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They Didn't Surrender

  • Dec 14, 2009
Rating:
+4
First let's get something out of the way: NO RETREAT NO SURRENDER 3 has nothing at all to do with either NRNS or it's "sequel" NRNS2, which also had nothing to do with the original film aside from sharing the title that is. The second and third films however, DO share the same star in the person of Loren Avedon but he's playing a completely different character. Here he's Will Alexander an obsessed martial artist, brother to Casey (played by karateka Keith Vitali) and son of John Alexander, both CIA veterans although DAD has been retired from The Company for a few years. The two brothers have a history of animosity and Dad (played by noted actor Joseph Campanella) hopes to get them to reconcile at his birthday party with what Will calls his latest "Rediscover the Family" plan.

However Evil is afoot in the shape of an old enemy whom Dad has continued investigating even after his retirement, and I think we all know where this is going since revenge is the lifeblood of martial arts flix. Yep. The night of the party Dad gets offed by a group of assassins headed up by none other than that very same man--an albino named Franco (Rion Hunter). Will and Casey of course, have had a big argument and stomped off in separate directions in fits of pique, but later return to find Dad dead and obviously blame each other. Predictably they can't agree about how to handle the situation; Will wants to go all Lone Wolf, while Casey wants his blood letting to be done through the proper channels, and they part ways again. Will the brothers be able to mend their broken relationship and work together to find their father's killer and see that justice is done? Are you kiding me?

Unfortunately Casey learns that The Company has a strict No Relatives Involved In Revenge Policy  that he doesn't agre with,  so he must changes his plans. After a certain amount of snooping aroundProduct Details( about 2 minutes real time) he manages to find the Top Secret files on Franco (which were about as hard to get hold of as copies of "The Auto Trader") and learns that Franco's operations are based in Florida. Casey is suddenly overwelmed with an urge to visit the Sunshine State. But since Casey isn't the brightest bulb in anybody's lamp, Will sees the files too and beats him down to the Gulf Coast  and cruises around 3 counties before Casey can even say "Duh". What happens after they get to Florida is lots of silly fun and good ol' kung fu action as Will tries to track down Franco, Casey tries to track down Will, and they both try to thwart the kidnapping of the Minister from Mozambique while everybody else in the state of Florida seems unaware that the President of the U.S. is also flying into Tampa International that day! (TIA ably played by St.Pete/ Clearwater Airport) Perhaps the real reason I love this movie as much as I do is because so much of it was shot within 10 miles of my apartment, and some of it even closer than that. I mean who would ever have thought that Corey Yuen would just pack up everything and schlep it over to Pinellas County for God's sake?! Not I. I still get a kick out recognizing the various sites they used as they appear on screen--"Oh look, there's Ric Martin's dojo! Isn't it cool they make it look like it's out in the country rather than just a free floating building in the parking lot of a strip mall?" And so it goes.

Okay so maybe that means I'm not the most unbiased eye when it comes to this one, but it really does have some good things going for it. It does have a slight sense of humor for one thing, always a plus with me. And  the choreography was the best thing we had ever seen white guys do at the time. I'm not kidding you here.  Tony Cheung (IP MAN) was giving these guys some terrific, eye-catching old school stuff and they were all doing him pround. Avedon was impressive indeed--loose and fast. Vitali kept up but showed that a lot of time in the ring doesn't always translate well to the screen, and the villains, especially Hunter and Mark Russo  (a well known martial artist himself) were worthy adversaries.

Keep your eyes peeled for COLBERT REPORT'S Aasif Mandiv in a small role as a terrorist.
They Didn't Surrender They Didn't Surrender They Didn't Surrender They Didn't Surrender They Didn't Surrender

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December 14, 2009
oohhh yeh! Great way to come back to reviewing, Karen! It has been many years since I saw this one, and I agree wholeheartedly with your review. Seems like in the 80's, revenge is the one premise that is the common denominator to martial arts flicks. Keith Vitali and Loren Avedon were great during this time...actually they were great...period.
December 14, 2009
Vitali was good enough to find a spot in MEALS ON WHEELS. But it's always been my contention that forms competitors make better m/a film stars than do the fighters--they know how to sell it and make it look good.
December 14, 2009
almost forgot that he was in that movie. Benny Jet Iniguez was awesome in that flick too!
December 14, 2009
Now I forgot that HE was in it until just last night. Of course I haven't seen it in years so I have a good excuse--not really though since he has that major fight scene! How could anybody forget that?!
 
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Not a bad m/a flick but best enjoyed by people who live in the Tampa Bay area where the film was shot.
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karen ()
Ranked #1
I am the poster child for inertia. Where ever I am is where I plan to stay FOREVER.   So much so in fact that it took me decades to understand the punchline about why   the chicken … more
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Genre: Action, Adventure
Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

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"They Didn't Surrender"
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