aka: Sci-Fighter, Dragon Battle: Evolution, Virtual Fighter
Director: Art Camacho
Starring: Don Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock, Lorenzo Lamas, Aki Aleong, Christine Rodriguez
They thought it was just a video game… Now they’re fighting for their lives.
Action hero’s Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock and Lorenzo Lamas stars in this epic 90’s action mov…. Oh, wait. It’s not made in the 1990’s and it surely ain’t epic. Throw in the concept of virtual reality going wrong and you can’t help to think that this is something that should have been made ten years earlier than it did.
Wilson stars as Jack Tanaka, a martial arts instructor who is struggling with the loss of his wife which is affecting his relationship with his son Brad (Daneya Mayid). Their relationship hits rock bottom when Brad throws a birthday party and gets caught with a beer in his hand. Brad’s grandfather James (Aki Aleong) tries to help their relationship by introducing them to a virtual fighter game he has developed as a training device for the FBI, but when Brad gets caught in the game and is unable to get out, Jack has to enter the game and save his son.
The first twenty minutes or so are about Jack and Brad’s relationship. After that it’s pretty much fighting scene after fighting scene with some terrible acting in between. This makes the action scenes very important and frankly they don’t deliver. Wilson is in good shape for a 40 year old but the fighting scenes are very slow, uncreative and gets tedious after a while.
Even though the poster would make you think that this is a Wilson/Rothrock/Lamas movie, it’s Wilson who gets the most screen time. Rothrock has a small part and it would be better if she had more fighting scenes. I’m not sure why Lamas even showed up for this since his role is insignificant.
The virtual reality part is… stupid. If it was made in the early 90’s it would get a pass, but by 2004 the average guy would know enough about computers to know that this concept is ridiculous. It didn’t help them that the high-tech machine they use looks a lot like a modified Gamecube either.
Art Camacho has been involved as a fight choreographer, stuntman and director in plenty of action movies that you would think his experience would be enough to avoid making something like this.
X-Treme fighter disappoints and I’m happy to see that Cynthia Rothrock is making new movies these days so this doesn’t turn up to be her last.