In this action-packed sequel to the smash hit "Best Of The Best," karate champions Alex (Eric Roberts) and Tommy (Phillip Rhee) enter the world of underground fighting when their friend is killed in an illegal arena called... more » The Coliseum. Here there are no rules, and Tommy and Alex are viciously attacked when they attempt to seek justice. Running for their lives, the two men seek refuge in the desert where they train in the ancient Native American tradition for a final battle - one for honor, revenge and survival.« less
Martin Asiner | jersey city, nj United States | 01/06/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After seeing the excellent BEST OF THE BEST, I felt sure that a sequel was in the works. It took four years, but after seeing BEST OF THE BEST 2, I was hugely disappointed. Perhaps it is unfair to compare a sequel to the original. Stallone in ROCKY was so good that even if ROCKY II had been much better than it was, it would have been hard to approach the first.The problem with BEST OF THE BEST II is that director Robert Radler, who directed both, had no idea what on what plot frame to hang his martial arts sequences. Instead of a morally uplifting tournament which admittedly had revenge as a contributing element as Radler had in Part I, he took the by now weary motife of revenge, placed it squarely on center stage, and to it added a loathesome series of characters whose sliminess made my skin crawl. Wayne Newton, who is one of the richest of men in Las Vegas in real life, is here one of the most obnoxiously repulsive underground fight promoters. Now you might think that his very obnoxiousness is what marks him as a fine actor, but I have seen dozens of other actors in exactly the same role do a better job without going over the top as Newton does in each scene that he is in. The plot is your standard bad-guy-kills-my-brother-in-a-cage theme. But what I found most repellent was the audience watching the cage matches. If this film is to be believed, it suggests that the typical audience member is a mindless goon, intent only on seeing gore, regardless of whose it is. I found it difficult to watch the moral bankruptcy that filled the void that Radler calls a plot. What saved this movie from being totally repugnant were the fight scenes. Eric Roberts and Phillip Rhee reprise their roles as fellow martial artists who now find that their fighting is not restricted by the rules of a tournament but by the limits of their skill in deadly combat. Roberts has little to do except punch out the usual number of lackeys. It is Rhee who moves to center stage in a series of consecutive combats that brings to mind Van Damme in the kumite. Rhee defeats an inreasingly skillful level of fighter until he meets the Bad Guy (Moeller), who looks like (and sounds like) a more chiseled Schwartzenegger. Rhee's fight scenes during the last twenty minutes are quite thrilling, especially since Rhee had the good sense to avoid the patently phony choreographed look of kick followed by punch. He shows the varied moves that reality fighters have shown in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Moeller, who later wrestled for Vince McMahon in the WWF, is convincing as the ruthless Brakus. Sonny Ladham switches from playing a drunk to being Rhee's martial arts instructor and does creditably in both. By the time the closing credits roll, the sensational fight scenes nearly made me forget the muck I had to wade through to get there."
Best Hapkido Sequences on Film
Mark Collins | Chicago, IL | 10/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What all the other reviewers miss is the fact that ALL of the Phillip Rhee movies feature some of the best Hapkido sequences ever filmed. The only exeption would be the big brawl in "The Trial of Billy Jack", the only other known movie series to feature exclusive use of the martial art of Hapkido. Phillip Rhee is definitly a master of the Hapkido wrist, and arm locking and breaking techniques. He implements them perfectly and precisely. These moves are not made up, they are actually a part of the original form of Hapkido, which Rhee has a black belt in."
Werner E. Moecke | Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo Brazil | 01/23/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have to agree with most of my fellow's reviews (especially Martin Asiner's excellent review) about what is BoTB. There is no doubt that the first movie is a real example of a well-done job in every aspect - having considered that it is the result of a combined effort of cast, crew and production staff - but the second lacks alot of good elements (cleverly pointed out by Martin) and to me, it creates an atmosphere that very much recalls those early fighting video-games (i.e. Genesis' "Bare Knuckle" / "Streets Of Rage" or the classics "Double Dragon", "Kung-Fu Master" and others), where the characters must go through various different scenarios (including dance clubs, bars, lounges etcetera) facing funny and weird-looking opponents, each one having unique fighting skills, until it's time to face "The Big Boss".
Well, the first movie's production dated 1989, so this one's about 1992/3 which also is the era of those "early games" I spoke about. Maybe the plot has really taken some elements of those games on purpose, and the formula worked fine by the standards of those early times.
Funny thing is, the first time I watched BoTB2 I was about 23, and found the movie was awesome and flawless... now I'm 35 and had fun watching it again, and observing the many "ooops-es" in the plot. I certainly wasn't disapppointed as this movie, along with BoTB1 have become a part of my memories and both are very nostalgic. But I would't give BoTB3/4 a try; I never watched them, but I think that the formula has worn out at BoTB2, so I'll just settle down with those."
Leonard Maltlin is out to lunch
Werner E. Moecke | 05/31/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This one is fun. Yes you should enjoy martial arts. But basically its fun. Especially Rhee's fight at the arena."
An unforgetable movie...
Big D | 03/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I liked too much this movie. I compare this movie and I say that is much better than the first one. The scenes where Tommy Lee (Philip Rhee) excuted Hapkido techniques to the thugs is awesome. In the other hand, I didn't like the performance of Eric Roberts. It seems that he excuted the same techniques from the first one of the series(Best of the Best 1). The movie has a great plot story and the final scene where Tommy fought the big guy "Bracus" has too much to tell. In general..I give 5 stars to the DVD. I recommended to those who never had the chance to see it on DVD."