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Redbelt

A movie directed by David Mamet

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Oh! It Could've Been Amazingly Good

  • Sep 19, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+4
Redbelt was so so close to being one of the few films that earn the rarity of being called classic. The film is about Mike Terry who is a jiu jitsu self defense teacher. He is a very skilled teacher and owns his own dojo but the money just isn't rolling in. More problems follow as a nervous woman comes stumbling into his studio. The woman is so scared and nervous that she grabs a gun that belonged to Mike's student, and shoots the dojo window out. The student was a cop and was nice enough to let the woman go but Mike didn't have the cash to pay for it.

Mike's financial problems just don't seem to be able to go right. Mike gets lucky when he runs into the famous actor Chet Frank (Tim Allen). Unfortunately he runs into him while he's getting beat up at the bar. Mike saves Chet from what was going to be one harsh beat down. Chet takes a likening to Mike's fighting skills and invites him to a few meetings. No matter what Mike just can't seem to defeat the reality of successfully living his life with such strict morals. All Mike has to do is fight and he won't have to worry about money but this is not what he believes.

Redbelt is a little hard to put a star rating on. It is definitely not 5 stars but is just between a high 3 and low 4. The movie was special and I say special because even though it had this one huge problem, I still liked it. The huge problem being that there was not enough action or at least not enough for the amount advertised. It is not really fast paced or whatever the other quotes were from the bigtime reviewers. It just wasn't enough for the movie to be what it should.

Mamet focoses way too much on Terry's problems and morals. Now, the fight scenes that were in the film were beautifully done and original. You see too many martial arts films these days that try to do a bit too much. Also, the camera angels are great so that the viewer can see all of the moves. I loved Chiwetel Ejiofor in "Serenity" when he was the bad assassin. I knew that he would probably would not let down viewers . Ejiofor is a great actor and had a great performance as Mike Terry. The supporting was pretty good also but Ejiofor was ran the show and kept me into it. Really, Redbelt was so close to being darn near perfect but lost it with that lack of action. Pick it up if you want a slow paced martial arts flick or you just liked the preview like me, you shouldn't be too disappointed.

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More Redbelt reviews
review by . January 19, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
scene
Mixed Martial Arts have been in the spotlight ever since the emergence of UFC and some Hollywood films such as the Karate Kid clone "Never Back Down" (which I have also reviewed) have attempted to capitalize on its popularity. Writer/director David Mamet's "REDBELT" may well be the best U.S. filmmakers have come up with in regards to the world of Jiu-Jitsu and mixed martial arts. The film is about honor and integrity, it cleverly blends the Japanese "code of the Samurai" …
review by . August 28, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A GREAT FILM WITH RANDY COUTURE
      REDBELT      I have been a fan of Martial Arts and a practitioner since I was born seeing that some of my uncles and such were black belts in Karate or Jiu-Jitsu [love it]. And of course I have been a fan of MMA since 1993 I believe it was when the Gracie's debuted the UFC. Now it seems that the art form and now worldwide popular sport that I have loved since I was born is reaching that mainstream status. I guess that is both a bad and a good thing …
review by . July 30, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A GREAT FILM WITH RANDY COUTURE
      REDBELT      I have been a fan of Martial Arts and a practitioner since I was born seeing that some of my uncles and such were black belts in Karate or Jiu-Jitsu [love it]. And of course I have been a fan of MMA since 1993 I believe it was when the Gracie's debuted the UFC. Now it seems that the art form and now worldwide popular sport that I have loved since I was born is reaching that mainstream status. I guess that is both a bad and a good thing …
review by . August 31, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
David Mamet pulls off another distinctive and compelling take on traditional genres with this compelling story of a modern day samurai.     Mike Terry runs a school/dojo for fighters, jiu-jitsu style. A key doctrine of his school is that there is no situation that cannot be mastered, that obstacles to escape are all in the mind. He aims at purity in his methods -- fighting is not about gaining rewards or fame. Of course, this means he is barely making ends meet with his business …
About the reviewer
Keith A Jones ()
Ranked #139
Member Since: Aug 15, 2010
Last Login: Sep 9, 2013 04:22 PM UTC
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In the west-side of Los Angeles fight world, a world inhabited by bouncers, cagefighters, cops and special forces types, Mike Terry is a Jiu-Jitsu teacher who has avoided the prize fighting circuit, choosing instead to pursue an honorable life by operating a self-defense studio with a samurai’s code. Terry and his wife Sondra struggle to keep the business running to make ends meet. An accident on a dark, rainy night at the Academy between an off duty officer and a distraught lawyer puts in motion a series of events that will change Terry’s life dramatically introducing him to a world of promoters and movie star Chet Frank. Faced with this, in order to pay off his debts and regain his honor, Terry must step into the ring for the first time in his life.

Like David Mamet's previous films,Redbelt's narrative slowly exposes the well-guarded secrets of systems shrouded in mystique and conspiracy, this time at martial-arts academies and on Hollywood film and television sets. Reminiscent ofRocky,Redbeltis an unapologetically moralistic tale of an impoverished, inner city Jiu Jitsu instructor whose idealism is an affront to those who seek to sink him. Mike Terry (Chiwetel Ejiofor), unknowingly affiliated with the wealthy Brazilian family who rigs televised MMA matches, naively rescues actor Chet Frank (Tim Allen) from being mutilated in a bar brawl, but isn't able to link Frank's sketchy relations until Terry's life is endangered. Fated to ...
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