Fist of the Condor review by Bobby Blakey
Marko Zaror does not get the props he deserves, but he has been kicking ass for years on the big screen more recently as Chidi in John Wick Chapter 4. Before taking on the famed assassin he had a string of martial arts flicks teaming up with director Ernesto Díaz Espinoza in films such as Killtro, Mirageman, and The Redeemer. Now they are reteaming for another martial arts action flick Fist of the Condor co-starring Jose Manuel, Eyal Meyer, and Fernanda Urrejola. Could this flick bring more great martial arts action or will it gets its wings clipped?
Fist of the Condor follows a group of martial artists from around the world searching for a book that contains the ancient secrets of how to overcome the limits of the human body. Upon the empire’s fall to invading conquistadors, the 16th-century Incas quickly concealed a sacred manual containing the secrets behind their deadly fighting technique. But after centuries of careful safeguarding, the manual is again at risk of falling into the wrong hands, leaving its rightful guardian to battle the world’s greatest assassins to protect the ancient secrets within.
I am a huge fan of Zaror and his inclusion is enough of a reason to watch the film, but was a bit worried to how strange it looked from the trailer. I was not wrong as it is a bit slow and weird at times, but have no fear it brings plenty of fights to make up for it. The tone of the film plays up kind of like the 70s action films that works well for this story. It is a bit all over the place at times as it tries to unfold all the layers building to its legacy and each fight sequence, but clearly leading towards something bigger.
Where it struggles a bit in the story side just because it feels forced at times just to get to the next fight that is also where it makes up for itself. Zaror is always great in the action as a skilled martial artist that impresses with every high flying kick or flip. I love they created its own style complete with old school training montages, but honestly had it not been for Zaror it would have struggled. The other fighters in the film are fine, but none lived up to his presence or skill level to make you ever really feel like a fair fight.
Maybe that is the point of the power of the character and his journey, but I think it could have stepped it up even more with some faster paced action and more struggles for Zaror. Despite its issue I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it. As a martial artist myself and fans of all things of the genre I dug the flick and will always support it as well as anything Zaror is a part of.
In addition to the film, this release offers up bonus content including a trailer and behind-the-scenes features. Grab your copy of Fist of the Condor available now on digital, Blu-ray nd DVD from Well Go USA.