The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

BEST OF THE BEST (1989) ****

Great cheesy action as James Earl Jones picks Eric Roberts, Phillip Rhee, and Chris Penn to train for a karate tournament in Korea.  Roberts’ son gets hit by a car so he has to leave the team (briefly).  Rhee’s brother was killed in a tournament and now he has to fight the man responsible.  A black and white flashback shows a young Rhee seeing his brother killed.  He drops his ice cream in slow motion as his brother falls to the mat dead!  He quits, but comes back after seeing a little kid drop his ice cream, and his older brother gives him his cone!!!  Brilliant.  Sally Kirkland also stars as a trainer who can break cement blocks.  There’s also an excellent bar fight with Kane Hodder and a pretty good tournament finale.  Seeing Roberts kung fu-ing, trying to act, and saying things like “I’m gonna kick your ass!” is worth the price of admission.  Jones gets the best line though, “For the next three months, you will eat, sleep and shit competition!”  Also featuring the requisite training montages and heart tugging family scenes.  With Louise (Time Served) Fletcher, Eddie (Reservoir Dogs) Bunker, and John P. (Death Wish IV) Ryan.  Rhee also produced, co-wrote the story and starred in several sequels.  Director Robert Radler also directed the Substitute 3 and 4.

Tags: action, b, drama, eric fucking roberts, kung fu

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