Arc Entertainment // 2010 // 93 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // June 6th, 2012
Fighting well is the best revenge.
Oh, by the way, there's no fighting in this movie.
Knockdown tells the tale of disgraced boxer Jack Stemmons (Casey T. Evans), who found himself the victim of a brutal fix job. Enraged, he took his anger out on the bookie (Tom Arnold, True Lies) who rigged the fight and nuked his career. After administering a thunderous beatdown, Jack fled to Bangkok to begin a new life in exile, court a lovely lady of the evening (Bai Ling, The Crow), and maybe, just maybe, get himself back into the ring for a shot at redemption.
Except, of course, there's no fighting in this movie, so who cares? Once again the sly DVD marketers have delivered a snookering act, positioning a film that is no way an action-fest, as...well, an action-fest. Between star Casey Evans posing with his gun on the disc cover and Tom Arnold posing with his gun on the disc cover, you could be forgiven for thinking fusillades and squib detonations awaited you.
Nope. Knockdown is a straight-arrow, character-driven, dialogue-drenched drama -- and not a terribly effective one at that. The story is told via flashback, as our protagonist -- who looks unsettlingly like Zach Galifianakis -- recounts his misadventures in Thailand, his encounter with Bai Ling's character, and his eventual intersection with points from his past. You get a definite noir vibe here and the hard-boiled feel of the film gives it some juice, but there's an inescapable reality: the story is lethally dull.
Jack Stemmons just isn't that interesting and the only charismatic character in the whole production -- Tom Arnold's profane, douchebag bookie -- is essentially reduced to a cameo. As for Bai Ling? Her performance is typically Bai Ling. This leaves us with the plot and, like the headliner, there's nothing of note here; man-on-the-run from a dark past, seedy criminal world comes calling, mysterious woman messes with his head, predictably bloody ending. No thanks.
Arc's DVD is bare-bones: standard definition 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby 5.1 Surround, and no extras.
Guilty. Don't bother getting up from this knockdown.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Arc Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Rated R