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THE TATTOO CONNECTION (1979) ** ½

Jim Kelly plays a secret agent who is sent to Hong Kong to retrieve some stolen diamonds in this inept but sporadically amusing Kung Fu flick.  It was originally released as Black Belt Jones 2, but that doesn’t make any sense since Kelly’s character is named Lucas.   Although billed as a blaxploitation flick, it’s much more of a Chinese chopsocky picture.  The secondary Asian characters get the same amount of screen time as Kelly (if not more) and he’s dubbed pretty badly to boot.

 

As second rate Kung Fu knockoffs go, you can do a heck of a lot worse than The Tattoo Connection.  Kelly isn’t given much to do and the plot is slow moving but the action isn’t bad and the dubbing is fairly hilarious.  (Some of my favorite lines include, “Damn your ass!” and “Black man, you’re lucky… THIS TIME!”)  You also get a pretty cool James Bond style opening credits sequence and there’s plenty of T & A too.  (There’s a funny love scene that has images of race cars and roaring engines intercut with the fucking.)  

 

So The Tattoo Connection pretty much delivers everything you could probably want in a Kung Fu flick.  It doesn’t necessarily do so in a competent manner, but it gets the job done.  If only there weren’t so many lulls in between the action, it might’ve been a classic.  Okay, maybe not.

 

AKA:  Black Belt Jones 2.  AKA:  Black Belt Jones 2:  The Tattoo Connection. 

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