aka: Karate Tiger 2, Raging Thunder
Director: Corey Yuen
Starring: Loren Avedon, Max Thayer, Cynthia Rothrock, Patra Wanthivanond, Matthias Hues
It’s not a rematch, it’s war!
No Retreat, No Surrender 2 is a sequel in name only from the successful Jean-Claude Van Damme movie. It was supposed to be a direct follow-up, but Van Damme and his fellow co-star from the first movie Kurt McKinney pulled out by not showing up at the first day of shooting. Director Corey Yuen (Fong Sai Yuk, The Transporter, Twins Effect 2) does however return and with him this time is Loren Avedon as the main hero Scott Wylde.
Wylde travels Vietnam to find his old friend Mac (Max Thayer). Before he is able to do so his girlfriend Sulin gets kidnapped while Scott is framed for murder and possession of drugs. Scott, of course, escapes and finally finds Mac and they along with Terry (played by the legend Cynthia Rothrock) goes after the soviet army who has Sulin captive.
The leader of the army is Yuri, played by Matthias Hues who was born to play bad russians in action movies. The hunt for Yuri isn’t easy and a lot of obstacles are in their way (including angry fake monks who also kidnaps Terry). It all ends in a final battle to rescue both Terry and Sulin from the evil soviets.
The plot to this film is very inconsistent and it seems like they rushed this a lot when they put this together. The movie clocks in at about 104 minutes which is 20 minutes too long (from what I understand the video release in the UK was 20 min shorter). There’s a lot of unnecessary scenes in it and if the rest of the movie where good enough then it could have been great if a fan edit popped up.
The first half of the movie has a lot of wacky Hong Kong humour, which is fine. But the second half however tries to be more serious. The dialogue is ridiculous and badly deliver from all the actors. This might be because director Yeung didn’t really even know english at the time this movie was shot! The fighting scenes are fun and the movie would have been better if they had more fist action instead of gun use.
This was Loren Avedons first starring role and he’s no Van Damme. It would have been nice if they had given Rothrock more screen time since she’s, as always, charming and good in front of the camera. A personal favorite Matthias Hues also pops up and blesses the film with his presence.
With more focus and order in the pre-production this movie could have been fun and good. Sadly No Retreat, No Surrender 2: Raging Thunder it fails in almost all areas. This is only for those who really love 80’s action movies or are out to see every Cynthia Rothrock movie that has been made.