Death Fighter review by Bobby Blakey
Martial arts films are a genre that very much caters to their audience as most of them have specific actors that they gravitate towards. Over the years the genre has become more watered down as they have made it more about the flash than they old school martial arts. Every so often one comes along bringing that old school feel to the mix and Death Fighter (also known as White Tiger) looks to be that film, but can it live up to the classic action flicks of the 80s and 90s or will it fail to complete its mission?
Death Fighter follows a cop who teams up with a mercenary after his partner is killed to take down those responsible at any cost. Star Matt Mullins has been around for a while and he knows his way around action sequences, but his acting struggles a bit here and there. You never know with this if it is the writing or not, but this is where this film falters the most. The story is fine and feels like the action movies of the 90s with the addition of famed martial arts icons Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock, and the late Joe Lewis bringing that perfect nostalgia to the film taking to the next level. This could have easily been a throw away film, but pairing these legends up with Mullins ends up making it a lot of fun on the action side. This is a very low budget film so you can sometimes see the affect it had on the overall execution, but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t make the most of what they had. While Mullins may be the main star his pairing with Wilson helps to drive the film in a positive way that will surely make fans happy. Rothrock is taking on more of a henchman role this time around, but brings her usual attitude and charm to the role making her a lot of fun to watch. The real star here is the action and where Mullins struggles with acting he more than makes up for in his martial arts abilities. Like with any action sequence there are a couple of missteps, but as a whole they all work. The most entertaining moment is a sequence involving Rothrock and Wilson that is different than you normally might see them do together and totally worth it.
The martial arts legends traditional old school action skills coupled with Mullins new school flashy style makes a fun action packed flick for both generations. This film isn’t breaking down any barriers in the industry, but if you are fan of any of these iconic action stars then this is a must see for you. It sucks that films like this struggle to find the audience they deserve because the old school styles just aren’t flashy enough for the average film goer, but those martial arts purest will love the overall classic feel of it all.