Hey folks, Valkor here. Back in July and as part of my 30 in 30, I reviewed a film called "Bare Knuckles" and to put it short I said "Bare Knuckles is an uninspired, uninteresting, and a total fail of a film on every level". Why am I bringing this up? Because I think I found a film in "Circle of Fury", that's actually similar to Bare Knuckles, but by comparison, Bare Knuckles looks a whole lot better.
Circle of Fury centers on Johnny (Randy Spence), an Iraqi vet, who's back home in the Bronx without a job or a home. He has a run in with his old friend Tariq (Adonis Williams), who offers him a job as manager of his gym – if he can beat him in a fight. Johnny loses pretty bad, but still gets to keep the job. However Tariq is running a side drug business, which doesn't make Johnny none too happy, actually he doesn't like it one bit. But he doesn't quit either, because he wants to establish the gym as a legit business.
So when does the whole Circle of Fury begin? Well Tariq also runs an underground fighting tournament, which pits man against man (or woman) in a no-holds barred fight to the finish… or at least until the other guy taps out. Johnny enters his first match, betting Tariq that if he wins, he should pay him more money. Now Johnny has some MMA skills and of course he defeats his opponent, so much to Tariq's liking that he sets him up for another match. This time with a woman… and he loses.
Where am I going with this? Well let's sum up the finale shall we. But first let's take it back to the beginning real quick. Why? Because there's a woman involved – Wanda (Anatoli Grek) was on her way home from work when her purse gets snatched. Johnny chases the guy down, beats him to a pulp, and then proceeds to rob Wanda's purse of her money. He returns the purse, sans loot, and tries to kick it to her a bit. This is key because midway, Johnny is shown to have some honor – won't hit a woman and doesn't really wanna work for a drug dealer… but taking money from a woman's purse and not returning it, PLUS asking her out for drinks on her dollar? That's cool *snort*.
Continuing with the finale, Johnny ultimately quits Tariq's business, as he finds out that Tariq has people making coke in the place. And as revenge of sorts, Tariq goes after Johnny, kidnapping Wanda. Johnny threatens Tariq with an audio clipping of him talking about his "business" and if he doesn't let Wanda go, he'll turn it into the police. The film ends as the two face off once again, only this time in the "Circle of Fury"
I made that out to be more dramatic than it really is. And for a film called "Circle of Fury"? It actually should be called "Circle of Lame".
Honestly? I'm giving props to Randy Spence. I thought he did a well enough job with everything he had to work with. He really embraced the character and you kinda feel for his plight. Also the story itself isn't all that bad either; I mean if other details made more sense, it would truly be an entertaining piece of work. Oh and leave us not forget the sexy, sexy Christina Rose as Augstatine, who not only whooped Johnny's ass, but looked damn good doin it. Dear lord what I wouldn't do to have my head crushed between those thighs. I'd die a happy man.
The film is too painful to bear witness to! Watching guys slug it out in slo-mo… when not in slo-mo actually sucks. You ever try to throw a punch underwater? That's how these guys look throwing punches in this film. I mean the fighting is embarrassingly slow and way to sluggish to even be considered believable in any sense of the word. Watch in the opening scene how the first actor is fazed from one drop. ONE! And it wasn't even that big of a hit! The dialogue in the film is rough – I've heard better dialogue in porn. Finally the end fight between Johnny and Tariq; I wasn't really excited about it and it didn't make much sense to me. Johnny rescues the girl and gets to keep the audio of Tariq admitting his misdeeds in the neighborhood. Why not use that as leverage to get the gym? Why did we need to go through that whole weak ass fight? Finally, for a film based on an underground fighting tournament… you'd think there would be more of that in the film. But alas… which brings us to…
I saved this one for the editing, which was atrocious. Fight scenes were either too close, or too fast and the overall editing in the film is mad choppy.
After watching Circle of Fury, I wanna go back and give Bare Knuckles a better score; even though the fights were sluggish in that film as well, at least they had plenty of it. In the end, on a 5 star rating scale, I'm giving Circle of Fury a whopping 0. But I do wanna see more Randy Spence in some serious action titles - Randy in The Expendables 2 perhaps?