Rumble (2016)

rumble-2015

mexico-icon

Gary Daniels returns to kicking major butt in this throwback to some of his earlier gems from the director of Misfire.

David Goran was once a champion mixed martial arts fighter until he lost a major fight in Reno, where he seriously injured his knee. Living in a hotel room for the past month in Mexico, he has had a relationship with Eva, a former escort whose pimp is after her because she killed a client and is now indebted to him. To make the money for the debt, David and Eva fix fights but it seems like Eva might have returned to her former profession as a way to make the debt be paid off quicker.

One night, an argument between the two leads David to go to an underground fight club and enjoy a night of drinks. The next day, David wakes up in the apartment of hotel worker Ramiro, who brought him the night before. Suddenly, his hotel room has been emptied and David finds himself framed for murder. Upon seeing Ramiro, a mystery person calls David, informing him that Eva has been kidnapped and David must fight and win to get her alive. Meanwhile, a federal agent has arrived and finds himself involved with David as they seem to have a common enemy, the one responsible for Eva’s kidnapping. Will they be able to work together to rescue Eva and bust the one responsible?

British action star Gary Daniels has really proven his merit not only with his martial arts films, but showcasing his acting talent in films that doesn’t really require him to use his fighting skills. This helps bring a sense of versatility for his career and with his latest collaboration with R. Ellis Frazier, Daniels gets to bring both his acting chops and martial arts skills to good use.

As the embittered David, Daniels plays truly a tortured soul who just can’t get a break. A once champion fighter, a debilitating knee injury from a major fight has put him down and out. On top of that, he must help his girlfriend pay off a debt to her ex-boyfriend. Sissi Fleitas makes the most of her screen time as David’s girlfriend Eva, who proves that looks aren’t everything as she has the acting chops to play off quite well with Daniels. It may seem like the film has sometimes a “telenovela” vibe, but it fits well here.

Misfire co-star Luis Gatica does well as Agent Fonseca, who is there to do his job and ultimately becomes a reliable ally to David in his time of need while Fabian Lopez makes good use of his role of Ramiro, a hotel worker who introduces David to the underground fight club, but only for kicks. It is when David’s world is turned upside down that Ramiro helps out David when needed. Eddie Fernandez goes a bit over the top as Rampage, the pimp ex-boyfriend of Eva who comes to town when he learns that they are there and only wants one thing: his money. Justin Nesbitt provides some comic relief as Rampage’s cohort Marty, with some funny one-liners at times.

Daniels not only stars in the film, but served as co-producer, second unit director, and fight choreographer. The fight sequences were choreographed by Daniels and Marco Morales and they brought a bit of a throwback to some of Daniels’ action flicks during the 90’s heyday of the home video market. Daniels gets to use some of his trademark kicks and chain punching while also adding grappling moves seem in mixed martial arts today. While the fights may not be on the level of a Scott Adkins today, those who have enjoyed Daniels’ earlier work may just enjoy the action here.

Rumble is actually a pretty good throwback action film that makes great use of Gary Daniels’ acting and action skills once again, with some really good supporting performances, and somewhat jaw-dropping end to the film.

WFG RATING: B

Hannibal Pictures presents a Badhouse Studios (Mexico) production. Director: R. Ellis Frazier. Producers: R. Ellis Frazier, Arturo Jimenez, and Marty Murray. Writer: Benjamin Budd. Cinematography: Jorge Roman. Editing: Badhouse Post.

Cast: Gary Daniels, Sissi Fleitas, Eddie J. Fernandez, Fabian Lopez, Justin Nesbitt, John Solis, Pedro Rodman, Luis Raul Alcocer.

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