Oh my. Sometimes my friends you watch a movie that gives you nothing. You sit there after it’s done and are left with nothing to say as it moved you in no direction. It wasn’t good or bad, the plot was something that was a retread of a thousand other movies preformed by actors that didn’t care or where unremarkable. Those movies are a struggle to write anything of interest about and sometimes we just let them slide on by. The movie ‘Swamp Devil’ comes to mind as I had to write myself a note to write something about it because before I saw that note a couple days later I had completely forgotten that I had seen it. That being said it will be a while before I forget ‘Maximum Cage Fighting’, a movie that is earnest, true, hard working and completely incompetent. I think I’m in love.
Meet Nick ‘The Nasty’ Harper, the reigning champ of the Maximum Cage Fighting association (MCF) and played by with complete, total over the top evil zeal by professional stunt man Chris Torres. Nick has just decimated some dude in the octagon and as the rules state, after a third straight victory, the champ can call challenge anybody he wants. And I mean anybody. Nick could’ve sneered into the camera; ‘Former French president Francois Mitterrand… I WANT YOU!’ and if Francois Mitterrand knows what’s good for he and his family he had best take that fight. In this case Nick calls out one Jimmy Garren (Jason Fields) who no one in this sport has ever heard of. Why does The Nasty want to fight this dude? Why indeed.
Meet Jimmy Garren. A widowed Tae-Kwon Do instructor with a precocious ten year old daughter named Katie (Kellsi Chischilly) who debilitates her classmates with karate chops to the throat when pissed off. That’s my girl right there. One day one of Nick’s henchmen shows up at the dojo advising Jimmy that Nick wants to fight him. Jimmy can’t even remember the dude but once he watches the video tape that this clown gave him Jimmy remembers beating Nick ten years ago in a match when they were like teenagers. Yes, Nick can hold a grudge like few ever. Not surprisingly Jimmy isn’t all
that interested in fighting and turns him down, but The Nasty isn’t one to take ‘no’ for an answer. First his goons wreck the dojo while Jimmy’s assistant was sweeping the floor. Now about this… We see the goons attack the assistant and the next day when Jimmy comes to his dojo we see the place in shambles but we don’t see the assistant. Plus Jimmy doesn’t seem to give a shit about the missing assistant. I can only assume that the goons beat him up so bad that he disintegrated and this beating erased his carbon imprint from reality.
Still Jimmy refuses to fight. Well we know that cute kid is in this movie for a reason and now Nick’s goon kidnap her. In broad daylight. At soccer practice. Personally I think now would be a good time to call the police. Instead Jimmy tracks down his former Master Chong (Jun Chong) who instead suggests that they go to Brazil, yes Brazil, for six weeks to train for the fight. Makes sense to me and off they go. So while Jimmy’s daughter is locked in a basement being force fed green gruel for six weeks, in the middle of the school year, her dad is in Brazil jogging on sunny beaches, drinking it up in bars, trying to push up on the wife of the cat who is allowing him and Master Chong to stay at his house and on occasion training in the fine art of grappling with Professor Renzo Gracie.
Eventually Jimmy has to stop running game on married Brazilian women and carousing in bars to fight The Nasty and Fight Night is upon us! First The Nasty has to roid up and with the crowd filled to capacity we can only hope that Jimmy with his bum knee (long story) can win the fight and save his daughter. Who conveniently was brought to the arena by Nick (who has to roid up some more) and his goons. Perhaps now would be a good time to call the police.
First lets get this out of the way and observe that director Gerson Sanginitto’s film ‘Maximum Cage Fighting’, when taken as a whole, is summarily awful. As far as movie stuff goes such as lighting and framing and acting, the film is lacking in all of those categories, no doubt. Star Jason Field who looks a little like Adam Sandler’s better looking fitter younger brother did the best he could but my man simply is not an actor. The training sessions were cool but the actual fight scenes needed a little more work. And Joanna Chong’s script was just about as nutty as nutty gets. But as severely flawed as this movie was, you couldn’t have paid me to turn it off. Well, you could’ve paid me and I would’ve turned it off, but I’m just saying.
First there’s Ms. Chong’s script, which if nothing else, is consistently insane. Imagine Chuck Liddell kidnapping Quentin Jackson’s daughter and keeping her in the basement at his house. I’m thinking Quentin would call the cops. At some point you would think somebody, like a teacher or soccer coach, might notice the girl is missing and at some point I’m thinking we really should involve the police. Considering Nick made his challenge on National Television which had me thinking at the press conference Jimmy should’ve piped in with ‘I wouldn’t be fighting this asshole but he has kidnapped my daughter. Whaddayagonnado?’ At no point from the time the movie started until it ended did ever begin to make sense. I admire that kind of consistency.
What was most awesome, in a movie filled with awesome moments, and this is a SPOILER, is when Jimmy won the fight at the end. Now how Jimmy beat a seasoned roided up cage fighter after training for six weeks with a bum knee is a bit confusing, but Jimmy is apparently a fighting savant as shown by his one 8 second capoeira lesson which he used to great effect against The Nasty. But after the fight The Nasty dies in the ring due to his excessive roiding which you would think might get the Ring Doctor active or something. But no, they just let The Nasty lie there. The ring reporter even performs the post fight interview with Jimmy while The Nasty lies at their feet dead in the ring, eyes open, motionless. Dead. Jesus that’s awesome. On my best day I couldn’t have dreamed up something that sweet. They actually had to step over his dead ass to get out of the ring.
What I can tell you? ‘Maximum Cage Fighting’, as awful as it was, was like nothing I’ve ever seen. Chris Torres was great as the roided up out of control bad guy, Brazilian actress Tracey Segal is about as hot as they come, and the movie consistently makes absolutely no freaking sense. You can’t beat that with a stick.