American Streetfighter 2: The Full Impact Reviews
March 29, 2009
Gary Daniels has been in fare that ranges from pretty decent to astonishingly crappy. While this is one of his weaker efforts, it's nowhere near the caliber of bullshit like 'Black Friday.'
'Full Impact' is "no budget" in the strictest sense of the term: it looks like they filmed without audio syncronization and dubbed it later- and I'm not joking. People's mouths move, but the words spoken on screen don't match. This does make for some chuckles, especially the voice of the guy playing Daniels' cop friend telling him to stay out of the case. You almost feel they were making up the story as they went along, and wrote much of the dialog later. The camera work is often murky, out of focus, and shaky. As for the acting and story- it ranges from mediocre to just terrible. I have a theory that the people who fund these Gary Daniels movies put most of the meager budget they had into creating decent-looking video covers (and that says something about how bad this movie looks and feels), hoping to sucker the bad DTV kickboxing Tom, Dick and Jane into renting it. The covers of 'Black Friday' and 'Firepower' kind of confirm this in my mind.
'Full Impact' starts with a truly laughable kata performed by Daniels at various locations, like the train tracks and at the public park. I hate to keep telling you I'm serious, but I am. It's that bad. From the beginning, this movie never lets up in the unintended hilarity. Daniels is a bounty hunter now, but he was a cop until about four years previous when he had a bad run in with the serial killer he was chasing. Now, the serial killer has been gone, but still haunts Daniels' waking hours and his dreams. He sees a psychiatrist, and the exchanges between the two are pretty funny. But I think they were supposed to come off as serious. Unfortunately for our hero, the serial killer has resurfaced, and he must team with his old cop buddy to solve the case before more hookers die. Daniels walks around with this Cowardly Lion mane of long hair and is usually dressed like he just got back from the gym and the director just said "Whatever! Start rolling!" In fact, this entire movie looks like some bad super 8 project for a community college film class, and Daniels was trying to pad his resume.
This film was made to showcase two things: flying fists and feet, and hooker boobies. Lots of 'em. And it delivers. It is trashy, but naively charming at the same time for some sick reason. You get to see a lot of sensual massage practitioners meet their demise with their breasts hanging out, and that's not too shabby. Even though it was tedious at times, I can't call this all that bad. The action, though primitively choreographed and shot, wasn't too bad, and Daniels and some of his co-stars can definitely move.
I wouldn't recommend this unless you're a Daniels completist, or a total masochist. I enjoyed this for what it was, but that doesn't mean you will. I think 'Full Impact' is one of those movies you can only enjoy if bad movies are "in the blood," so to speak. You really need to be acclimated to them. There is better Gary out there (I promise!), like 'White Tiger' and 'Firepower.'