March 31, 2013

The Movies of Brandon Lee: Rapid Fire

It is hard to believe it has been 20 years since Brandon Lee was tragically killed on the set of The Crow. The movie has gathered a cult following and I consider to be one of my all time favorite movies. It is a shame that his life was cut down at such a young age, just as he was about to become a big star, in my estimation anyway based on his iconic performance in The Crow. In any case, I have decided to revisit his brief filmography.

In 1991 Brandon Lee made his first real introduction to movie audiences in the Dolph Lundgren buddy cop vehicle Showdown on Little Tokyo. It was a mediocre film that had some good action, jokes, and helped showcase Lee's skills. Unfortunately, his follow up film may have gotten a bigger theatrical release but it is not nearly as entertaining.

Rapid Fire is another generic action film of a bygone era. It features a poor script cobbled together with elements from other, better films. The direction from Dwight Little (Halloween 4) comes across as dull and uninspired. The editing of the martial arts sequences is underwhelming, seeming more an effort to hide the weak fighting skills of some of the cast than to help showcase Lee's talents, but still not very good.

The basic thrust of the story is that a mobster named Serrano (Nick Mancuso) is trying to get a piece of the heroin trade from some unnamed Asian country. Things get complicated for Jake Lo (Bandon Lee), an unassuming art student who witnessed, and lost his father in, the massacre at Tiananmen Square, when he is witness to Serrano murdering a rival. Before long Jake is pursued by the mobsters, drug dealers, good cops, and bad cops. It is up to Jake to keep himself alive to do the right thing.

The movie just feels flat and uninteresting. There is nothing memorable about tis movie, it is a small face in a giant crowd. It never differentiates itself from the rest of the crowd. It even handcuffs Lee's still growing talents. As much as I waned to like it, I just could not get into it.

Rapid Fire is probably the weakest entry in Lee's filmography, that includes Laser Mission. Sure, see I for the Lee completist, otherwise take a pass.

Not Recommended.

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