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Uber MMA fighter manager IVY REED is unique as a woman in a male-dominated field, using a special formula to find her champion fighters. Though her trainer JIMMY doesn't see eye to eye with her, he nevertheless works with her latest crop of "auditionees," DUSTIN, CONNOR, TYLER, HUNTER and MASON, to see which will have the career making boost of being managed by Ivy.
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The story: a legendary manager of champions (Rothrock, Undefeatable) invites five young fighters to her villa to select her next big star - a decision she will make by observing them train, spar, and take showers.
Let me reiterate, this is not really an action movie. There are five fight scenes between the male performers, but their choreography is lackluster - lots of bouncing around and fist-tapping - and the camera is forever zooming in and out on the action. The most offense Rothrock gets in is giving some of her costars dirty looks. It's a dark day, if someone is throwing kicks in a movie Cynthia's in and it's not her... Of course, if we substitute fight scenes with scenes of the performers showing off their semi-naked forms, the movie becomes a bit more substantial. I have never seen so many prolonged training scenes, shower scenes, and shots of men walking around in their underwear for no reason in a single film. I think literally half of the runtime is given over to these dialogue-free montages. Could this be appealing to the right audience? - definitely. Would I still have picked this one up, had I known it was this kind of movie? - definitely not.
Given the kind of film this is, any kind of plot is completely facetious, and "Badass Showdown" looks rather foolish when trying for the minimum. There are parts in here about the tension between Rothrock and her young protégé (Josh Griego), a shady deal between the contestants played by Kip Canyon (Puppet Master X: Axis Rising) and Brandon Schinaman (2: Voodoo Academy), and a very last-minute insertion about the parentage of Jarrid Balis' character, but all writing for the film feels like a second priority and inconsequential - more so than that of any regular dumb action flick. Production-wise, the movie's still better than a lot of the no-budget junk flooding the market these days, but it still looks pretty cheap. Most of the camerawork is handheld, there are many time-killing environment shots, and the entire picture takes place in a single limited location. The movie tries nothing ambitious, which is probably for the best given its resources and agenda, but it's all the more boring on account of it.
I have no earthly idea what Cynthia Rothrock was doing in this movie. It has to be one of the easiest projects of her career, and also one of the very worst, even without the considerable disappointment factor of this being her first film offering in four or five years. Shame on the producers for marketing this one as an action movie. Even if looking at handsome men in their underwear is your kind of thing, the internet has enabled you to pursue that activity for free - no need to spend $18 on junk like this.