image courtesy of IMDB
AKA: Rage & Honor, Rage and Honour
Rage and Honor
Cynthia Rothrock and Richard Norton. Image courtesy of cinema.de.
Cynthia Rothrock's movies are known for not exactly being Shakespeare, but Rage and Honor is at times so disjointed and strange, it comes off as being the closest thing to Jackie Chan's Fantasy Mission Force ever released from these shores, except that it's not nearly as enjoyable to watch and make fun of.
The basic story is normal B-movie fodder: Richard Norton is an Australian cop whose partner is killed, and so comes to LA into investigate his death, which he believes is tied into a drug dealer named Conrad Drago (played by Brian Thompson, quite possibly the only man alive that could make Bolo Yeung look good by comparision). He meets Cynthia, who (big surprise) is also looking for Drago, since he killed her sifu many years ago. You know the rest: they don't like each other but team up to take out the bad guy while cracking jokes along the way. Pretty normal stuff, right?
Well, it would be if Rage and Honor didn't have the strangest supporting cast of characters this side of the cheap seats at a monster truck rally. First, we have the mandatory sidekick, a drugged out guy named Baby, who is played by some hack named Stephen Davies. I don't know if he was puropsely trying to be annoying or supposed to be funny, but this guy takes the cake as far as bad acting goes. He drives around LA in a car that he made himself with no top and a bunch or crap hanging out -- basically a big moving violation -- but never gets pulled over. It's kind of like this movie as a whole; someone should have seen what a mess it was and pulled the plug on it long before it went to straight-to-video hell.
Getting back to Rage and Honor's motley crew, the prize for "dumbest character ever" has to go to a gem named Hannah the Hun (Alex Datcher), who plays some kind of gang leader. Of course, it's to be expected in every cheap action movie since The Warriors up to Rumble in the Bronx that evil gangs have to sport lousy costumes, but Hannah's gang look like rejects from the WWF (and considering how bad their product is nowadays, that's saying a lot). These are supposed to be the bad guys, but instead they generate laughter, boredom, and most of all annoyance, especially when Hannah constantly refers to herself in the third person. Neil finds this incredibly stupid.
Terri Treas. Image courtesy of Movie Bad Girls.
Did I mention that Norton's captain is played by Catherine Bach? Yes, that's right -- Daisy Duke. I guess those "Dukes of Hazzard" residuals aren't paying the bills. And boy oh boy, have her thespian skills ever looked better? Seriously, Ms. Bach was never known as a good actor, so just having her in the movie without those cutoff shorts or some other kind of skimpy outfit comes off as useless.
Oh yeah, there's also an annoying kid in here as well, whose incessant mugging never fails to irritate -- thankfully he is beat up and put in a coma early in the movie, or else I might have had to pull an Elvis and shoot my TV. The only decent supporting actor in this whole mess is Terri Treas, who plays Drago's squeeze -- but she never shows her goods (in a role and a couple of scenes which would be perfect for it) so I lost interest in her character.
Even the action, which is usually pretty decent in Rothrock's flicks, can't save Rage and Honor. The fights (what few there are) are way too short and shot in such a schizophrenic style that it's hard to tell what's going on, even though the fighters are moving as slow as a turtle on quaaludes. The final brawl between Cynthia, Richard and Thompson is good, but it's too little, too late.
Since there isn't anything on the other side of the exploitation quotient (e.g., nudity), there just is really no reason compelling enough to justify a viewing of Rage and Honor unless you're a major Cynthia Rothrock fan. Even then, you had better bring a lot of patience and a bottle of Excedrin. Cynthia Rothrock has done worse movies, but it's dirt-cheap and boring crap like this one which gives her a bad name with action movie fans.
Richard Norton and Cynthia Rothrock. Image courtesy of cinema.de.