No Retreat, No Surrender (DVD)

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No Retreat, No Surrender (DVD)

A teenage Bruce Lee fanatic, tired of bloody noses and getting beaten up, finds himself a karate instructor. But his instructor is forced out of town ...

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Review of "No Retreat, No Surrender (DVD)"

published 27/08/2007 | tayloa22
Member since : 18/12/2005
Reviews : 83
Members who trust : 37
About me :
I was here but now i'm gone! Also post on Dooyoo as BIKE-DUDE.
Pro ironically a likeable film
Cons very little of Van Damme in the movie
very helpful
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Special Effects

"smile please, plenty of cheese"

A very young Van Damme

A very young Van Damme

This film contains everything that for me makes a very poor film, so then why do I like it so much. On the DVD cover compared to the VHS video they have put a picture of Jean Claude Van Damme, in a bid to aid selling the movie. This is the first movie {non pornographic} that Jean Claude Van Damme is in, and as a result does not have big parts. so if you only buy it on the strength that includes Damme, you may be a tad disappointed. To start let me tell you about the film first.

The film centres on a teenager called Jason Stillwell played by Kurt McKinney. Jason\'s father runs a Karate school and he also teaches his son there. One day whilst teaching in comes a gangster with his henchmen trying to force Jasons father to sell up to them. Jasons father declines and the boss sets one of his men on him. The smirk is soon gone of the bosses face when his man gets his arse kicked. But he has a back up in the form of Ivan Krushensky {Damme} who beats Jasons dad up and completely shatters one of his legs. Jason jumps in but is promptly dispatched by Van Damme.

After this Jason is forced to move to Seattle with his dad to set up a new life, and Jason soon befriends C.J who loves breakdancing and rappin, {This is an eighties movie}. Jason soon gets in grief though with a local group of bullies who all just so happen to be great Karate experts. Not only that but Jasons girlfriend is being pursued by one of the bullies called Dean who is best friends with the girls brother. Understandably Jason\'s father has lost the stomach for fighting {his leg is permanantly crippled} and conflict soon erupts between Jason and his father when he keeps getting into fights. Eventually after getting his butt kicked so much and an argument with his father Jason retreats to a derelict house. Here he gets visited by the ghost of the late Bruce Lee, and he agrees to teach Jason to fight. Eventually Van Damme comes to the town where Jason lives and all his bullies are there too. An epic climax in store, Wahoo!

Here is what is wrong with the film. The conversion from vhs tape to DVD leaves a lot to be desired. Secondly this film is gratuitous cheese and it's finest, also the acting is far from worthy of an Oscar, and until the end the fighting is not fantastic. As far as the soundtrack goes there is one or two reasonable tracks within the movie.

So here is a film that with all intense and purposes I should really dislike, but I don't. I remember watching this as a kid, and I remember as I grew up through the eighties both Bruce Lee being a big thing and an whole host of Ninja films. For me martial arts was magical back then and i often dreamed of being a great Master one day. Well that is what this film captures. It's the dreams of a teenager actually getting to meet a great hero such as Bruce Lee, and become that magical and mystical himself. Furthermore it addresses many issues that most children can relate to, such as bullying, romantic issues, moving house, peer pressure, and in some cases ovecoming great adversity. It is a feel good movie, that as a pleasant ending, and some of the fight scenes are of reasonable quality, at least far better than Karate Kid.

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Comments on this review

  • headcase44 published 29/05/2008
    Very good review...i would enjoy this ( I think ) Thanks. J.
  • roseblade published 07/05/2008
    This is how i remember the eighties
  • christianfilmcritic published 28/08/2007
    For 80s cheesy, martial arts this isn't too bad, but then I use to love these films with the later Kickboxer and also The Best of the Best being favourites of mine.
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A teenage Bruce Lee fanatic, tired of bloody noses and getting beaten up, finds himself a karate instructor. But his instructor is forced out of town by a crime syndicate, he is guided by the ghost of Bruce Lee. His next gym is under threat too from the same syndicate, they have found a secret martial arts weapon Ivan the Russian (Van Damme) but Jason chooses to fight back...


Listed on Ciao since: 05/06/2005