from his violent past to raise his niece Jaimie (Kelly Lou Dennis) in a suburban life. Of course his past comes back to haunt him when his supposedly dead brother is actually alive, and the deal he made with the crime boss Michael Banducci (played to teflon Don extreme by Douglas Olsson) is now null and void. His niece is kidnapped and it’s up to Jake teaming up with rogue cop Ashlie Jordan (Katherine Celio who competently kicks some major ass) to fight his way through an army of thugs Streets of Rage style.
What is there to say? Jino Kang is someone new to me, having heard of the first Fist 2 Fist film but not seeing it, I was worried that it might get in the way of the story. But as I said earlier, this film is just sequel in title only and it’s a lot of fun. You can tell Kang is trained in the martial arts from the start (his personal style, Hapkido), and mixes that with many mixed martial arts moves that feel at home on a UFC card. I do like that a lot of action films are moving away from the shaky cam style and going for the more believable style of fighting, where people are trying to hurt someone as opposed to just looking pretty. Don’t get me wrong, I like a flip backwards while shooting two guns sideways like the next person, but I’d rather a film have more hand to hand combat, down and dirty where it looks like the combatants are being pummeled for real.
An enjoyable romp (what can I say? I’m easy to please), Weapon of Choice has the right amount of action, some great side characters, women who kick ass, villains you enjoy to see (and also want to see them get their asses kicked too) and a stoic bad ass in Jino Kang, who doesn’t have to say anything and looks the part of action star. Mileage may vary, some people might think it’s lower budget impedes its action, but I think that helps more than hinders this film. When you have trained professionals kicking each other’s asses for an hour and a half, there’s not much better in film to me. Check it out on demand or on DVD on a rainy Sunday with a beer in hand. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.