D.O.A.: Dead or Alive
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Tina (Pressly), Christie (Valance), Kasumi (Aoki) and Helena (Carter) are four skilled martial artists whose outwardly sexy appearances betray their true, lethal natures. When the fearsome females each receive an invitation to take part in an illegal martial arts competition, the prospect of a ten-million-dollar top prize is only sweetened by the fact that they will be facing off against some of the toughest fighters on the planet. The girls check their inhibitions at the beach and prepare for a series of fights that will test not only their strength, stamina, and endurance, but the very foundation of their dedication to the martial arts as well.
- "East Meets West: Behind the Action of DOA"
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I also love the fact that the 'violence' isn't the least bit graphic. No blood shed at all, and a very fun film! 😄
The leads do a good enough job, but the main problem lies in the rampant over editing. Every fight scene is cut to smithereens. And it's a real shame too since the director has done martial arts films before, and judging by the behind the scenes footage, the performers weren't terrible either. In other words, no need to mask absolutely everything.
The film does earn a whole star for stopping the plot to include a gratuitous volleyball scene, just like the infamous spinoff video game.
While the story was great, I have to applaud the cast. Their acting skills, physical abilities, and charisma made the movie entertaining.
The movie focuses on four women, and a couple of men who tag along to some undiscovered East Asian island for a fight tournament that has been taking place annually for 21 years. The winner to get 10 million dollars (US dollars, HK dollars, we don't know.
Three of the women, played by Jaime Pressley, Holly Valance, Devon Aoki become friends. Sarah Carter plays the daughter of the man who sponsored the tournament until his untimely death preceding this current one. The current organizer, played by Eric Roberts, turns out to have some devious ideas.
Each of the women have ulterior motives. Jaimie Pressly plays a women's wrestler and daughter of another wrestler played by Kevin Nash (also invited to the tournament). She needs to prove to herself that she is also a warrior despite professional wrestling's reputation as a fake sport. Holly Valance plays a thief who is there to steal the $100 million in the vault, Devon Aoki plays a ninja clan princess there to find her brother who had disappeared at the previous year's tournament - she is being chased by Natassia Malthe, who is sent to assassinate her for leaving the clan. Meanwhile, she is being guarded by Kane Kosugi (who was also invited to the tournament).
Each actress is into character and does a good job displaying the motivations behind her character. There is a good chemistry between the actresses on screen, and it's very believable that they become friends despite being rivals. And the chemistry is there among all the cast, between Valance and Matthew Marsden, who plays Valance's partner in crime and romance, and Aoki and Kosugi, who share an unsaid fondness for each other. The action scenes are fun and varied, some ranging from the comdedic Jackie Chan style and some straight-forward fights. Male viewers get a bonus of eye candy, escpecially with the women's beach volleyball scene.
The dvd extras deserve special mention with the cast interviews, which complement the film very well. Of course, this is B movie, but one that stands out - not only does it do action well, but characters I cared for, good characterization, good acting all-around anc good direction.
Most recent customer reviews
so to get all the fighters in the same place without knowing what...Read more