Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Where's Hector Echavarria at when I need him?  A few years back Echavarria was producing a ton of fight movies, movies which looked very similar to today's movie 'Forced to Fight' and while none of those movies were really all that good, they did have one thing going for them… that being tits.  A lot of the time the tits didn't really belong there, but the filmmakers squeezed them in anyway.  This leads us nicely into 'Forced to Fight' which as we mentioned is very similar to those other fight movies of the recent past, and this movie really isn't all that great either… minus the tits.  We're not really saying anything about anything as far as that is concerned, and we are on record as being opposed to the exploitation of the female species in movies like this…  but… you know… if you got to watch one or the other… I'm just saying.

Our film opens with some deadbeat dad, with a British accent, abandoning his eight year old son and a baby in a crib.  The filmmakers probably didn't need to shoot this scene, but I guess they needed a reason to explain why big brother Shane (Gary Daniels) has a British accent in the middle of New York City while baby brother Scotty (Arkie Reece) does not.   Regardless, when we meet Scotty he's doing some Ultimate Fighting under the watchful eye of the super slimy Danny G. (Peter Weller) with Scotty ordered to throw the fight.  Scotty does no such thing, wins the fight, grabs his loot and is about to skate out of town.  Ah… but before he does that he has to visit Shane, apologize for being a douche all these years and NOW he's ready to leave town.  Oddly enough Danny G., being all smart and stuff, figured Scotty would go see Shane, catches Scotty outside Shane's apartment and subsequently beats him near to death.

You'd think that would be the end of it, but Danny claims Scotty owes him a bunch of money and he demands that Shane laces up is gloves to fight once again, until Scotty's debt
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is paid.  If he doesn't this then Scotty will probably be dead, Shane's lovely wife Connie (Alexandra Weaver) will probably be dead and his young son James (Corbin Thomas) will also probably be dead.  Sucks to be Shane. 

The good thing is that Shane is pretty good at this fighting thing, once he knocks the rust off.  It blows that he has to get into these blood brawls and doesn't get any money for it, but it is for the greater good.  The problem is that where Shane the auto mechanic is the greatest guy ever, Shane the Ultimate Fighter is kind of a dick, as he is rude to just about everybody in his little apartment, especially poor little James, making him cry.  Then when Danny G. orders Shane to throw a bunch of bouts, because the moneyline when Shane fights is becoming lopsided, Shane becomes even more of a dick.  It doesn't help that these thrown bouts, in which Shane allows himself to get absolutely pummeled, don't count against Scotty's debt, which seems mighty unfair to me, but that's Danny G. for you.

In fact, Danny G. is such as asshole that he does something in this movie that makes absolutely no sense, even for an asshole.  But you probably know the routine by now.  Not only will vengeance be the order of the day for Shane, but you don't put a pretty wife and a cute kid in a movie like this just to illustrate the character has a family.  No sir, they have to be put at risk, and a big fight against and unstoppable foe with lives in the balance must occur.  Roll credits.

Directed by Jonas Quastel, 'Forced to Fight' was highly functional entertainment for the most part, at least until the character of Danny G. lost his mind.  For starters we have Gary Daniels as our star, and you know we're down with G.D. here at the FCU as he is one of our guys.  You can always count on G.D. to do his thing, and he doesn't disappoint here.  Then you have the Robocop in this movie, and while Peter Weller isn't as spry looking as he was when he was Buckaroo Banzai, in fact he's looking very scary in an emaciated way, but he's still good at his craft. 

The narrative is pretty basic, fight movie 101 type stuff so it's not earth shatteringly original, but it does stay out if its own way for the most part, and the fight scenes, which should be the center piece of any fight movie, are decent enough even though I'm thinking Shane probably should've died from blunt force brain trauma halfway through this movie.

So if were to criticize 'Forced to Fight' it would be that it's so basic for a fight movie, and as such does little to separate itself from the myriad of fight movies that have come before it, but it would be a minor criticism because a fight movie is a fight movie and at least this wasn't a terrible one.  The only thing that was strange, that was a real detriment to this movie was the character of Danny G's insane behavior to close the show.  I know these movies like vengeance and rescuing damsels in distress, but by the time these things occurred in this movie, it really didn't fit.  It's was like it was wedged in there because somebody demanded that it be in there. 

'Forced to Fight' wasn't the worse fight movie out there, but it is one of the more mediocre ones out there. 
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