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Review Martial Law (1990): A little lacking but enough there to keep your interest!

genre: martial arts, action, crime

Martial Law is a typical 90's B flick which I devoured back in the day. Often browsing through these titles made me even more excited than some of the A titles that came out. Usually because they were simple and to the point.

Back then it was also pretty unique to see a cop use martial arts to catch the bad guys.  Martial Law is evoked by Sean Thompson played by Chad McQueen, the son of Steve McQueen. Like his father he also is passionate about martial arts and racing. He loves it so much he pursued a career in this field at the cost of acting. Well, there is no racing in this film but there sure are a lot of fights and Chad looked pretty adequate to good. If he had pursued a career in acting flicks like this I could have seen myself becoming a fan.

Then there is the main villain, played by David Carradine. I used to love Kung Fu and always looking forward to see Caine kick ass once he was provoked again. This was before I found out that originally Bruce Lee was gunning for this role. If you don't understand that Bruce Lee was perfect for this role and he basically got robbed then you really need to do some soul searching. Especially since David Carradine wasn't even a martial artist. But a dancer. He could fake it somewhat but that's about it. For this reason it's astonishing that they kept casting him for these super skilled villains who barely did his own fighting. I do have to admit he is a good villain in this and that it's fun to watch him get beat down.

One other highlight is Cynthia Rothrock. She gets to show what she is about and it's great. Young Cynthia certainly was a phenomenon and definitely improved the viewing experience tenfold.

As a pure martial arts flick Martial Law is a little lacking but there is enough there to keep your interest. Philip Tan and Benny Urquidez don't get to show as much as I would have liked them too. It's almost criminal not to make use of such great martial artists especially when they can elevate your film. But it is what it is. 

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