No Retreat, No Surrender 3: Blood Brothers (1990)

NoRetreatNoSurrender3CoverNo Retreat, No Surrender 3: Blood Brothers manages to sound like a tough bruising epic where a couple of guys are going to kick ass back to back against all comers! And this time, unlike in the first two NRNS films, they really, really mean it! And since I had never seen the first two and since this film never referenced the first two, I just had to believe that that’s what I was seeing on screen! For me it was basically, No Retreat, No Surrender: Blood Brothers! Notice how much better the movie got when you just ditched the 3?

And after a healthy dose of the Blood Brothers in action, I don’t even need to see the first two movies!

With their rocky relationship tested to the ultimate limit by the death of their legendary CIA father, the thwarting of not one but two terrorist plots, the never ending parade of thugs and henchmen that just can’t get enough of some good old fashioned Blood Brothers Beatdowns, and the movie’s fetish for shots of people putting on and taking off gigantic sunglasses, I would rather watch this movie two more times than take a chance with the original (No Retreat, No Surrender) and the sequel (No Retreat, No Surrender 2: Raging Thunder).

A lot of fancy pants cinemaphiles will probably turn their noses up at the stylized acting of Blood Brothers Loren Avedon and Keith Vitali. Loren (No Retreat, No Surrender 2: Raging Thunder, Operation Golden Phoenix, The King of the Kickboxers) and Keith Vitali are clearly from the silent movie era of delivering dialogue, their voices and inflections not really approaching much in the way of normal human discourse, but these guys aren’t here to give a frigging lecture, they’re doing their acting with their punches, kicks, spins, flips, and shooting! You don’t go to a movie starring Helen Mirren and Juliette Binoche expecting that they’ll be fighting in illegal kickboxing tournaments in Southeast Asia, do you?

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Following their father’s death on his birthday (worst birthday ever!), the brothers butt heads for a little while since Casey is a CIA agent just like his dad and wants to do things his way, while his brother Will is a guy that works at a karate school and drives a VW Bug and wants to do things his way!

They both end up on the trail of the diabolical terrorist mastermind Franco who manages to be the best thing in the movie for any number of reasons. First, it could be the fact that he is really free and easy with his maniacal laugh. There’s also the really cool metal darts he throws at people. But mainly, I think it was because with his white hair and white eyebrows, he looked like a less doughy version of Mystery Science Theater 3000‘s TV’s Frank!

The Blood Brothers get to work infiltrating Franco’s terror cell and they compete to see who can come up with the most idiotic plan. Will’s scheme involves his karate school buddies starting a bar fight where Will can step in and save Franco’s right hand man Angel and thus demonstrate what an awesome fighter he is and thereby get recruited into Franco’s organization.

The best part was that Will assumed the identity of Jesse Roby, surly bad ass who made sure to comb his hair with a comb that had its own theme song!

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Casey, who it should be noted is actually the professional secret agent, does what any good spy would do in this situation. He recruits his sexy ex-girlfriend to get close to Franco’s gang. As luck would have it, she actually worked for Franco in the past! What are the odds? And what are the odds that Franco will want to deal with her again? 100% of course!

You don’t actually have to watch the movie to know that at some point, Will will be sent to kill Casey, Will’s cover will get blown, Casey’s sexy ex-girlfriend will get captured by Franco as will Casey, and that Will will be forced to kidnap the ambassador from Mozambique in order to save Casey and his stupid broad’s lives.

Now, most of us guys that will watch a movie called No Retreat, No Surrender 3: Blood Brothers have never heard of Mozambique, but it turns out to be a big diversion because at the same time this Mozambiquer is rolling into the airport, so is Air Force One! What are the odds? 200% of course!

The movie is up to this point quite stupid, even by the standards set by screenwriter Keith W. Strandberg of Bloodmoon fame. Once Casey and his old lady escaped and got to the airport, why didn’t he just tell the police about Franco? Why let the police keep thinking Will was a terrorist for kidnapping the ambassador? The only reason Will was doing it was to protect Casey.

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You’ll forget all about that though as well as the abominable security at the airport that lets Franco roll up in a van with a guided missile to fire at Air Force One once Blood Brothers vs. Franco finally gets under way!

Blood Brothers vs. Franco was a mind-blowing display of flying kicks, rolling around, jumping on scaffolds, falling off scaffolds, and getting slammed into airplanes as they brawled their way through an airport hangar.

You’ve even got Franco throwing a dart at the Blood Brothers only to have it be deflected by the cast Casey had on his arm, whereupon Will kicks the falling dart and sends it flying right into Franco’s chest! That’s the stuff of Chinese acrobats! Or of a guy who played a lot of hacky sack on the quad at college!

The only problem I could possibly see with this handicap match is that I was rooting for Franco! I mean, here was Franco, one guy, against a couple of martial arts experts and he was holding his own! Tell me again why I should root for the two guys that are beating up on one albino?

In the end though, who wins and loses doesn’t really matter so long as someone’s ass not only gets kicked, but killed! I don’t want to spoil the ending so all I’ll say is that a certain someone’s comb and theme song makes a final appearance!

© 2013 MonsterHunter

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