A former convict prepares for the fight, or rather, fights of his life in this indie action film that brings something interesting in terms of storytelling.
Having been released from prison, Victor Knox has lost it all. He’s lost his wife Lyse and his son Trace. He attempts to get a job but is met with resistance when his prison record prevents him from getting one. Feeling down and out, Victor gets the chance of a lifetime when an old friend at the local gym informs him of an upcoming fight league that’s in the works. Victor, a martial arts expert, decides to jump at the opportunity and meets the mysterious Acton.
Acton informs Victor that the prize will be $100,000 but there are a few stipulations. The fights will not be held in a ring, but will be held throughout the city. In addition, the fighters can come anytime and from anywhere. Reluctant and desperate, Victor agrees to enter the tournament. Fans from the Internet get to watch as Victor finds himself taking on a slew of various fighters. He gets praised by the Ref, the mysterious creator of the tournament. However, things get personal when Trace finds himself being kidnapped when Victor decides to drop out of the tournament. Victor finds himself at a crossroads as his family and life lay on the line.
Peter Sullivan, an indie producer and director, made his feature film directorial debut on this martial arts actioner that brings something intriguing with its storytelling. Kasim Saul’s story, scripted by Max Miller, tells the story of a desperate ex-con forced to fight in order to make a better life for himself. There are some major twists along the way but in what can be said to be a very smart move, makes good use of the protagonist Victor Knox, played by stuntman Andre “Chyna” McCoy.
McCoy is really good not just in the action department, but makes the most of the script, in which we see his lead character of Vic finding himself dealing with issues. In fact, when he is rejected a job offer because of his past, he is at first seen physically assaulting the interviewer until we learn it is what he had in his mind. This happens on a few occasions and in a way, helps Vic deal with the demons he must face in order to make himself a better person. It is a shame that McCoy doesn’t get more roles such as this or more lead roles in martial arts films and focus more as a stunt performer or villain actor. He is suitable for more protagonist roles and this can be said to be a stepping stone to just that.
Blade II’s Daz Crawford brings a sense of mystery to the role of The Ref, the referee and creator of the tournament. He is seen praising Victor for his achievements as we see Vic face the likes of multiple opponents at once in a few of the film’s fight scenes as well as some of the one-on-one matches. Latrice Harper is interesting to watch as Violet, a young woman who Vic rescues from his potential first opponent, who becomes his boss in the sense that he has a job. Vic becomes both her bodyguard and chauffeur and even in a sense, potential love interest as he has lost his wife to another man. As for Vic’s parole officer Hanisek, Paul Green oozes scumbag in the role, promising to help Vic in the form of blackmail, constantly forcing Vic to give him money in order for Vic to keep his freedom.
Declan Mulvey, the stuntman and director who brought everyone the amazing action short Prison Warz serves as fight choreographer and does a pretty good job with the action. Some of the highlights include McCoy taking on the likes of high kicking Edwin Villa, who plays a tailor/assassin as one of his opponents; as well as Kerry Wong, who plays a kung fu expert who uses playing cards as weapons when necessary. There are also as mentioned, fights where Vic fights multiple opponents, such as a group fight inside a car garage, which include the likes of Villa and future stunt coordinator extraordinaire Larnell Stovall as opponents and one fight where Vic takes on two football fanatics at a local park that interrupts a tender moment between Vic and his estranged son Trace, played by Dabir Snell. The end fight has a pretty bad twist but then leads into a twist that becomes mouth dropping and not as predictable as one would imagine.
Game Over is not a bad indie martial arts action film. Andre McCoy should get more hero roles and the twists in the film really help more rather than hinder the film. In addition, the fights aren’t that bad at all.
WFG RATING: B-
A Black Gold Sun Entertainment Production. Director: Peter Sullivan. Producers: Peter Sullivan, Declan Mulvey, and Kasim Saul. Writer: Max Miller; story by Kasim Saul. Cinematography: Brett Juskalian. Editing: Sean Olson.
Cast: Andre “Chyna” McCoy, Daz Crawford, Latrice Harper, Heidi Marie, Paul Green, Dabir Snell, Joel King, Ron Ware, David Lawrence Simmons, Jonny Lewis, Edwin Villa, Steven K. Perry, Kerry Wong, James Ferris, Brett Caruso, Larnell Stovall, Adam Brix.