Starring : Cynthia Rothrock, Richard Norton, Brian Thompson
Directed by : Terence H Winkless
©Copyright 1992 IRS Media
Rage & Honour
The 80's and the 90's saw a martial arts film boom in America, with the ever popular Hong Konf film industry attracting budding martial arts stars to go to Hong Kong and make a name for them selves , but of course to make a name as a Caucasian star in a Asian country is not a easy task .
Mainly Westerners where used as fodder ,often used as the bad Westerners who have come to bring dishonour to the Asian culture. But among these Western fighters ,some of which had as much talent and gusto as their Hong Kong counterparts where some future stars of the B-movie straight to VHS films.
Now Los Angeles at that time was the full of some of the best fighters from all styles, many training at local clubs across town.
It's in LA that a film industry appeared turning out decent choreographed fight action films with good fighters who started to make a name for them selves.
Now Rage and Honour made by IRS in 1992 starred the already well known in martial art circles Cynthia Rothrock and Australian martial artist Richard Norton. .
Now Cynthia and Richard had both worked in the Hong Kong film industry with Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan. . The two also made a name for themselves in 1990 when they starred in Golden Harvests International film China O'Brien , which also had a sequel of equal success shot back to back.
With Rage and Honour a film which Cynthia and Richard also produced the two teamed up again .Though not having the production values of China O'Brien the film was well received by the fans as it was a tad grittier then China.
The arch villain of the film was played by Brian Thompson ,though not a martial artist ,Brian had starred alongside Sylvestor Stallone in 1986 film COBRA , 1988 film Alien Nation with James Caan and 1990 film A.W.O.L. With Jean Claude Van Damme ,so he was a good choice to bring a familiar face to action fans.
In the film Cynthia plays one Kris Fairchild a high school teacher who just happens to be a martial arts expert with a secret. Richard Norton plays a police man by the name of Preston Michaels , Preston is a ex-cop from Australia whose moved to the States to get away after his partner got killed.
When Preston breaks up a drug deal set up by crooked cops he gets framed for the murder of one of the cops , his only hope is a video tape recorded by one of Kris Fairchild's students named Paris.
But when Paris gets found out he goes on the run ,hides the tape and then ends up in hospital after one of the crooked cops beats up on him.
The crooked cops are run by a man called Conrad Drago , a man responsible for Kris's Sensei's death .
Rage and Honour is pretty well choreographed in places ,the key players Cynthia Rothrock and Richard Norton get to pull of some nice moves opposite the likes of Peter Cunningham (Above the Law) and Toshishiro Obata (China O'Brien ' Sword of Bushido)and Roger Yuan (Perfect Weapon 'Lethal Weapon 4) but due to the lack of martial arts talent amongst some of the other adversaries some fights are just a matter of our main stars just performing one or two hits against a opponent.
But that's not to say that it's any less entertaining, in fact it's quite the opposite, maybe it's because the film stems from the 90's that makes it so. You see the 80's and the 90's was a fashion explosion waiting to happen, one group of adversaries led by a young lady by the name of Hanna the Hun and her group of woman warriors (though a few look a bit butch to me) look like something out of Mad Max. . Then we have Brain Thompson's mullet haircut and young Paris's video camera which is twenty times the size of anything you can buy now.
What I liked about this film and many from this era is the use of different locations to film . Unlike quite a few recent budget fight films which though maybe better choreographed ,seem content with shooting their films in a warehouse or some disused building they happen to have access to.
They say changing your routine is as good as a holiday ,well different locations give a fresh view on some action, there's one scene where Richard Norton and Toshishiro Obata are going head to toe, there fighting In a derelict building with low light ,but above them is a large external wall fan spinning, as the light comes through the fan as it spins it casts some lighting effects over our duelling duo and all with out a computer in sight , a natural effect filmed to good effect.
So a word to modern film makers and their budget efforts ,change the scenery , I really don't want to watch the same four walls for 90 minutes.
Rage and Honour is classic 90's action starring two of the biggest stars at that time in their field .The films quite well acted for a budget film ,which is quite surprising considering some of the character parts some played,how they kept straight faces I don't know ,hell give them all a Oscar. They even went on to film a sequel, which we will be looking at on site shortly.
Score out of Ten = OUCH ! ,that's a 7
Reviewer : Sertes Nake
Review Date : 03-02-2013
* Note ' This was a review of the Region 1 USA DVD , as yet the film in not available on Region 2 DVD. So Import is your only option.
More stills from Rage and Honour can be found on the profile pages of Cynthia and Richard listed below.
Cynthia Rothrock --- Kris Fairchild
Richard Norton --- Preston Michaels
Brian Thompson --- Conrad Drago
Alex Datcher --- Hanna the Hun
Toshishiro Obata --- Chan Lu
Tim De Zarn --- Fast Eddie
Stephen Davies --- BABY
Peter Cunningham --- Alley Thug
Roger Yuan --- Dave ( thug)
Directed By : Terence H Winkless
Country : USA
Language : English
Running Time : 89 minutes approx