"...Deadly Target is pretty lame, a rip off action flick without a soul of its own".
- American Ninja Man
Deadly Target (1994)
AKA: Fire Zone
Writer: James Adelstein, Michael January
Gary Daniels, Ken McLeod, Byron Mann, Susan Byun, Max Gail, Ron Yuan, Lydia Look, Aki Aleong, Timothy Dang, Philip Tan, Robert Kim, James Wing Woo
Time: 99 min.
Plot: Hong Kong detective and master martial artist Charles Prince (British Kickboxing Champion Gary Daniels) arrives in L.A. to extradite a notorious Chinese gangster back to Hong Kong for trial. But it seems Prince has arrived too late -- his suspect has escaped. With the help of renegade cop Jim Jenson (Ken McLeod) and beautiful Pai Gow dealer Diana Tang (Susan Byun), the detective tracks the ruthless gangster down. Martial arts mayhem mixes with L.A. action as Prince, Jenson, and Tang get caught in the middle of an explosive Triad Gang War that leaves Chinatown drenched in blood and littered with bodies.
AMERICAN NINJA MAN'S REVIEW: In 1994, a movie called Deadly Target hit the shelves from PM Studios, a company that provided us with such fun movies as Cyber Tracker, Out For Blood, The Sweeper, Last Man Standing, Cyber Tracker 2, Recoil and Rage. The movies from this group were bad but fun-bad, and I'm proud to acknowledge that I own all of them on DVD.
But having Don "The Dragon" Wilson, Jeff Wincott, Lorenzo Lamas, C. Thomas Howell, Michael Madsen and Gary Daniels under contract while sometimes was a stroke of genius (Seriously, I really do admit that I own the movies I listed above). We did get movies like Deadly Target which was a rip off to the letter. Indeed this movie was second rate all the way and instead of reviewing it, I'm just going to list the rip offs I noted.
Steal from Showdown In Little Tokyo: Gary Daniels (The Bruce Li of Dolph Lundgren who is at least better than Frank Zagarino, the Bruce Le of Dolph Lundgren clones) wears a black leather jacket, while Ken MacLeod wears exactly the same style of clothes Brandon Lee does. Also it's noted that Gary Daniels is from Hong Kong and MacLeod is a valley dude who then team up to take out the triads who are pushing drugs also the main bad guy who is responsible for the death of one of Daniels' loved ones, which is exactly like Dolph Lundgren's character.
Steal from Red Heat: After capturing the main bad guy for Gary Daniels to take back to the airport, we are given a break out attempt that leads to the death of MacLeod's partner and a group of cops.
Steal From Year Of The Dragon: The plot surfaces around bad guy Byron Mann's attempt to become the kingpin of the L.A drugtrade with his youthful gang, while the Asian mobsters want to run it with "honor."
Steal from Stone Cold - Gary Daniels and Ken MacLeod thwart a terrorist attack in a court, just like Brian Bosworth did in Stone Cold, except they weren't bikers this time.
Steal from Tango and Cash - In Tango and Cash, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell come up with ways to torture said bad guy into talking, and because they don't kill him, it comes back to haunt them. Same thing here, though the torture method is different.
Steal from Double Impact - The climax takes place with Gary Daniels and Ken MacLeod trying to rescue Daniels' new girlfriend on a ship, just like in Double Impact.
Steal from American Ninja - At the end, Gary Daniels' girlfriend is aboard a helicopter, who after an escape, Ken MacCleord blows up said helicopter (Like Steve James did in American Ninja).
Of course there are probably much more, but these were the ones though that stuck out the most. Gary Daniels' martial arts sequences are only average and the shootouts and the car explosions are too stupid to really enjoy. Ken Macleod and Gary Daniels put in really wooden performances but are at least better than the Asian love interest for Daniels. Uh, Byron Mann is an okay villain, though he hardly poses much of a threat, what it needed was Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa or John Lone.
Also, the film opens with Gary Daniels stumbling onto two gay men making out, which frankly is uh, I guess novel. Also, Daniels is hit on by a man in a coffee shop, and the fact that despite Daniels' love interest we never see her in tight jeans, in her panties (god forbid she gets naked) which I found strange, until I realized this was directed by a woman.
Finally, the film features some would-be comic relief which basically add up to mildly amusing at best. Overall, Deadly Target is pretty lame, a rip off action flick without a soul of its own. I expected better from the Bruce Li of Dolph Lundgrens.
AMERICAN NINJA MAN'S RATING: 3/10