Team is China’s favorite Shaolin-trained French martial arts squad. There is
only one reason for them to come to Hollywood: big screen fame. Unfortunately,
a psychotic mastermind who fancies himself an independent filmmaker might just
help them attain their goal the hard way in screenwriter-director-editor Fabien
Garcia’s Die Fighting (trailer here), which is now
available on DVD from MVD Visual.
Garcia is Fabien Garcia, highly skilled stuntman and aspiring action director.
Laurent Buson is Laurent Buson, up-and-coming action star recognizable to fans
for going toe-to-toe with Iko Uwais in Gareth Evans’ Merantau—or rather vice versa (he played the French guy). Didier
Buson costars as his brother, Didier Buson, with Jess Allen rounding out the
team as a similarly semi-fictionalized version of himself.
the film opens, Z Team is scuffling despite some well received action shorts. Their
chops are never in question, but their drive to succeed is flagging somewhat when
a shadowy villain known only as “The Filmmaker” kidnaps Garcia’s girlfriend
Meilu. If they want her safely returned they will have to perform the Filmmaker’s
increasingly outrageous fight scenes for the benefit of his pre-placed
is no denying all of the Z Team cats have mad skills. You could stack them up
against Uwais and Yayan “Mad Dog” Ruhian with confidence. Their moves are
incredibly cinematic (and at times acrobatic), but there is a hard edge to
Garcia’s fight choreography. If you take the film solely as a martial arts
showcase, it is quite impressive. Indeed, that is the best way to relate to the
film, because the narrative is basically a variation on the themes of The Game, 13: Game of Death, and the
pound-for-pound heavy weight champ, Big Match. However, Garcia tacks on a twist ending that is really sort of
shocking, not because we haven’t seen it before, but because it is hard to
imagine he would want to go there, especially given the way he deliberately
conflates the real life Z Team members with their characters. C’est la vie.
as we were saying, how about that martial arts action? To their credit, they also
recruit some worthy opponents, particularly Xin Sarith Wuku, who tears up the
joint as Mr. Chan, an underground fight club manager. Recommended for fans
thirsty for some slickly choreographed, down-and-dirty fight scenes, Die Fighting is now available on DVD at
all online retailers.
Labels: DVD, Martial arts cinema, Z Team