First of all, this is one of my favorite martial arts movies and action films of all times. But let’s get to the review itself.
Jake Lo is a talented young art student in California, whose life seems to be going in the right direction. This is just one night, when witnesses Mafia gangster, Serrano, the second assassination of a rival Chinese mafia gangsters. Serrano fled to take the men, Jake finds himself in the hands of the FBI, who want to go to Chicago to demonstrate against Serrano, in exchange for their protection. The FBI does not only intend to use it to attract, and when things go wrong, Jake will fight for their lives.
Well, so Rapid Fire is an action with the action comes in the form of martial arts, and emotion, and stayed at home. Maybe plot is nothing special and is full of holes, but all that give a chance to Brandon Lee to shine, show not only his amazing martial arts skills, but also acting, which stands out from all the other actors.
Part of the joy of seeing him is, of course, his martial arts skills, which are just as impressive as his fathers. The only actor worth mentioning is Powers Boothe as Mace Ryan, Chicago cop who befriends Jake. Rest of the cast is really nothing to add to the film.
Rapid Fire is directed by Dwight H. Little, who previously worked on Marked for Death with Steven Segal. I admires his works, but his last martial arts movie Tekken was not so good. Here Dwight did a good job of keeping the camera at good angles to follow the fighting. The dialogue was well done and the story was actually a bit different than most.
Each fight is amazing and done with a passion (Shannon Lee, Brandon’s sister, served as a assistant on the sets). I love first fight at the exhibition, second one in the house with agents and the last one vs Al Leong. Jeff Imada does a pretty good job staging the fights, and the execution is very well done. A little American 80′s style with a bit more HK influence than most. The fight between Brandon and Al was great.
This is a great first big film for Brandon, showcasing all his skills. This is really his only mainstream pure martial arts movie in which he was the star, and that alone makes this film special, if a bit sad.