Not too shabby...and then the last 10 minutes happened.
KDA | Minnesota | 06/13/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"PIT FIGHTER was done on a very low budget, but director Jesse Johnson manages to work with what he has to make it seem like more. If you are familiar with his previous movie, THE HONORABLE, well this is light years ahead of it in video/audio quality. I mean its still not Grade A Studio, but the picture is decent, and the audio is even better.
Jesse recruited the same main character he used in THE HONORABLE, Dominique Vandenberg to play a pit fighter with amnesia down in Mexico. Vandenberg has no life at all in his acting and when he speaks...well, lets just say his next role should require him to be a mute.
What Jesse and Vandenberg do well is the pit fighting scenes. I don't think it is humanly possible to take some of the beatings that is delivered, but being a movie...it is rather exciting to watch. Don't expect wire work...this is just mono to mono. Due to the popular movie Ong Bak...I think more movies are going in this direction with their fight scenes and finally getting out of the Superhero/Matrix realm.
The fight scenes are really capturing to watch, and there is quite a bit of them, but what really makes this fall below 3 stars is the plot and the last 10 minutes. The plot kind of drags and I can't imagine anyone in the world wanting to care about the characters. But that is nothing compared to how Jesse really destroyed this movie with the ending.
SPOILER::: It is in all out gun blazing battle at the O.K. Coralle and it is more fake than all three Rambo movies. Vandenberg is literally surrounded by men with automatics from about 20 feet away and they can't hit him; yet Vandenberg is picking them off one by one over 10 minutes...to make matters worse, he loses the gun, picks up a sword, and charges into the crowd and is able take down quite a bit. UGGHH!
I really wanted to give this 3 stars, because the fight scenes are engaging, but the lack of any kind of plot and the ending ruins the experience. Def. rent before making the purchase."
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do with thy might
mr. snrub | Out there in La La Land | 02/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"PIT FIGHTER is a movie that lives up to it's title. Like ONG BAK and UNLEASHED, it emphasizes real martial arts combat with a hard edge. Given that it's a direct-to-DVD movie with a small ($500,000) budget, this is a great achievement indeed.
In PIT FIGHTER, Jack (Dominique Vandenberg)is a man with no past. For reasons he is unaware of, he has survived a near-fatal bullet to the brain, which has completely blasted his memory away with it, and leaving him stranded in a small town in Southern Mexico. With no money and no identity, Jack befriends Manolo (Steven Bauer, of SCARFACE) and soon discovers he is a martial arts expert, and gets involved in the sport of Pit Fighting, one of those absolutely-no-rules martial arts fight clubs, and after dominating as the reaigning champion for the last five years, he sees a woman he hasn't seen in five years. His past begins to return to him, and, after being baptized as a Catholic and trying to reconcile himself with God, he realizes, "I may not have been the best of men."
Belgian-born Dominique Vandenberg is no stranger to martial arts. A former legionairre, he has been training since the age of four, in everything from Muay Thai and Judo to Krav Maga and Kyokushinkai Karate. He is known for thraining Leonardo DiCaprio in knife-fighting for GANGS OF NEW YORK, but by far, hi most noted pre-PIT FIGHTER role was as the fighter who gets frozen by Sub-Zero in MORTAL KOMBAT.
Dom brings a suitably hard-edge to PIT FIGHTER. His kicking ability is fantastic, and the sight of his agile, quick hands in motion is nothing short of jaw-dropping. His many opponents range from challenging to push-overs. Dom's first match in th Pit along with his two matches against Andre 'Chyna' McCoy, who doubled for Lurence Fishburne in THE MTRIX, are the best.
If you like brutal but beautiful martial arts choreography, PIT FIGHTER is right up your alley."