torsdag 13 april 2017


This has been a long awaited sequel to say the least. Despite the problem of piracy, director/producer Isaac Florentine and Scott Adkins managed to scrape together enough  cash to make another one.  And for those of you who pirated the last movie, you can stop reading  this and go fuck yourself. Or at least feel some kind of shame, and redeem yourself and buy this film legally. As I did. This was recently released in Sweden on bluray/dvd.

The Undisputeds are the kind of lowbudget movies that are much more vulnerable to piracy as the profit margins are not as high as the bigger budget blockbusters so the sales must  be good enough to warrant a sequel, and as this one already seem to suffer the same fate as part 3 then I am sad to say it will probably be no more of these made. Sad, becaue Boyka is such an unusually rich character.

The first Undisputed was directed by Hollywood legend Walter Hill, starring Wesley Snipes and Ving Rhames. Rhames, a famous heavy weight champ gets convicted for rape , and is sent to a prison in which boxing seem to be a norm and tournaments being held. The reigning champion of the prison is Wesley Snipes. I have to say, it is a very bland film that never tries to delve deeper into the inner workings of underground prison fighting. Until....

Undisputed 2. Directed by israeli stuntman Isaac Florentine and now starring Micahael Jai White ( Black Dynamite) in the Ving Rhames role. Now set free and forced to do Russian commercials, in  well, Russia he is now framed and put in Siberian prison where another fighter played by Scott Adkins lurks. His name: Yuri Boyka , undisputed Russian champion and self-proclaimed "the most complete fighter in the world". Boyka, the prison king of fighters this time loses to Whites character, so there is a reverse in this one. This one and the rest of the series combines dynamic fight sequences with much more world building in terms of the underground fighting and has two very charismatic leads in what would have been an otherwise obscure boxing franchise. This is the one in which boxing starts to get relegated and  replaced by high flying kicks, mixed martial arts and just beautifully choreographed and brutal fight scenes that could rivel the masters of Hong Kong action cinema

Undisputed 3  also directed by Florentine, focuses on Boyka returning from his loss and getting back to form. Boykas is the point of view we take in this one and an entry that is so important to understanding both the character of Boyka but also the seduction of this franchise.

Part 2-3  starts Boykas journey from a villain to becoming a better person or at least we are lead to believe that. At the end of part 3 Boyka is being set free and now for the first time in many years Boyka is free to go wherever he pleases.

Until now. Boyka is the first film in the franchise that follows previous perspective. How could this franchise  go on in an interesting new way?

I think Boyka tries to be a  redemption story despite that part 3 was labeled Redemption, But with Boykas past and experience with the last few films, it kind of means something; this existential conondrum that has hit our hero once he has become free from prison, trying to help out at a local church. Boyka wants to redeem himself from his past. But he don´t realize his prisoner ways are still in check.

He keeps fighting in the ring in regulated fights, but his obsession of winning ends up with killing someone that we are being told has the same kind of suicidal drive of Boyka. He then seeks up the widow, who has managed to come into trouble as her late husband was in debt to a Russian mob boss and she is now indebted into white slavery because of she cannot pay.

Boyka wants to redeem hinself by offering to pay off her debt change for fighting for the scumbag boss.

That is more story than I like to indulge, but I  was surprised that Adkins/Florentine/Davidson/White etc. managed to create a story for Boyka outside of prison that worked. For me it felt like a purgatory part one must go through, and that at the end of the third film that was the end to the story. But that just shows how much of a handle these dudes have on this guy.    Boyka  is a villain working himself slowly towards the light. Or think he can as he is raised catholic and believes in redemption.  He is stumbling through these films from the fall of the second film, he rises in the third and now he wants to do better, but his former life does still hold a grudge to him and as a tragic result his old life quickly still hold him in a a grasp. Like most prisoners, serving a long term sentence, they have probably a hard time adapting to a new way of life. It is kind of sad when you have to face that you have little choice to change or adapt.

Boyka:Undisputed is not just a solid sequel , but the kind of action film starring people who actually are good at martial arts, displaying their skills at their best potential. The story is well crafted, and despite a new director on helm (Todor Chapkanov) is on board a lot of Florentines´ own flourishes are still there. The swooshing sound effects, the un-subtle zoom-ins. All of these that gives you an almost Shaw Brother-esque experience. It is all there. Don´t worry. The fights deliver in spades. Shot extremely well as usual with wide angle lenses that captures the movements perfectly.

Boyka is back. And I am glad he is. We missed you ,bud!

For those of you who want to see Scott Adkins in action and never have, here is a compilation video:


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