It is not often that an action film almost passes me by, but Blood and Bone very nearly slipped through my net! This is a bad-ass action film with fight scenes so good I had to rewind and watch again! Although it does lack in certain areas, no martial arts fan should let this one pass them by.
We first meet Isaiah Bone (Michael Jai White) in a prison bathroom about to get shanked by a gang of bad-asses. Bone has other ideas, in a swift, action-packed fight sequence; he quickly lays them all out flat and this sets the tone for the rest of the film.
On his release from prison, Bone rents a room from a lady named Tamara (Nona Gaye) and begins to work his way from the bottom rung of the underground street fighting ladder to the top, with the encouragement of his manager Pinball (Dante Basco). For much of the film there seems to be little motive for what appears on the surface to be a pretty nice guy, getting involved in these street brawls, but of course, as in all good action films, there is a motive, and we learn that later.
Michael Jai White is very believable as the seemingly invincible Bone. The fight scenes are slick and brutal and perfectly choreographed — Blood and Bone is a film filled with testosterone, and old school action fans will love it! While the direction and acting are as good as anyone could expect for a film of this type, the screenplay does let it down slightly — Bone could have been so much cooler for the want of a couple of good one-liners. He’s built like he’s been forged from pure steel: He fears no one, he can box and do martial arts, and he’s a master swordsman; yet there is still something missing, and for me it’s the quick-wit come-backs. There’s usually at least one line in every action film that makes you think ‘I wish I could be that cool’, but curiously not in Blood and Bone, and that did leave me wanting.
Fans of Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, and Steven Seagal, could do much worse than Blood and Bone. The fight scenes are as good as any you’ll see (maybe even better), and Michael Jai White is every inch the action hero. I’d love to see what he could do with a really well-written script, because even without that, he and this movie kicks ass!
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