This entry was posted on Sunday, May 11th, 2008 at 8:30 am and is filed under Drama - sports, Movie Reviews, NEW IN THEATER, R. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Director: David Mamet
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alice Braga, Joe Mantegna, Emily Mortimer, Ricky Jay, Tim Allen
I love a good martial arts film. The problem with kick flicks is that it is so damn hard to find a good one and all too easy to find bad ones, which actually have an appeal all of their own, of course, but I still prefer a good one, so when twice Oscar nominated writer/director David Mamet made this mysterious motion picture about a martial arts instructor trying to keep his principals in a world that now relies mainly on the government to provide our morality, I was glad to see it. Ejiofor is subdued, but effective in the lead and Mamet‘s favored stiff, rhythmic dialog style for his performers is thankfully downplayed here. Mamet’s story is slow but engrossing and full of secrets and twists combined with bursts of pretty good fight action all leading to an appealing ending with equal parts of originality and corniness.
Chiwetel Ejiofor is Mike Terry, a skilled and traditional martial arts instructor with a struggling school and an exasperated wife, played by Alice Braga who wants Mike to use his skills as a professional mixed martial arts competitor. Things get more complicated after an incident at the school involving a cop student and a distraught female visitor. Next, Mike finds himself defending a movie star in a bar fight and the game is on. The tricky story is not always convincing, but it is always interesting. Look for lots of familiar faces, from Mamet’s posse of favored performers, and the fight world celebrities like Randy Couture to Hollywood personalities, including Tim Allen who has a supporting role as the aforementioned movie star.
David Mamet’s clever writing is always worth a watch and Red Belt is no exception. Kung fu fans will be glad to see the genre return to the big screen and those dragged along with them will be pleasantly surprised by a film with a great deal of interest and entertainment value.