Friday, August 28, 2015

Martial Law II: Undercover

Jeff Wincott (LAST MAN STANDING) is the new Martial Law in the sequel to MARTIAL LAW, which brings back Cynthia Rothrock (GUARDIAN ANGEL) as his former partner, Billie Blake. Directed by Kurt Anderson, making his debut after producing pictures like PARTY LINE, THE BANKER, and MARTIAL LAW (Steve Cohen, the latter film’s director, serves as producer on the sequel), MARTIAL LAW II: UNDERCOVER finds Sean “Martial Law” Thompson (Wincott) promoted to detective and transferred to a new division.

Almost immediately, Thompson is embroiled in controversy and corruption. He believes a colleague’s drunk-driving death was no accident and that Spencer Hamilton (Paul Johansson, the director and star of ATLAS SHRUGGED, PART I), a wealthy nightclub owner, is involved. Recruiting Billie to poke around Hamilton’s club in the guise of a bartender, Thompson finds a steady stream of karate-happy ambushers between him and the truth. To no one’s surprise, none are left standing by the time the finale rolls around at the good old tried-and-true power station. Because he’s Martial Law.

Both Rothrock and Wincott were among the DTV action genre’s most dependable stars in the 1990s, and MARTIAL LAW II is a terrific example of why. Both are able to perform complex and exciting martial arts moves without quick cutting or substituting fight doubles. The martial arts scenes are fairly fast and violent for an American direct-to-video movie, boasting some nifty choreography by Jeff Pruitt, who did an even better job staging the action in Wincott’s next film, the excellent MISSION OF JUSTICE.

Casting the perennially strange Billy Drago (DELTA FORCE 2) in a straight role as Wincott’s boss seems like an odd call on the surface. The karate studio of Jun Chong, star of the memorably bad L.A. STREETFIGHTERS, is a location. Anderson and Wincott also made, in addition to MISSION OF JUSTICE, MARTIAL OUTLAW, which sounds as if it should have been another sequel, but isn’t.

1 comment:

Felicity Walker said...

I liked Jeff Wincott in Universal Soldier II and III (the low-budget made-for-cable sequels).