tisdag 23 maj 2017

Boyka: Undisputed

I have thought about something. Why did i become so intelligent over the years ? And i know the answer now. It is because i grew up watching Cannon Films releases with Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren and Michael Dudikoff. Is this possible ? Yes, you see you can try and learn all the math in the world, or how to calculate distances from a building to a post box. But in the end, the best way to become intelligent is to watch Van Damme´s classic Cyborg, to understand what life is all about. And there are three basics.

* Kick ass, ask questions later
* Always use less dialogue, use a big knife instead
* Make sure to show muscles, anywhere you pose

If only Harvard University could run this film every year during tea time, our students would be filled with very important knowledge for the future. We should at least thank director Albert Pyun for giving us this film. Cannon Films gave the kids of the 80´s everything you could ask for. Explosions, ninja swords, naked women, uzi guns, extremely hair styles from another galaxy. So it was a good time to grow up, because as kids we learned from the best source material, you would find in the VHS store. After the millenium kicked in, straight to dvd action stars kind of disappeared. Sure, Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren and Steven Seagal still made films, but you did not see many new faces. Until we experienced british actor Scott Adkins. Before he landed inside the martial art films, he was actually an actor on tv series Doctors. But his true fighting skills on screen, really bloomed out on the film Undisputed 2: Last Man Standing. This was the first time we were introduced to see Scott Adkins as the russian fighter Yuri Boyka. The fight scenes between main actor Michael Jai White, and Scott Adkins in this film, became a delightful experience. The film is actually better than the original film with Wesley Snipes ( in my opinion ). Boyka became a very loved character, and Scott Adkins noticed how much the fans appreciated this russian fighting machine. Scott Adkins decided to return as the russian fighter Boyka in Undisputed 3: Redemption. This is without a doubt the best of the Undisputed films i have seen, so of course it was a good time. Boyka was kicking ass like never before. Unfortunately, the film flopped. Maybe the fans asked for something else, or maybe the film was a victim of the dvd industry, where people rather spend money on bigger budget films. Either way, Scott Adkins continued to work hard on several other films. He was clearly one of the most hard working martial art action actors in the movie industry, and in my opinion he clearly proved that with Ninja : Shadow Of A Tear. One of the best action movies i have seen in many years, and with some really amazing fight scenes from Scott Adkins. Buy this film on blu ray, or dvd, it should be in your film collection. When i heard rumors about Adkins returning as Boyka, i was of course very excited. A third film with the legendary character, how can we say no to that ? With such a talented action actor back in the lead role, is Boyka: Undisputed the big masterpiece of the film series, or is this a sequel we did not ask for ?

Uri Boyka ( Scott Adkins ) is fighting for the big league, and he seems to be unstoppable. His name is known worldwide, and promoters knows that the audience want to see Boyka back in the ring. But at a fight in Ukraine, Boyka kills one of his opponents Viktor ( Emilien De Falco ) in the ring. This is something that affect him personally. This was not what he planned to do. So he looks up Viktor´s wife Alma ( Teodora Duhovnikova ), to show his respect. Since Alma belive Boyka knew her husband, she arrange so Boyka can train for his upcoming matches in her husbands home made gym. Zourab ( Alon Aboutboul ) is a gangster, arranging fights and keep Alma under his strings, making sure she pays of her debt from her dead husband. But when the truth comes out, what really happened in the ring, Boyka is forced to open up to Alma, while he is about to risk his life for his most dangerous fight ever. 

Since i have always been a fan of Scott Adkins, i was looking forward to see the next Boyka film. And especially when this film was marketed to please the fans of the previous films. The character Boyka, the russian slaughter machine, is of course by now a classic character, and Scott Adkins does manage to deliver. But overall, as an action film, we do have some issues to talk about. The characters surrounding Boyika does not feel very interesting. In a film with fighting, you need some characters that stands out, so the main character is not the only interesting part of the film. And this is where we find Boyka: Undisputed. The film is saved by the brutal fights, and i suppose you can say that this is where the film manage to function. Scott Adkins have an amazing fighting ability, and he really show that once more. If you have seen the previous films, you can pretty much guess what the film will be like. It is a simple action film, that will only please fans of classic fighting films, such as we experienced in the 90´s. The acting is of course awful, what else would you expect ? It is clear that this film tries to step into a more dramatic perspective, almost as if Boyka does another version of Van Damme´s Kickboxer. I do like the idea, that director Todor Chapkanov ( assistant director on films such as London Has Fallen, and Messengers 2 ) want to give us another view of Boyka. Since he is getting older, maybe his view on life is changing as well ? Director Todor Chapkanov have not directed any martial art films before in the past, so for him to step into the world of Boyka is of course a challenge. He does do a good job on the fighting scenes, but for some reason he does not seem to care much about doing anything about the other characters. In one way, i can imagine that he knew that Boyka fans want to see most fighting scenes, so of course he probably thought it is better to focus on what fans want to see. The Undisputed films have of course delivered action entertainment for years, especially for the martial arts audience. Boyka: Undisputed follows up the previous films, with a more serious tone. I would not say that this is one of the better films, but it works as a sequel. If you are a fan of Scott Adkins, i know you want to see this next chapter. There is no doubt, Boyka is the cousin of Ivan Drago ( the greatest russian boxing character in history ), that will never stop. And this film shows that Scott Adkins still knows how to run a show. One advice though, never ask Boyka what he thinks of Fifty Shades Darker. If you do, you might not be standing up very long.

Rating: DDD

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