No Retreat No Surrender
film review by Wmpyr
I had never fully seen this film from beginning to end until now, there are many good reviews on it here on youtube, so instead of the typical review, I'm going to talk about why it's good to watch, and what to look for.
if you were around the age of highschool in the 80s then this film would have been epic for just about any guy. To me the main character in this film is like an improvement of Daniel-san in the original Karate Kid, don't get me wrong the original Karate Kid is a way better film, but think of it this way, this film appeals more to the male fantasy. Daniel-san learns karate from Mr. Miyagi after being bullied. The main character in this film his dad is a martial arts instructor, so he is already an experienced martial artist, and if that wasn't cool enough, he is a huge Bruce lee fan.
Now in this film we have mobsters, fights in the dojo, bad karate schools, there is a love interest, training scenes, 80s style montage and fighting bullies, but let's talk about the fantasy part, so your the guy that doesn't really belong in any group in highschool, but at the same time, your not really a nerd because this guy is in tremendous shape, and in the trainging sequence you'll get to see some hardcore stuff. it's weird because he looks like a kid but then again at some angles he's build like an adult athlete. His friend RJ is like the perfect friend, helps you hook up with your girl, lends you a trianing place to stay, helps you train and then ontop of that is a breakdancing champion, who wouldn't want a friend like that.
let me just say here that there is a really weird exercise scene with the main character RJ and icecream. there is a scene where he saves his Dad, in a street fight, how cool is that? now lets get to the ultimate scene, this film has been called a shameless bruce lee exploitation flick, but really who doesnt want private lessons from the ghost of bruce lee?
the film is also called a van damme flick, but he's in it only for a short period of time, but other reviewers have said that he does a great job as a villain and the fights scenes were good. JCVD is young in this film but he still looks like an adult, so in the end one more fantasy, not only does the main character defeat the super muscular bad guy monster who dishonored his dad, there is that element of beating up an adult.
personally I prefer NRNS 2, which is nothing like this one at all in anyway, but I still enjoyed this one and if 80s B movie MA flicks appeals to you then this is a classic.