BEST OF THE BEST 4: WITHOUT WARNING finds our hero Tommy Lee (still Phillip Rhee, also directing again) wandering into yet another action movie subgenre – this time he’s the reluctant badass who gets stuck trying to stop a plot by heavily armed, highly organized commandos. So it’s DIE HARD in a BEST OF THE BEST. In the three years since part 3 Tommy’s had a daughter and had a wife pass away. All he wants to do is bake his daughter a cake for her birthday, but coincidentally his friend at the mini-mart who he asks for baking advice has a computer expert daughter who’s fleeing from Russian counterfeiters with a disc they just stole. And of course Tommy ends up stuck with the disc and everybody trying to kill him. (read the rest of this shit…)
Posts Tagged ‘Phillip Rhee’
BEST OF THE BEST 2 was an unexpected classic. The only slight hesitation I had was that he SPOILER killed the bad guy MORE SPECIFICS OF SPOILER at the end. I mean it was an evil guy, but the typical “he forced me to kill him” conclusion seems like kind of a cop out after part 1’s unorthodox peace and brotherhood ending.
Well, it turns out Tommy Lee (Phillip Rhee) agrees. Killing Brakus “went against everything I believe,” so he quit teaching, left Eric Roberts behind and seems to be driving across the country visiting his sister to rediscover himself, just like Seagal did at the beginning of MARKED FOR DEATH. Actually it’s weird because Tommy gets sideswiped and his car gets fucked up, which is a classic way of stranding an action hero drifter in the middle of nowhere to have an adventure. But then it turns out he was headed there anyway because that’s where his sister lives. This might be because it was originally written as a standalone movie but director/star Rhee had it modified to somewhat fit his BEST OF THE BEST character. (read the rest of this shit…)
I almost didn’t bother trying out the sequel, but I’m so glad I did. It turns out 1993’s BEST OF THE BEST 2 is an unheralded gem of the ’80s style American b-action movies. It’s such a huge leap in entertainment value from BEST OF THE BEST that I couldn’t even believe it. I guess this is a spoiler for the next couple reviews, but not only does BEST OF THE BEST 2 best BEST OF THE BEST, but BEST OF THE BEST 2 is the best of the BEST OF THE BESTs, too. (read the rest of this shit…)
BEST OF THE BEST is a watchable movie, but not the best of any genre, except possibly Eric Roberts non-sequel karate tournament movies. So I’m not sure about using the word “best” two times in the title. Seems a little presumptuous, unless one is supposed to cancel out the other. They were definitely set on that title, though. It’s spoken out loud in the movie and appears in one of those ’80s inspiration-rock montage songs.
This isn’t a full-on martial arts movie or even on par with a JCVD. This is one of those mainstream-trying-to-come-to-grips-with-something-they-don’t-understand pictures, like a breakdancing movie. While it was written and co-starring the Korean-American martial artist Phillip Rhee, everybody else is a white American (Eric Roberts, Chris Penn), or a respected actor (James Earl Jones). Jones plays the coach and the rest play the five elite martial artists recruited for the U.S. National Karate Team to compete against The Koreans in Tae Kwan Do. (read the rest of this shit…)