Shadow Fury (2002)
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as Mitchell Madsen
as Anna Markov
as Dr. Louise Forster
as Dr. Oh
as Dr. Hiller
as Dr. Markov
Critic Reviews for Shadow Fury
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Audience Reviews for Shadow Fury
The fight choreography is decent, but the rest of the movie is less than stellar. The acting all around is atrocious, even if the ladies are nice looking. This is revenge of the clones, with a very young Taylor Lautner as one iteration of a killing machine. Takeru, a clone who says he has no feelings of pain, seconds later screams in agony as he is hit by a bullet, This passes as character development. Skip it.
I guess you might be wondering what Sam Bottoms has been doing since he lost one eye in "The Last Picture Show?" Well, wonder no more... he made "Shadow Fury" in 2001 and an entertaining little film it is. "In the near future..." when "human cloning has been outlawed" a sinister organization is secretly engaged in, you guessed it, human cloning. The evil Dr. Hilliard is intent on developing the ultimate fighting machine, and then duplicating it. Does he seek to dominate the world? Well, if this were a James Bond movie, the answer would be "yes," but this is just a poor little Japanese martial arts film with delusions of grandeur. Think equal parts Tarantino and Bruce Lee, and you get the combination the director was aiming for. But there is no cleverly entertaining dialog in the Tarantino style, and Bruce Lee is dead, so with what are we left? Well for one thing some pretty good martial arts choreography. Bas Rutten (MMA champ) is on had as Kismet, the evil doctor's ultimate depraved killing clone. Kismet as a youth, by the way, is briefly and spectacularly played by a very young Taylor Lautner, before the abs. (He's listed in the credits as Taylor "Loutner.") But I get ahead of myself. One of the scientists, Dr. Oh ("Pat" Morita) with a truly bizarre Donald Trump style upsweep hairdo, leaves the group and engineers one of the movie's heroes, a killing clone named Takeru (Masakatsu Funaki). Takeru is programmed to kill the other scientists who are creating the "evil" killing clones... well you see that the absurd plot is getting out of hand. And I haven't even mentioned Sam Bottoms doing his best Nick Nolte impersonation as Mitchell Madson, a used-up, smart mouthed, alcoholic mercenary with cirrhosis of the liver. He's hired by the evil scientist to kill the vengeful Takeru, with the promise that Madsen can then have his perfect liver for a transplant. But along the way to the final showdown, Takeru meets Sasha, the hooker with a heart of gold. She has a bed on the roof (à la Moulin Rouge) of a seedy building in the warehouse district of whatever future city this is supposed to be, and when she takes killing clone Takeru to bed, she begins to humanize him. First he gets human feelings, then he weeps a real tear, and then rather than kicking s**t out on anybody and everybody, he's suddenly ready to die for his friends. You see what a good bad woman can do? Madsen, who prefers heavy weaponry to martial arts, teams up with Takeru to take down the evil scientist and his mutant evil clones in the grand finale in a showdown predictable but spectacular. Fred Williamson's on hand, too, as Madsen's arms supplier, so this movie is trying really hard, but I'd be lying if I said it was really very good. Just good for some Saturday night slumming, and that's about it. Tarantino it's not, Bruce Lee it's not, an entertaining mess it is. Someday this might end up on somebody's cult movie list, or perhaps it will just be lost in the celluloid dust of time... it's up to you.
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