Note: This will be a weekly blog feature, as our award-winning film critic recommends at least one newly released film to see over the weekend. Sometimes it will be speculative; others, based on actual films seen. Opinions of LYT do not necessarily reflect those of other human beings.
The Weinsteins clearly want to kill this film dead, releasing it on the same day as a mega-budget superhero film starring Jessica Alba, and giving it little or no fanfare. I don't know why – a martial arts movie choreographed by one of the Yuen brothers and starring multiple gorgeous ladies in bikinis seems like a guaranteed moneymaker. I guess it's been getting bad buzz in Europe, where it already opened, and certainly, it's not the type of movie you'd expect to get critical acclaim: a video game adaptation about a fighting tournament held on “Dead-or-Alive Island” (what, you never heard of it? It's right next to 'Parts Unknown”) where the greatest warriors in the world, most of whom happen to be semi-naked chicks, square off for bragging rights, but also so that evil mad scientist Eric Roberts can analyze all their moves and steal their skills with his nanoprobes, or something. And as in the original video game series, there's a beach volleyball sequence that has nothing to do with the, uh...plot? Nahh, better not use the p-word on this movie.
What we have here is a live-action issue of Maxim, or Stuff – bikinis, explosions, martial arts, and some pro-wrestling. It's PG-13, so you know going in that there won't be gore or blatant nudity, but things get as close as the MPAA allows. I almost felt burned out at a certain point from all the fights. Almost.
Last December, when the movie was initially going to open, I only half-kiddingly told colleagues that DOA was arguably the best movie of the year. Not sure I still feel that way, but I stand by my original statement that it's the best PG-13 butt-kicking jiggle-fest since the first Charlie's Angels movie.
I know you'll see the Fantastic Four sequel this weekend, but try to see DOA as well if you dig that sort of thing.
Edit: I just found out that this wasn't even screened for the press...recently. Which is odd, because they invited everyone to the December screening back when it was supposed to be a Christmas release.