Underdog Kids made me want to check out all the Philip Rhee movies I have skipped on or never been able to watch properly. He has not made that many but some of them are really hard to get hold off. Luckily for me that is not the case with the films in the Best of the Best franchise. This fourth part might be different from the original. But it does exactly the things you expect from a good martial arts movie.
Don't bother to look for a connection between this sequel and previous movies especially the first two since the only thing they have in common is that they feature a character named Tommy Lee. And that is it. In this part Tommy Lee (Philip Rhee) plays an instructor for the police who gets tangled up with some Russian gangsters. It's pretty by the numbers crime stuff as it should be since this allows the focus to be on the action. And the action is superb. Rhee displays Taekwondo, Hapkido, a little fencing plus some cake baking. Apparently he has not mastered that last art fully but I am sure he will get the hang of it one day. The bad guys are uncomplicated and as evil and ruthless as one would like to see in a late Nineties actioner. I prefer them this way in films like these since otherwise it would be too distracting from the action and we can't have that. Plus good versus bad never gets old if kept simple.
|Oh Lord, please let the next cake be better than this one!|
It was nice to see the lighter side of Tobin Bell and laughing so much. I was not sure if he was capable of doing that. Now I know. His brother played by Thure Riefenstein plays the jerk part real well. The only person he is capable of being nice to is his older brother.
|Tobin Bell before Saw.......aawwww!|
Then there is Ernie Hudson. He does a lot with the little screen time he has. He acts his pants off making his character as unlikable as possible. To then at the end show a different side to him. It gives this little film a little extra meat. Now Philip Rhee does have the tendency to get melodramatic in some scenes. However I always thought he did that in the proper context. It always lead to making you care about the main character more. In Without Warning it has the same effect although I must admit feels a bit uneven and clumsy. In the end who cares? It's all about the action.
|Who you gonna call?|
Best of the Best 4: Without Warning delivers top notch action and martial arts. They simply don't make movies like these anymore. Sure you have Seagal, van Damme and Lundgren making the same B movies over and over again but they are never of the level they used to make and certainly not up to standard of Philip Rhee. At least he has not forgotten what the fans liked the most.
|Where are my juicy fruits?|