Force: Five (1981)
After you’ve made the best and worst Bruce Lee movies — Enter the Dragon and Game of Death, for the record — where is there left to go? One failed Jackie Chan flick later, director Robert Clouse did the math, and the result was Force: Five.
The Rev. Rhee (Bong Soo Han, The Kentucky Fried Movie) runs an island cult full of trust-fund babies and silver spooners who sign over their inheritances. After a hired assassin fails to kill him, a wheelchair-bound U.S. senator approaches poufy-haired tuffie Martin (kickboxer Joe Lewis) to rescue his daughter (Amanda Wyss, A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s Tina) from Rhee and his 50 guards. Martin says he can do the task with the help of five … Force: Five!
They include poncho-clad Billy Ortega (kickboxer Benny Urquidez); big, black cyclist Lockjaw (Sonny Barnes, Gymkata); Aussie pool hustler Ezekiel (The Octagon‘s Richard Norton, here looking like Hulk Hogan dressing as Matthew McConaughey’s Dazed and Confused character for Halloween); and Laurie (Pam Huntington), the one with the tits, all the better to distract evil minions. Each is introduced with his own fight scene, karate-kicking an entire group of thugs, except for Laurie, who appears in an open silk robe. For Clouse, this counts as character development.
After busting ace chopper pilot Willard (Ron Hayden) out of prison to join the covert mission — wait, wait, wouldn’t that make this Force: Six? — the team infiltrates the Rhee compound — home to an underground maze complete with live bull! — and proceeds to beat the living shit out of everybody. One guy gets it with a saw blade, prompting Ezekiel to quip, “Thank God for Black & Decker!”
This is not as much fun as it sounds. I actually got bored with all the punching and Wilhelm screams. Ultimately, it’s too Clouse for comfort. —Rod Lott