Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Karate Cop

   In Karate Cop, the unfortunately tame-faced star, Ron Marchini, wears a hat that says "SPECIAL POLICE"- and in this post apocalyptic world, that's not exactly threatening. It brings to mind the Special Olympics, or perhaps Special Needs. There's no real police force left in the world, so who is Officer John Travis wearing this hat for? Himself? Despite all this, nobody is laughing once he lays the smack down with his feet, his fists, or a goddamn staff. There's more whoop-ass in Marchini's little finger than the average man has in his whole body. (I might be exaggerating slightly. Only slightly, though.) I love it.

   Marchini can't deliver a convincing line of dialog to save his life- luckily he's also a skilled martial artist. His facial expressions are on point though. There's such a huge divide between this guy's ability to deliver dialog and his body language. Little glances and an eye roll or two actually make Officer Travis seem like a bit of a sassy-pants, and of course- it's glorious. The movie seems to lose it's way more or less after the halfway point, but not for lack of wacky shit. Karate Cop is nothing if not consistently entertaining- intentionally and otherwise.

   To be frank, this makes American Eagle look like Oscar gold. Marchini looks like Ron Howard on steroids, the main villain looks like Immortan Joe by way of Guy Fieri and Jon Jeremy. David Carradine is the best actor in this movie, delivers the best performance, and he's only in the damn thing for maybe two minutes... as a bartender. The funny thing is, there's nothing about the story or the characters that's beyond saving. Recast Ron Marchini (or hire an acting coach) and the villain, drop another few million into the overall production, and voila.

I could easily see this being a decent, if unspectacular Chuck Norris vehicle. Despite all of this though, there's a VHS-level charm to the movie. Ron Marchini can clearly fight, and the movie doesn't waste time making him do much else. The whole thing plays like a non-stop chase and then back again. There's shootouts and gladiatorial pit-fights, and explosions, and juuuust a bit of T&A. At times, the production design was on point, and I was convinced this was a post apocalyptic wasteland, ruled by crazed dictators and weird mutants. That's gotta count for something right?

I enjoyed Karate Cop. It was dumber than a sack of bricks, but for fuck's sake- it's a movie starring a guy named Ron, called Karate Cop. It's a hair's breadth away from becoming a porno as is. Yet, this is the kind of movie that pop culture has taken to glorifying in abstract, with all-encompassing homages like Kung Fury, or the video game Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. There's a palpable fondness out there for shitty action movies like this. I should know, I feel the same way.

No comments:

Post a Comment