No Contest II: AKA Face The Evil Film Review

VHS scan courtesy of Talesfromthesnikt.blogspot.com
This is the perfect example of why you can't have too much of a good thing. When  I randomly came across the first film in the series, No Contest about a year ago, it was more than just a pleasant surprise. It was awesome. I fucking loved it. Essentially just a low-budget Die Hard ripoff, it ended up being one of the better ones in a sea of Die Hard ripoffs. In fact, it's damn near an identical clone! What was even more surprising, aside from it's impressive casting, was that it was directed by Paul Lynch, who's only real big credit was directing the very first Prom Night. He again returns in the director's chair, and again re-teams with star Shannon Tweed.

In this sequel, oddly re-titled Face The Evil here in the U.S., they bring along the always reliable baddie Lance Henrikeson, and Bruce Payne, who shockingly turns a good guy performance this time around. While not as impressive as the cast of the first film, they do solid work with what they have to work with.

Aesthetically, director Paul Lynch seems to kind of go-through-the-motions here. While a competent
VHS scan courtesy of VHSCollector.com
looking film, it's a far cry from his slick streamlined approach where he was channeling John McTiernan. Here he takes a much looser and more freestyle approach, meaning you won't find any of the impressive widescreen shots and kickass camerawork that made the first one so good.

I have to admit. I had high hopes for this one. I mean, how could I not? The first one was just so fun and well made when I wasn't really expecting much to begin with. And knowing the same star and director were returning only got my excitement even hotter. But while the story, about a mad man who wants to release a chemical agent that kills instantly, was okay, the many sub-par fight scenes, action sequences, and less than stellar camerawork leave you let down.

While knowing full well that Shannon Tweed cannot possibly do most of the fighting and stunts in both of these films, it was easier to take seeing her stunt double the first time around simply because the first one was a much better and enjoyable film all around. Here though, it comes off as annoying when 90% of the time you see a stunt double with a bad blonde wig doing everything, even the simplest punches, kicks, or tumbles.

I think what this film does best is remind you how good the first film was, and if anything, get's you to go back and revisit that randomly surprising film.

No comments:

Post a Comment