After a ton of delays, due to work and the fact that I had to get a new laptop since I kinda dropped mine, I can give you all the better-late-than-never review of Die Fighting. This was a movie that I found out about from the good folks over at both Budomate.com and TheActionElite.com. The thing that got me interested in this movie was the same thing that got me into Ong Bak: no wires, no CGI, just pure skill. The actors and people behind the movie are known as the Z Team (Fabian Garcia, Laurent “Lohan” Buson, Didier Buson and Yannick Van Dam) a group of French stuntman that are Northern Shaolin Kung Fu practitioners based out of Los Angeles, California.
Die Fighting is about the Z Team and their struggle to make it big in Hollywood. They happen to get the attention of a sadistic director known as “The Film Maker” (Dave Vescio), who wants to make the ultimate action film even if it kills the stars of his movie! As incentive for them to make the film, he kidnaps Fabian’s wife. Now, in order to get Fabian’s wife back, they have to act out every life threatening scene “The Film Maker” has written and put on the performance of a lifetime.
I liked this movie. It was very straightforward in regards to plot. Although it doesn’t sport the most groundbreaking plot, the plot twist actually made it dope and made you go, “Dude, that’s just sick.”
Now, for what we all watch kung-fu movies for, the action. The second “The Film Maker” sets up the first scene it’s just hard-hitting, non-stop action. The fights are very well choreographed. One thing I really enjoyed was the fact that they did hit some clichés of most modern kung-fu films like the dojo fights (one man versus the master and his students), the fight with the neighborhood gang, and the underground fight club circuit. They accomplished it in a way that it came off as them saying, “Look…we’ve seen it before so we’re gonna change it up, or at least do it better than the last guys that did it.”
One of my favorite scenes just happens to be one of the clichéd scenes: the local gang fight. That scene stood out the most because Fabian uses Drunken Fist, but before that (**SPOILER ALERT**) he’s told by “The Film Maker” that he has to use that style. He replies by saying, “It’s a style that’s just for show. I’d get my ass kicked in the real world.” Oh, the irony.
All-in-all, Die Fighting is damn good martial arts movie. If you want non-stop action with a pretty good story (for martial arts movie standards), then definitely check it out. Every fight scene is better than the last up to the final fight. I hope to see more from Z Team because I think they can really make some noise in the action movie scene. Cyril Raffaelli, you might want to look out because this team of French men might take you out of your spot.