Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Honor and Glory? Rifftrax Says They're Missing Here

Rifftrax is well-known for mocking movies of every genre, including martial arts. It targeted a classic Bruce Lee movie,  a lousy Karate Kid knockoff with Jean-Claude Van Damme, and a movie where karate kids battle slum lords.

But Honor and Glory is so amazingly awful it makes any 3 Ninjas movie like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It features Cynthia Rothrock, a martial arts champ who did great in Hong Kong movies but not so well in the states. She may have a black belt in several martial arts, but she doesn't even have a brown belt in acting. Ronda Rousey's hair does, and that's the problem.

The script is even worse. Here's the first five minutes:  a Hong Kong cop goes into a break room, and is attacked by Rothrock. He's interrupted by someone telling him he's got a phone call, and she stops. Then they have a friendly chat, and it's revealed her name's Tracy and works with the FBI. This is an odd way for two friends to react.
Then we see her sister Joyce (Donna Jason),whose TV report is interrupted by someone who's referred to as "Bitter Girl." Seems she's mad at the reporter for insulting her senator dad, and also tries to cut the reporter with a knife. Reporter gal stops her with some karate, too, then shrugs off the whole experience in record time. Apparently, senators' daughters can attack people with knives, and getting the police involved is too complicated. It doesn't help both sisters sound like aging valley girls, or Tracy is dressed like Hillary Clinton, down to the hairdo.

It does downhill from there, Rothrock has a problem with her dad while sis wants them to get along. Then there's the main bad guy, Jason Slade (John Miller), a top banker who's also involved in a plan to buy a nuclear detonator. He's arrogant, cruel and the worst of all the actors in this movie. He's also into martial arts, but that includes twirling the world's biggest letter opener.

There's also a bodyguard who pretends to be Eddie Murphy who decides to switch sides when Slade kills someone with his bare hands. That process, by the way, is punching a heavy bag and battling four other guys. That's supposed to be character development. Terrible transitions in the league of Astro-Zombies doesn't help either.

Oh, and this is the "Middle East" guy who's ready to sell Slade the detonator. Ken Patera was a more convincing sheikh.

Rothrock has been in slightly better B-movies where she really does good moves, such as this one:

But a movie that ends with Joyce gives a live TV report thanks to a crew that appears out of nowhere..and forgets to resolve the other storylines?

Rothrock got better after this movie, or at least avoided Honor and Glory II. Rousey, meanwhile, already got better.

Now the riffs:

Slade tells his board of directors he isn't quitting despite concerns about scandal at his bank.
"I am chairman of the board, for life"
Frank Sinatra appears and punches him out.

Joyce meditates on a hammock
I want to achieve enlightenment but I'm not into the whole dignity thing

Tracy meets Silk, a pimp who's involved in Slade's plan, and he tries to get away
From awkward flirty banter to awkward clumsy fighting in no time flat.

Slade grabs Dad, and has him beaten by his goons
Comcast customer service.

There's also riffs on Dateline, In Living Color, Pretty Woman and the Iron Sheik. The movie is available at rifftrax.com

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