RiffMeter (125 votes)
An organized crime syndicate is attempting to muscle out all the karate dojos in the country with the aid of deadly Russian black belt, and it’s up to the new kid in town and his breakdancing sidekick to defeat them, if the local bully doesn’t stop him first!
Here is a test: at which point in the above sentence did you realize the film was a product of the 80s?
A. After “Karate Dojos”
B. After “Deadly Russian”
C. After “Breakdancing sidekick”
D. I actually thought it was a Sofia Coppola film from the late 2000s
If you answered A, B, or C, then congratulations! Your senses have been honed to detect the fine subtleties of 80s cheese and you are going to enjoy the hell out of No Retreat, No Surrender. “Borrowing” the jingoism of Rocky IV and pretty much everything else from The Karate Kid, it adds the baffling twist of having our hero learn karate from the ghost of Bruce Lee. It is the second most unrealistic thing in the movie after having Jean Claude Van Damme portray a Russian.
Co-starring other 80s staples such as the fat guy who is always eating (otherwise viewers might not have noticed that he is fat) and training montages that out-parody every training montage parody you’ve ever seen, No Retreat, No Surrenderwill get you so pumped up you’ll be tempted to forgive Van Damme for Street Fighter. All that’s missing is a ponytailed, toxic waste dumping millionaire to deem it: “Perfect…”
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