No Retreat, No Surrender (1986)

Posted in Reviews by - May 21, 2012
No Retreat, No Surrender (1986)

A simple premise – bullied karate enthusiast seeks martial guidance from celebrity stiff – but the result is pleasing enough. McKinney plays Jason, a troubled youth new to Seattle, hassled by the bigger kids, befriended by a disco dancing stereotype and his martial arts training is on the slide. His prayers are answered when Kim Tai-chong appears as the spirit of Bruce Lee, Jason’s idol who teaches him the rudiments of Jeet Kune Do. The pseudo Lee trains him well enough to combat the main baddie of the piece: a snarling Van Damme in one of his earliest action roles, playing a Russian syndicate fighter trained to rough up Seattle’s finest. Of course it’s as silly as it sounds, with some rather impressive training sequences and a great support from Van Damme (easily the best fighter here, apart from Master Lee, of course). The biggest trouble you will have is admitting you actually enjoyed it.

AKA: Karate Tiger

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

1 Comment

  • love this film and the sequels too

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