Monday, August 7, 2017

Film Review—Boyka: Undisputed (2016)

Boyka: Undisputed (Review)
Bulgaria/2016
Format Viewed for Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"It's a brutal, exciting, and entertaining movie."

While attempting to build his life as a professional fighter, legendary fighter Yuri Boyka (Scott Adkins) finds himself in Russia seeking forgiveness after an accidental death in the ring...

Boyka: Undisputed is the fourth film in the Undisputed series. The plot follows Yuri Boyka, who now roams Ukraine as an underground fighter. His opportunity to become a professional fighter is solidified after he beats Viktor in a fight. However, when Viktor passes away after the fight, Boyka feels compelled to make things right with Viktor's wife in Russia. So, he heads to Russia where he is a wanted escapee. He finds that Viktor's wife is being forced to work for a Russian gang boss to repay a debt. In order to win her freedom, Boyka must beat said boss' best fighters. It's a simple and derivative plot, it's even a bit cheesy at times, but it works. It leads to a surprising ending, too. It's not a big twist or anything like that, but I like the route they took.


Boyka: Undisputed isn't really a film you're going to watch for the plot. It's mostly about the character and the action. As a fan of the Undisputed series and Scott Adkins, I loved seeing Boyka again. The most complete fighter in the world is an interesting and engaging character as well as a badass—it's that simple. In terms of action, this isn't the most authentic mixed martial arts movie out there, but it's very entertaining. The action is fast, brutal, and satisfying. The punches, the kicks, the knees... It all has impact. I would equate Boyka: Undisputed to classic 80s/90s action movies—Van Damme movies, to be exact. And, fortunately for me, I happen to love Van Damme movies.

Scott Adkins is a great leading man, especially for action movies. He's charismatic, he's athletic, and he's a good actor—not overdone or underwhelming. Yes, his accent sounds like a generic American doing a Russian accent. It didn't bother me, though. Martyn Ford, who plays Koshmar the Nightmare, has a great physique. However, his performance is comprised of grunting, growling, and roaring—really. It's not bad, but it does come off as comical. I suppose that adds to the cheesy charm of the film. The screenplay was written by David White and Tony Mosher, and Todor Chapkanov served as director. Like I said, the plot really isn't all that great. It's not horrible, but it is often lacking. Chapkanov fares better as director, creating a fast-paced, action-packed film while staying true to Boyka's character. The editing could have been a bit better, but it's serviceable.

Overall, Boyka: Undisputed is a very good martial arts action movie. It's a brutal, exciting, and entertaining movie. If you're a fan of the series, I think you'll enjoy this one—perhaps not as much as the third film, though.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Violence and blood.

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