Fist 2 Fist 2: Weapon of Choice, 2014.
Directed by Jino Kang and Tony Urgo.
Starring Jino Kang, Douglas Olsson, Katherine Celio, Artem Mishin and Kelly Lou Dennis.
Retired Assassin, Jack Lee (Jino Kang), has long since disappeared from the criminal world to peacefully raise his dead brother’s daughter, Jamie (Kelly Lou Dennis) but when his former employer, Mob boss, Banducci (Douglas Olsson), decides to kidnap her, Jack Lee is forced to remind him and all who stand in his way why he’s nicknamed “the Ghost.” The streets of San Francisco become a battlefield as Jack stops at nothing to rescue his niece even if it means single-handedly exterminating an entire crime syndicate or two.
Like with any good sequel, producer, co-writer, co-director, star, and Masters Hall of Fame martial artist Jino Kang ups the ante in every single way in Fist 2 Fist 2: Weapon of Choice. In this spiritual sequel to Fist 2 Fist, Jino brings together ambitious storytelling, an ensemble cast, gorgeous locations, and his signature brand of hard-hitting realistic fight choreography to his latest indie actioner.
The movie kicks off with a sweeping aerial shot gliding through San Francisco bay at night. An opulent banquet hall hosting a crime lord’s birthday is brought to a halt when Jack Lee crashes the party. Entering the hall unarmed, he quickly lays waste to the entire gang, disarming enemies and using their weapons against them. And just like that, he’s gone, out of the crime game for good; or so he thought.
When a band of professional mercenaries hired by Lee’s former boss, Banducci, raids his home and abducts his niece, Jaime, Lee is thrust back in action, leaving a pile of dead bodies in his wake before SFPD and FBI team up to detain him. Banducci goes to Chinatown to enlist ex-Navy SEAL assassins to kill Lee while in custody, only to wound him and sway SFPD detective Ash Jordan (Katherine Celio) onto Lee’s side. The chemistry between Jino and Katherine feels organic. Ash and Lee even share an intimate salsa dance, adding a welcomed subtly and grace to Jino’s stoic anti-hero persona.
Together, Lee and Ash fight their way through Banducci’s warehouse, sending the movie into overdrive. In this epic finale, fight rolls right into the next in rapid fire succession. Viewers can see and feel Lee’s skills and endurance tested to its limits as he struggles through each bout, stopping in-between to catch his breath before hobbling onward. This movie gracefully showcases a myriad of fighting styles (Hapkido, Tae Kwon Do, Kyokoshin-Kai Karate, Gracie Jiu-jitsu, knife play, Chinese Spear, Kukri swords, and Samurai style sword fighting) and Jino Kang’s fight choreography consistently feels gritty and unpredictable. Honor has no place in Lee’s world; he’s a hardened assassin. Sometimes the quickest way out of a ground submission is by biting them. As Lee battles on, his actions become more savage, more desperate; driving home each fight is a life or death situation and for the last fifteen minutes of the movie, it’s simply kill or be killed.
Despite a limited budget, Jino confidently soars to newer and greater heights in Fist 2 Fist 2: Weapon of Choice and the result is nothing short of satisfying. The stakes feel higher. The fight scenes are more viciously elaborate, but unfortunately the story sometimes gets in its own the way. Because the film generously juggles through an ensemble cast, the well crafted fight scenes feel oceans apart until the epic finale. Despite minor pacing issues, Jino Kang has made an independent action film that’s grand in scale and packs a serious punch.
Fist 2 Fist 2: Weapon of Choice will soon be making its premiere in the UK through VOD platform on the Fight Channel.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★