Newest Reviews
Laguna Ave.
Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11
Flag Day
Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Forever Purge, The
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Deadly Games
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
No Time to Die
Newest Articles
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
  Violent Man, A But How Violent?
Year: 2017
Director: Matthew Berkowitz
Stars: Thomas Q. Jones, Isaach de Bankolé, Chuck Liddell, Bruce Davison, Khalilah Joi, Denise Richards, Felisha Terrell, Herb Dean, John Sklaroff, John Lewis, Cheyenne Buchanan, Rico Simonini, Samantha Watkins, Anthony Bonaventura, Stephen Dunlevy
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ty (Thomas Q. Jones) considers himself a pretty good fighter, better than average, maybe even with the potential to be great, but he has not had an opportunity to prove himself so far. That is until his mentor, Pete (Isaach de Bankolé) informs him he has a photo opportunity for him as a local fight manager and promoter, Benjamin Green (Bruce Davison), wants to advertise his biggest star who has a major contest coming up. Therefore the two combatants get in the ring for a mild tussle for the camera, but the star has his pride and fights for real, leading Ty to battle back - and resoundingly beat him.

What this was essentially was a murder mystery, though you would never know it from the first half hour. If, from that title and the MMA background it traded in, you were expecting a martial arts movie, one of those low budget, often direct-to-disc or streaming action flicks that provided unpretentious thrills and good, old fashioned beat 'em up sequences, then you were going to be sorely disappointed, for there was but one such scene in the whole of the first hour, and precious little in that vein in the remaining forty minutes or so, though there was a little more as the pace picked up.

But that pace was, at best, glacial, with director Matthew Berkowitz taking his own sweet time to establish his mystery and have it play out as longwindedly as possible for reasons best known to himself. This was doubly curious as Berkowitz was a film editor, so you would have anticipated him to cut this together with at least some degree of energy as befitting its supposed thriller credentials, yet the way it unfolded was more like a serious drama of one man's descent into a personal Hell that just happened to include a murder accusation. Whether he was guilty or not was a matter left unresolved until the final couple of minutes of story, and then the whole thing simply shuddered to a halt.

Thrills were, therefore, thin on the ground, as there was simply not enough plot to justify the length of time this took to explain itself, as there was barely enough storyline for an episode of television - with commercials. There was nothing wrong with the cast, they all served their roles with the requisite conviction, and included such once-big names (well, relatively - you knew who they were, anyway) as Davison, de Bankolé and, as the murder victim, Denise Richards, playing a sleazy journalist though unfortunately bringing to mind her part in comedy Undercover Brother as the representational white woman Achilles' Heel of black heroes, he who jeopardises a good relationship here with his girlfriend (Khalilah Joi) for the sake of a one-night stand.

There was a peculiar fascination with erotic asphyxiation in the script, as we were given two scenes of both main female characters with Jones' hands around their throats, but not enough for those who actually did have this fetish (probably a good thing, too). At least it featured an atmospheric look in a neo-noir fashion, but the rewards were scant when the experience was akin to wading through treacle to get to your destination, which turned out not to be massively shocking anyway given the faith the film had in its protagonist who nevertheless in many ways was the architect of his own downfall. The subplot about supposed Svengali Green's manipulation of Ty's career that Ty resists was a more promising avenue of narrative that Berkowitz refused to explore to any great results, again, somewhat bafflingly when it would have offered more psychological tension than what he did choose to expand upon. Music by Peter G. Adams.

[Thunderbird's DVD has a trailer as an extra and that's it.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1286 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt


Last Updated: