Night of the Warrior (1991) – Review

1/2 Star

Lorenzo Lamas had a brief career run as a B-movie Martial Arts action star. Night of the Warrior is one of his lesser efforts. It’s a film that is overly artsy, misguided, and boring for long stretches. Written by another Martial Arts headliner Thomas Ian Griffith and directed with too much attention to the non-fighting elements of the story by Rafael Zielinski. This is a movie which feels like a Red Shoe Diary episode with some martial arts sequences thrown in to sell the product to two fanbases. Night of the Warrior doesn’t work as an action flick or soft-core romance.

Miles Keane (Lorenzo Lamas) is a club owner in downtown Los Angeles. He’s indebted to a shady promoter, Lynch (Anthony Geary), who fronted him start-up money. To repay the loan Miles must participate in an illegal kickboxing circuit. One fight away from financial freedom Miles is forced into one last bout.

While not taking photos of homeless people on the streets of L.A., Miles pesters a local waitress into dating him. Although he generally just pouts or acts creepy somehow this attractive blonde keeps coming back for more abuse. Miles Keane is such an unappealing character that it’s tough to get involved in any part of the story.

Night of the Warrior is so unappealing on all fronts that it doesn’t surprise me that it’s taken over 25 years for me to watch it. I’m an unapologetic fan of the genre and have seen an uncountable number of these types of movies. While it’s been written, directed, and acted with care it’s not the project to infuse with high-fluent artistic integrity. Night of the Warrior should be a breezy enjoyable martial arts acioner. It feels as if the director begrudgingly filmed the action stuff but, was clearly more interested in staging dance sequences for the club scenes, and showing Miles photo shoots. I hate this movie. As a long-time fan of Thomas Ian Griffith and Lamas this was a highly disappointing experience.

Director: Rafael Zielinski
Stars: Lorenzo Lamas, Kathleen Kinmont, Anthony Geary

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