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  No Retreat, No Surrender 3: Blood Brothers This One's For Family
Year: 1990
Director: Lucas Lowe
Stars: Loren Avedon, Keith Vitali, Joseph Campanella, Wanda Acuna, Luke Askew, Rion Hunter, Mark Russo, David Michael Sterling, Philip Benson, Sherrie Rose, Mike Genova, D. Christian Gottshall, Brett Ancell, B.J. McQueen, Tracey Berg, Amos Miller
Genre: Action, Thriller, Martial ArtsBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Washington D.C. and at this bank there's a robbery going down, staged by terrorists no less. Once they've rounded up the staff and customers, they begin to prepare for their schemes coming to fruition, or they would if they were not interrupted by a whiny customer begging for his life and putting forward the young woman next to him as a candidate for execution. One of the criminals takes this as an example of typical American snivelling cowardice - but he's been fooled! This man is Casey Alexander (Keith Vitali), a highly trained C.I.A. operative who makes quick work of the baddies.

In an unusual twist on the story of the Alexander Brothers, this biopic featured not one example of Scottish country dancing and nary an accordion was to be heard - ah, no, wait a second, the Blood Brothers of the title were an alternative couple of siblings, one of them being Will, played by Loren Avedon who had starred in the previous No Retreat, No Surrender flick. Unlike the first two instalments, this was a Hong Kong production all the way, in spite of their strenuous efforts to disguise the fact with its super-patriotism for the United States which included a guest appearance by then-President George Bush, and a cast where there wasn't an East Asian face cropping up anywhere.

There was a journey for Will to go on, and that took up the main theme of brothers coming to terms with each other: at the 65th birthday party of their father (Joseph Campanella), Will falls out yet again with Casey, calling the C.I.A. "baby killers" as we see his brother's choice of occupation is a bone of contention with our right-on hero. Not that the film surrounding him is in any doubt that The Company (as the spooks apparently like to be called) is an exemplary organisation, and devotes much of its running time to proving that, although there is a late on twist featuring a rogue agent which has the tone wavering a tad. Yet even then, it was all an excuse for boots to the head and punches up the bracket.

It did get complicated however when dear old dad, who we witness being something of a prankster as he ties a young agent to a tree when his old boss arrives to meet him (like you do), is bumped off by his enemies, who turn out to be emissaries of a terrorist called Franco (Rion Hunter, with not only his hair bleached blond but his eyebrows as well). Will feels the need to hunt him down alone, but Casey is not having that and with his Agency contacts, some more above board than others - and including a very camp computer operator who apparently types "ACCESS DENIED" himself when access to files is denied - Casey is hot on both the trail of his brother and Franco. As if that wasn't complex enough, Will heads for Florida and enlists the help of a local martial arts school.

They assist him in staging a bar room brawl which wins over the bad guys so he can go undercover, if you like, with them and get close enough to their leader to bring him to justice. And we know what that means in NRNS speak, yes, beat him up, or rather beat up his stunt double who is obviously a bloke with a white wig on, and hilariously obvious at that. But that's for the grand finale, until then the two brothers must reluctantly become allies in their battle against Franco's goons, with one scene where Will pretends to beat up Casey a supposed comedy highlight, but not half as amusing as the bits you're meant to take seriously. Throw in love interest for Casey (Will is unlucky or uninterested in that area) in the shape of Maria (Wanda Acuna), who he employs as an operative, placing her in inevitable peril in the process, and this was a hell of an overinvolved action movie even for the third in the series. Rest assured, no matter how absurd it got, the fighting was all anyone was captivated by. Music by Richard Yuen.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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