Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Jack (Johnny Young Bosh) and Lisa (Pamela Walworth) are a happy young couple with a cute young daughter and they are in love. They’ve just moved to somewhere in Texas where we don’t see nothing but steers and… well we don’t even see steers, but we do see a lot good old boys in cowboy hats. Apparently this family has been moving around a lot lately, and Lisa just wants to stay put for a while. Jack, a lowly wimpy computer programmer, is down with that plan, allow little Maddy (Lanie Taylor) to make some friends and establish some roots. Maddy is heading out to camp for the summer which means our young attractive couple can spend their spare time breaking in every room of their ranch estate. That’s not going to happen in this movie ‘Broken Path’… ‘Broken Fist’… ‘Attack of the Triad’… which is the title I think you’re going to have to search for on Amazon on Demand if you want to watch this movie. But should you search for it? Well… that depends completely on you my friend.

So Jack and Lisa go to bed. Jack thinks he hears something, goes to investigate and finds nothing until he gets back to the bedroom and discovers a fatigued, masked lunatic holding a knife to his wife’s throat. Then another masked lunatic shows up and both of the loons start completely kicking Jack’s lousy ass. It looks like Jack is finished, that is until he remembers that he knows how to kick ass too. Now here is where we come to one of the checkpoints where you need to decide if you want to watch this movie. Note that this combat sequence taking place between Jack and these two guys is sweet. It’s brutal. It’s awesome. Then another guy shows up to kill Jack’s wife and kick Jack’s ass. Then this Japanese chick shows up in fatigues to kick Jack’s ass and there’s round house kicking and punching and everything is getting destroyed, like a videogame with interactive destructible environments… but a good while into this fight sequence something strange happened to my eyes. They wandered to my timer on my DVD player. This has happened before, but usually with an incredibly dull movie that I am hoping will end soon. This isn’t an incredibly dull movie, but at this point I’m conscious of the fact that this fight sequence has been going on for a while. About a good fifteen minutes. And honestly… it was just getting started. It probably went on another good ten minutes. This about the time I realized that ‘Attack of the Yakuza’ is not a normal movie.

The ass kicking lets up briefly as another dude, Yoshi (Daniel Southworth), enters the fray. He’s kind of with those guys that are trying their darndest to kill Jack and Lisa, but he assures Jack that he’s on his side. When Jack left ‘the family’, Yoshi should’ve gone with him but he was afraid. Now he’s here to help him and hopefully start his life anew.

Another lengthy fight scene ensues as Jack and Yoshi combine their considerable kung-fu prowess against those other four insane killas, and they manage to hold them off temporarily which allows for this movies only real scene exposition. Every once in a while the Japanese chick (Motoko Nagino) would explain in between round house kicks and punches to the face the reasons behind kicking Jack’s ass, but she was sketchy at best. But in the attack where the bloodied and beaten trio of Jack, Yoshi and Lisa can catch their breath for a minute, we learn why Jack is always moving his family, why he didn’t tell his wife the truth and all other kinds of little stuff. In retrospect, the Japanese chicks exposition squeezed in between the ass kicking was good enough since listening to Jack and Lisa whine was kind of painful.

Enough of this down time, it’s time for some more brutality. All Jack wants to do is protect his family. We just met Jack, but he doesn’t seem to very good at this despite his prodigious martial arts skill. And more surprises are to come.

Hmmm…. There’s really not much we can say about ‘Broken Fist’. I mean it’s barely a movie, at least in terms of its threadbare narrative, which exists for the sole purpose of linking together the lengthy, but truly spectacular displays of stunt kung-fu. The movie was directed by Koichi Sakamoto who is professional stunt man, stunt coordinator, and stunt director and it’s pretty clear that he knows what he’s doing when it comes to this stuff.

The acting… well… we won’t say we got a lot of ‘bad’ acting in ‘Broken Path’ but while the story is secondary… at best… the acting is tertiary. There’s not really a lot for the actors to do. Pamela Wolworth is hysterical as Lisa, Johnny Yong Bosh is overly dramatic as Jack, Dan Southworth is somber as Yoshi, Motoko Nagino is mean and the other three killers are hysterically over the top. All the characters can be described pretty much in one word, so ‘character development’ isn’t the order day with ‘Attack of the Yakuza’.

But if you’re going to make a low-budget movie, and ‘Broken Fist’ is definitely a low budget movie with its sparse locations, and lead actors who don’t need stuntmen around to double for them, I’d much rather see a bunch of people getting punched in the face over and over again, in a very convincing and exciting way, as opposed to some pseudo, intellectual romantic comedy. Yes, Maybe just a little more in the way of a narrative would’ve been a good thing, but ‘Broken Fist’ sure was good at what it focused on.

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