Whew, this was a tough one to sit through. I'm good friends with a member of the cast (who will remain nameless in this review) I was curious why he didn't hound me to check out his latest film. Normally, I get overwhelmed with requests from him to watch his work, now I see why. I'll try to keep this as professional as possible but I have to be honest like I always am. Lets start with the cast, my friend withstanding, this cast was just flat out awful. The lead Beau Smart carrying the lead of a film is about as far fetched as me playing CF for my beloved Dodgers next season, sounds great in fantasy land but in reality it would be an epic fail. In spite of his clear shortcomings as an actor, much less a lead, the supporting cast is almost as bad. Even my friend, who is definitely a strong actor, falls a bit short on bringing his character to life. This tells me one thing, the director let down the cast. Now, I believe the director was clearly in over his head, but giving him all the blame would be like a NFL team firing their head coach after a 2-14 season. The players still have to play and this cast just wasn't up for the challenge and/or simply aren't skilled enough. Enough on the cast and the director, nothing really redeeming on those fronts.
The story? Well, my first response would be "what story?." A film like this isn't really designed to captivate an audience through story telling, I get that, but at least make an effort. The martial arts aspect is clearly the star of this film, but it's not strong enough to carry the film throughout. The story becomes very predictable, almost hokey which it was not intended to be at all. The very underwhelming, and at times embarrassingly bad, cast doesn't help infuse anything that would be even loosely considered interesting. What is most frustrating about this film is that they obviously stole story lines from other films, which is fine because it's really a common practice nowadays in cinema. The difference is that when most films do this, they enhance the story they are ripping off, Street actually lifted these story lines and went the other way by watering them down, like watching the cinematic version of skim milk.
Technically the film was fine, considering its a low budget project. There were a few issues, mainly lighting and a few focus pulls, but nothing that compares to the misfortune that was the unfortunate combination of acting, directing and writing. This marks the lowest rating of any film that I have ever reviewed. I love indie films and the filmmakers that put so much into bringing their work to life, but this project just failed miserably on all the key aspects.