Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Tournament - DVD Review

Every seven years, a tournament takes place in an unsuspecting town.   People don’t know this is happening.   It is a battle between 30 of the top assassins to see who can win $10,000,000.   

             This movie doesn’t have an all-star cast.  The biggest names are Ving Rhames, the champion of the last tournament, and Kelly Hu, a challenger who is part of this tournament as well.  

              On the surface, the plot seems pretty obvious.  30 assassins get together and fight to the death.  A chip is placed in each one of them.  A TV crew keeps track of their movements and only they know where each of them is since they have a remote device that follows the chips.  Once an assassin finds another, the fight begins and it’s taped for rich people to see.  

               The first of many fights begin when Kelly Hu, who plays Lai Lai Zen, wakes up and discovers that she is about to get into her first fight.  The battle is in her room and I’ll just say it’s quite a battle.   

               Add to the tension of this is Father MacAvoy,  an innocent priest who swallows one of the chips in his coffee after one of the assassins takes his out so the others can’t find him.  Even though it’s reported to Powers, who is head of the tournament, he says that MacAvoy will just have to join in and try to win the $10,000,000.  

                Rhames is returning to the tornament for personal reasons.  He has learned that one of the assassins in the tournament killed his pregnant wife.  He is out for revenge and will do anything to find the person who killed her.  

                There are plenty of great fight scenes, my favorite with Lai Lai Zen in a battle in a church and on a bus.  You never know if she’ll come out of the tournament alive.  Rhames also has some good fight scenes as well. 

                 The whole plot leads to a good ending which was a surprise to me.  You would think that if they can make three Death Race movies, then they would consider another part to this one.  

                I thought this was a great sleeper movie, certainly better than the Death Race movies.   It’s hard to believe that this went straight to DVD.  Yes, the fight scenes are gratituous but I was on the edge of my seat throughout the movie.   I would give this movie five stars.  

Ron Hummer

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