|There are no ninja's in this film. Just 40 year olds pretending to be teenagers.|
Los Angeles Streetfighter without a doubt is a very bad film. But yes this is one that it's so bad it's good. In what way? Well, let's find out shall we.
First of all the Eighties goodness. It's inescapable and whether unintentional or not it gives this film an everlasting charm and vibe. It also feels like this is one of the first attempts of making an a live action adaptation of a beat em up videogame. (Or it has tried to recreate the idea Bruce Lee had for his Game of Death but never got to materialize properly due to his death. This is more obvious in the finale where character Young has to defeat his opponents in order to ascend the building. And easily one of the most stand out scenes that I dare to say is classic.) Because seriously the film only consists of fighting scenes that are tied together with the bare minimum of characterization and story telling. Anything resembling a plot is just there to give the main characters a reason to fight. Very poorly I might add and completely confusing if you are trying to make sense of it all. Which I would advise against since there is no logic to be found in how the story and events unfold. They just happen. To top it off they also tried to put in some melodrama that completely misses it's mark because of incredibly bad sound and dubbing. Worse than what you would expect in those old seventies kungfu flicks. That is bad people, real bad. Although I liked the theme that they kept playing over and over again. It's a very upbeat and cheerful tune that is a direct contrast to the seriousness of the melodrama.
Luckily there is one huge redeeming factor. The martial arts. Both Jun Chong and Philip Rhee are extremely skilled fighters and a joy to watch on the screen. But they are accompanied by Bill Wallace and Ken Nagayama as the most skilled villains. And it almost a shame that the fights between them did not last any longer since they clearly were the most interesting. Note that Loren Avedon and Thomas F. Wilson (Back to the Future) apparently also are gang members but I must have missed them.
So yes, by no means should you take this flick seriously. I wished I knew how this film got made and what went on behind the scenes because surely this is not what they had intended. Watch this one for the hilarity and the good fights. For me this film will always be a favourite for nostalgic reasons. It is one of the many fun films I enjoyed that was shown on this commercial German channel that got me introduced to so much B movie goodness.