by Bobby Blakey
The found footage genre has found the most success with the horror genre, but that doesn’t mean that others aren’t planning to make their mark. The latest, Die Fighting, looks to fuse the martial arts thriller with the found footage genre in hopes to deliver some ass kicking results, but can they bring the pain or will it die a miserable death?
Die Fighting follows four Shaolin-forged martial artists who have just won the top award at a Film Festival. They immediately set their sights for Hollywood, but from within the shadows emerges a new challenge: the four find themselves in front of the seemingly inescapable eye of a mysterious director who forces them to "act" in his own brutal reality film, with the lives of their loved ones at stake. Their every move watched through hidden cameras like mice in a maze, they are forced to run a gamut through the seedy underbelly of LA – from robbing an armored truck, encountering a Drug Lord, breaking an entire dojo of BLACKBELTS, evading a SWAT team, surviving a blazing gunfight…and it's all a part of the Director’s script. One of the most concerning things about watching a lower budget martial arts flick is that more often than not the action is sub-par. Thankfully that is far from the case here. They knew where the focus needed to be and they pulled no punches delivering some of the best martial arts action that can easily stand right up there with films like The Raid or Ip Man. There are some moments where the low budget does become more evident, but as soon as something like this starts to show through they thrust in yet another brilliantly choreographed fight sequence that reminds you why this movie works so great. They took a brilliant direction and made sure to not only make sure that their leads where highly skilled martial artists and not just show trickers, but also the bad guys they take on are in the same league. This is often over looked so the heroes look better, but when you can bring the skill on both sides it makes for a way better overall fight scene. The other aspect of the fighting that stands out is the inclusion to a variety of styles that help to keep each and every one fresh and fun to watch. There is an excellent homage sequence to the Chines Connection aka Fist of Fury that is expertly executed.
The story itself is pretty simple and straight forward, but they thrust in an interesting twist in the end to help it stand out, but rest assured the fighting is the reason to check out this film. The found footage genre is so over used, but here it finally gets a revitalized feel thanks to the awe-inspiring martial arts and will hopefully be only the beginning to seeing this amazing group come together to showcase their skills. If you are a fan of martial arts on any level you have to check out this film. You will not be disappointed.
In addition to the awesome martial arts action of this film, this release also offers up a behind the scenes featurette, trailer and theme song “The Price of Success” Join the fight and grab your copy of Die Fighting when it hits Blu-ray and DVD on April 26th from MVD Visual and Z Team Films.