twists and turns with the best of them -- a story line that follows
so many elements it's impossible to guess which direction it's
Tim Allen is surprisingly good in a non-funny
dramatic role, making it the first time he has ever been not
funny on purpose.
Don't go in expecting The Karate Kid
-- part of the fun of a meaty intrigue-packed film like this
one is trying to figure out on which details the story will turn.
Or better yet, don't guess, just pay attention
and let them entertain you.
In this adult version of The Karate
Kid, David Mamet brings an odd blend of drama, pathos, cynicism,
and fight styles into a character-driven study of a martial arts
teacher and how he must deal with his own inner struggles.
Torn between personal, financial, and philosophical
demons, he must choose his own path to self-righteousness and
This film is about an L.A jujitsu instructor
with a brave, unwavering code of honor. He's a person who faces
hardships without flinching.
The story is set in the world of mixed
martial arts, but it's really not a martial arts movie.
In my view, it's more about honor and betrayal
with fighting in it.
The plot is almost comical and doesn't
stand up to close inspection, but there is a level of entertainment
to be had while watching it unfold in all of its strangeness.