Only the Strong
release year:1993 genre:martial arts/drama viewing setting:home laserdisc, 11/1/97 what I expected:martial arts cheese what I got:martial arts cheese with a message
synopsis:At a tough inner-city high school, all is chaos - until a former student-turned-Green-Beret returns and uses his martial arts skills to try and make a difference.
impressions:This is the world's best (and probably only) Capoeira movie. Capoeira is a fighting style that mixes dance-like moves, backflips, somersaults, handstands, and kicks. It's fun to watch, and its practicioners are superb athletes, but I have my doubts about its effectiveness against skilled martial artists of other types. Anyway...this movie had a good message (kids can take control of their own lives, no matter how bad, and turn them around) but a cheesy execution. None of the bad guys ever even tried to use guns. The bad kids who attend Luis' Capoeira class suddenly become buddy-buddy. The main bad guy and all his goons mysteriously know all about Capoeira. Well, the list goes on. I'd recommend this one for a one-time viewing solely to witness the magic of Capoeira, but after that thrill is gone, it's time to move on to other martial arts flicks.
acting:Decent to good, though a lot of the people in this film are stereotypical punks.
final word:Entertaining for its fighting and dance sequences, but not a movie to watch for a tight, sensible plot.
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