Just because the title is generic doesn't mean the movie is.
mr. snrub | Out there in La La Land | 12/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Argentina native Hector Echavarria has had his share of roles in martial arts films in the U.S., mainly as some faceless bad guy who gets crushed immediately by the hero (this is the case of his role in CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE.) But having had leads in EXTREME FORCE and LOS BRAVOS, Hector certainly proves he is capable of being in control of an action film.
A student of Tai Chi, Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, American Kenpo Karate, Shurin-Ryu Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, and Jujitsu, the undefeated martial arts champion plays Marcos De Santos, a professional theif who has been betrayed and left for dead by his former comrade in arms Cole (Youssef Qissi) nad Cole's deceptive sidekick Bianca (Nikki Lemke). The Mongolian embassy was the victim of the crime, and, impressed by Marcos fighting skills, nurse him back to health, and offer him a pardon for his actions on the condition that he heavy Kong Li (Michel Qissi) track down Cole and retrieve the priceless Mongolian artifact he has stolen. Marcos agrees, and the chase is on.
Hector has some of the best kicking ability I have ever seen put on film. He is able to repeatedly deliver multiple spinning kicks and other amazing techniques, including two Van Damme style leaping kicks. Like I said, just because the title is generic doesn't mean the movie is."
Tong-Po: Back in Action?
Matthew Skidmore | Stourbridge, West Midlands United Kingdom | 12/31/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The energetic Hector Echavarria stars in this low-budget martial arts actioner which surprisingly has a lot going for it. He stars as Marcos De Santos, a Robin Hood style thief who wants to escape his life of crime and spend the rest of his days with his girlfriend. Problems arise when his partners talk him into doing one last job - to steal a priceless Mongolian artifact. Now, anyone with less than a minutes attention span will already guess that this a big con, and our hero De Santos is presumably left for dead. Quickly rescued by the owners of the stolen artifact and nursed back to good health, he is sent to get it back. Buddy-style antics are the order of the day as De Santos is partnered by a Mongolian bodyguard, and between the two of them they kick, punch and fight their way through 90 minutes of redneck beating, coconut crushing and major kickboxery mayhem! The cast are uniformally good, which is quite a shock for a film of this kind. Echavarria is one to watch, and one wonders what he could do with a bigger budget. Youssef Qissi (who portrays the main villain, and De Santos' nemesis) is great - an evil look and an equally good screen fighter to match. Playboy model Nikki Lemke turns up as the manipulative partner of De Santos, and she too is really good in her role (check out the camera, as it seems to be mesmerised by her never-ending legs!). Director and co-star Michel Qissi (Yeah, bad-movies fans rejoice! It's Tong-Po from the KICKBOXER movies) is great as the Mongolian bodyguard. He deadpans his way through all of his lines - and to his credit, he handles this movie very well behind the camera as well. The action scenes are well choreographed and the film has a sharp professional look that elevates it above many of its direct-to-video peers.Released in the UK (with an awful cover) under the shabby title EXTREME DRAGON (this review actually refers to that Third Millennium release), the movie bears no widescreen option or any extras to speak of. This is a shame as a short 'making-of' would have helped the package further. Not even a trailer? C'mon, this is DVD isn't it? Not VHS. I cannot speak for this US release, whether it will have any extras or anything to speak of, but for the movie alone - it is worth a looksee. If you are a fan of those old Kickboxer-type movies of the late 80s/early 90s or like your action with a little direct-to-video edge to it, then this could very well be for you."