Top critical review
Van Damme needs Moore plot!
on November 6, 2003
This film wasn't too bad considering it was directed and cowritten by star Jean-Claude Van Damme. The movie starts off in the 1920's with Van Damme dressed as a clown wearing stilts working with street orphans to steal some money from gangsters. He escapes from gangsters before being chased by the police onto a ship. The next morning, out to sea, the ship owners chain up the stowaway and put him to work. Shortly after the ship is ambushed by British cavaliers, led by Roger Moore, which free him only to bring him to an island and sell him to the Mutai to be a fighter.
The movie quickly changes from an adventure story to a video-game movie the likes of Tekken. All of the best fighters in the world are invited to fight in a tournament at the Lost City for the prize of Golden Dragon and honor. The fighters are acted by real fighting champions from around the world. Each brings his own fighting style resulting in some satisfying matches which is the saving grace of the film.
This film would have been much improved with plot twists and more attention paid the the back story of Van Damme's orphaned past to gain a better appreciation of why the fighting is so important to him.