Kung Fu Brother (2014)

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Two police officers get more than what they bargain for when they team up with a international officer from Thailand in this indie action-comedy.

Jack and Nick have been best friends and partners on the police force for many years. Nick’s father is the current chief of police. When a series of murders have transpired, the chief informs the duo that they will be working with Nathan Nett, an officer from Thailand who knows the party responsible and offers to help. Upon his arrival, Jack and Nick find themselves skeptical of Nathan. However, they soon learn that killer is a mysterious ninja warrior named Samoto. When Nick’s father becomes Samoto’s next victim, Nick finds himself in the shock of a lifetime.

Nathan reveals to Nick that he is not just a cop from Thailand, but that’s he is Nick’s half-brother. At first, Nick refuses to believe it, but eventually he accepts it. The trio head for Thailand where they learn Samoto is planning a ceremony in which he will gain supernatural powers by killing certain people. Joined by Karen, Nick’s ex-fiancee who is a journalist looking for a big story, the group finds plenty of trouble and eventually, must find a way to get over all their issues to stop the deadly Samoto.

Marcus Aurelius, a staple of the 90’s martial arts B-movie circuit having appeared in Full Contact and Bloodfist VI: Ground Zero, wrote and directed this indie action-comedy, which one can tell is low-budget as the acting is not always up to par and at times over the top. Aurelius’s Jack and James Huang’s Nick may seem like a poor man Rush Hour, but it’s not all that at all. In fact, Huang does a good job playing a man who has emotional issues and cannot get over his fiancée leaving him at the altar. That, along with seeking revenge for his father shows the emotional range Huang can pull off for this production.

However, the titular “Kung Fu Brother” goes to Ron Hall, who plays the tough as nails Nathan Nett. If you haven’t seen Hall in action, then you are in for a treat. Another staple of 90’s B-movie action flicks, Hall is one of the most agile fighters on screen. Here, he can be seen taking on a female store robber, finds himself engaged in a chase against some local goons, but it’s his final fight against the deadly Samoto that is wild and engaging. Hall is one of those martial arts actors who can do an excellent job in both acting and action and here, despite the supernatural twists in the story, shows why he is a great talent to check out.

One has to also give props to Rona Par as Karen. At first, you might not like Karen because she comes off as this conceited journalist who will do anything for a story. She also is responsible for Nick’s heartbreak as it was her who dumped him at the altar. However, in the second half of the film, we begin to understand why Karen acts the way she does and she ends up finding remorse when on their trip to Thailand, reveals her true self and in some ways finds redemption within herself, thus giving the possibility for Nick to maybe give her another chance all while seeking revenge for the death of his father.

Kung Fu Brother is not a bad indie action-comedy. Ron Hall’s fight scenes are definitely worth watching and we get to see James Huang and Rona Par give it their all, while writer-director Marcus Aurelius lets them rise up while he more or less intends to do his take on Chris Tucker’s Carter. Still fun nonetheless.

WFG RATING: B+

A Tri-Coast Worldwide production. Director: Marcus Aurelius. Producers: Behram Haddadzadeh and Marcus Aurelius. Writers: Marcus Aurelius, Lonnie Schuyler, and Steve Montoya.  Cinematography: Shawn Daniels. Editing: John Gilbert and Max Hoffmann.

Cast: Marcus Aurelius, James Huang, Ron Hall, Rona Par, Fred Ochs, Michael Wilson, Elle Beyer.

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