Eight elite fighters--prisoners from maximum security prisons around the world--are brought together by a powerful underground gambling syndicate for a secret, survival-of-the-fiercest battle competition. The prize: freedom for the champion... and a payday of millions to the organizers. Except the syndicate really doesn't plan on allowing anyone to walk free. Scott Adkins (the fearsome Weapon XI in X-Men Origins: Wolverine) returns as Boyka in a spin-kicking, iron-fisted, ground-and-pound fury of martial arts mastery. With the odds against him overwhelming, Boyka will take on the syndicate his way. If his gambit works, it might send the whole scheme crashing down around them.
You might want to check your brains at the door before watching Undisputed III: Redemption
--not because you won't need them (although that's arguable), but because they just might get beaten out in the course of this ultraviolent action-mixed martial arts fightfest. Of course, violence is what fans want and expect, and director Isaac Florentine supplies it in spades; and if the story and dialogue are no great shakes, to put it mildly, there's still enough here to sustain interest in those rare moments when fists and feet aren't flying. Scott Adkins returns as Yuri Boyka, the Bible-reading, murderous antihero of Undisputed II
. He still has the muscles, the tattoos, the Russian accent, and the bad attitude--but this time he also has a badly mangled knee, suffered in a defeat at the end of the last film, which has reduced him to a disheveled mess who mops floors in some benighted maximum-security lockup. But when he learns about the "Prison Spetz Competition," bringing together the eight toughest inmates from around the world with the promise that the ultimate victor will win his freedom, Boyka, who more than once refers to himself as "the most complete fighter in the world," naturally rises to the occasion. Not a lot that happens thereafter is hard to predict, as the sneering gambler Gaga (Mark Ivanir, also back from Undisputed II
) and his shady syndicate attempt to fix the tournament, Boyka forms an important bond with a motor-mouthed American fighter named Turbo (Mykel Shannon Jenkins), and the story proceeds toward its inevitable conclusion (after all, the film's subtitle is Redemption
). But while the action is brutal, it's also balletic; the fight scenes are vicious and bloody, but they're also beautifully choreographed, skillfully executed, and exciting to watch, making this a most entertaining example of its genre. --Sam Graham