Pros:There is no filler, it's just the action scenes...
Cons:If you're not into this kind of thing, you will be bored...
The Bottom Line: Action Scenes and Martial Arts Galore...
The Deadliest Art: the Best of the Martial Arts Films (1990)
Recommend this product?
This documentary is really nothing more than a compilation of scenes from various martial arts movies, most of which are Golden Harvest productions, and the bulk of it is actually quite excellent. It features profiles on all of the usual suspects, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, and Jean-Claude Van Damme to name but a few.
It is hosted by John Saxon; his involvement seems to be due to his supporting role in Enter the Dragon, and little else. He does a pretty good job, but almost anyone could have fit the bill, and a true martial arts film expert would have been a better choice. But, I will admit, that is really just a minor complaint, and there are plenty reasons to watch this movie otherwise.
Along with footage from such movies as the Big Boss, Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain, Dragons Forever, Project A, Shanghai Express, and of course Enter the Dragon. It also has interviews with Jackie Chan, Cynthia Rothrock, Robert Clouse, and Sammo Hung among many others.
It even has a whole section on the ninja subgenre, which features Sho Kusugi, and oddly enough Lee Van Cleef. If you find yourself scratching your head and wondering why there would be Van Cleef footage in the ninja section, it’s because of the short-lived, but entertaining TV series called the Master.
Since there is no plot, it works only on the strength of the footage used, and most of it is quite good. This is a great movie for parties, because you really do not need to pay close attention to it, and it will grab your eyes when it really matters.
-William J. White