Underground (2007)

Posted in Reviews by - July 15, 2017
Underground (2007)

Low-budget British indie featuring genuine martial artists and a few genuine actors; people like Danny John-Jules, who seems to have filmed all of his scenes on the same day, and Fidel Nanton, who is the only person who really says anything. He plays the organiser of an underground fight club backed by a consortium of champagne gangsters who bet big money on the bouts. Nanton narrates the film and, coupled with its handheld style, it sometimes feels more like a Crimewatch-style exposé on the world of illegal brawling. Maybe that’s intentional. But it still makes it hard to fully engage in the cursory backstories of each of the fighters when hardly any of them speak. Some of the backstories are particularly strange, particularly the priest who takes part in the tournament to raise funds to build a homeless shelter. In his flashback, he nuts someone in the face when they are caught stealing from the church collection plate. There are also huge continuity errors, like the vague link to a reality TV show which is never properly explained, and the locations which appear to change at random and without explanation. There is also a huge disconnect between the consortium scenes and the fight scenes, with gangsters betting huge amounts of money on fights they don’t seem to be watching. Most of the fight scenes are OK, and there are a lot of them, featuring great British talent like Zara Phythian, Mark Strange, Nathan Lewis, Beau Fowler and Joey Ansah, but they are poorly served in a film completely lacking in plot.

AKA: 12; Underground Blood Fighter.

This post was written by
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.

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