Undisputed 3: Redemption (Blu-ray)
Despite suffering a devastating leg injury (the bone protruding kind) at the hands of Michael Jai White at the end of UNDISPUTED 2, Uri Boyka is once again ready to put his life on the line in the underground fighting syndicate. This time around eight lethal fighters from various maximum security prisons around the world will fight not only for the glory of being champion but freedom as well. Of course, the bad news is that the organizers are just looking for a multimillion dollar payoff and have no intentions of giving the winner anything other than a bullet.
I’ve been an avid fan of martial arts flicks since I discovered Loren Avedon and KING OF THE KICKBOXERS back when I was first coming into movies. I had the distinct pleasure of talking back and forth with Mr. Avedon (he’s a super cool guy) and it was he who actually told me about UNDISPUTED 2 while talking about life and movies. I immediately watched it and loved every second of it. Scott Adkins and Michael Jai White are phenomenal athletes who can do superhuman things in the ring. I was very excited to hear they were going ahead with a third film and I was not disappointed in the least. The fight sequences were just as stellar as the second (if not more so) and again it just blows me away seeing what these guys can do.
The only sad part here is how few and far between these martial arts epics have become and that they still have to get by on the direct to DVD market. Don’t get me wrong, the production value here is top notch, so I can only imagine how much better it could have been with a bigger budget. Michael Jai White’s BLOOD AND BONE was the same way but like the UNDISPUTED films could have blown the roofs off theatres with a little more money and finesse. Instead, we end up with farces like FIGHTING in theatres which is nothing short of an insult. But on the opposite side of things, Larnell Stovall, the dude behind UNDISPUTED 3’s amazing fight choreography, was also in league with the MORTAL KOMBAT: REBIRTH short film now online starring Michael Jai White and a few others. If you’re reading this review you clearly dig martial arts as much as I do so you owe it to yourself to look up the MK video after this. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
Scott Adkins is working hard to get THAT break and though he did pop up in the underrated X-MEN ORIGINS WOLVERINE (I have no idea why I’m the only one who loved that film) as Weapon X1, played a small role in THE TOURNAMENT and landed the lead in NINJA, he’s still not there yet. Adkins doesn’t get much in the way of lines in either UNDISPUTED film and his dialogue in NINJA was somewhat cheesetacular (though I won’t blame him for that as it WAS a ninja film and the entire script emanated a cheesy eighties vibe) so the man is clearly doing the best with what he’s got to work with. But let me tell you, physically he’s far superior to just about any other martial artist in the business (with the exception of Michael Jai White, though he’s just about on par) with incredible speed and moves. I’m rooting for you Scott and I hope you get the break you deserve soon.
UNDISPUTED 3 is everything you could want in an epic martial arts extravaganza. The fights are brutally impressive, the choreography is shot with a distinct edge of intensity that had my adrenaline going into overdrive and the story was great considering the limitations of where the series can go. I’m happy to see that Adkins is steadily getting more roles, and I wouldn’t be overly bothered by seeing him in an UNDISPUTED 4. That said, he deserves better than the straight to DVD market and I hope people are starting to get that. My advice, give him and Michael Jai White a feature film together and watch guys like me flood to the theatre by the truckload.
Video: 1.78:1 Widescreen in 1080p HD with AVC codec. This thing was shot extremely well for direct to DVD/Blu-ray fodder, I have no complaints on the visuals whatsoever.
Audio: 5.1 DTS-HD in English with English, French and Spanish subtitle options. Again, Adkins doesn’t say much, but it is enjoyable to hear him swear in that thick Russian accent.
This Blu-ray is pretty bare when it comes to extras, consisting of some a couple trailers, a Blu-ray commercial and a Digital Copy of the film but be that as it may, I still recommend it as a sound purchase.