Blood and Bone is the action movie for a weekend of unwinding as it is simply entertaining. It stars Michael Jai White from Tyson (1995) and Spawn (1997), Eamonn Walker who appeared in Unbreakable (2000), and Julian Sands who played the role of Jor-El in the TV series Smallville. It also includes MMA fighters Kimbo Slice, Bob Sapp, Maurice Smith, Ernest “The Cat” Miller, and Gina Carano.
Michael White’s character is a tough guy named Isaiah Bone who appears in the beginning of the movie demonstrating to his inmates why he is not one to be messed with. As he is released from the New York prison, he finds himself in Los Angeles engaging in underground fights.
Action movie enthusiasts will not be let down by the old school style fight scenes in this film as they are bloody realistic. Thanks to the real life martial arts skills of multiple black belter Michael White, the scenes contain very minimal cuts and camera angle changes which gives its audience a good view of what they watched the movie for.
Moreover, though the script cannot be considered as one of its strong points, the actors were able to deliver them to its best, together with an effective portrayal of their characters. The stoic but kind-hearted personality of Bone can be seen in White without appearing plain blank because of his ability to communicate with facial expressions. Eamonn Walker also was probably the best person for the antagonist James’ character who has high respect for himself.
Everyone, including minor roles such as the ones played by Dick Williams named Roberto and by Nona Gaye who is Bone’s landlady named Tamara, is effectively portrayed so as to show real people without coming out as boring characters.
And while a lot of mixed martial arts fans would most certainly be upset with the lack of proper fighting exposure for the MMA fighters, such decision was probably done to keep the limelight on Bone and the story. It was an effective choice of cast to help the audience remember minor characters though. Bob Sapp played Hammerman, James’ best fighter who wins only because of his size. Gina Carano appeared briefly in a match between another woman and delivered one line of flirting. Kimbo Slice was one of the prisoners who killed the best friend of Bone inside prison played by Kevin Phillips, Danny. The other MMA fighters on the other hand played less noticeable roles, especially for those who are not MMA geeks.
Bone is almost invincible, not even coming close to losing a battle!
Personally I like movies when the main character is almost superhuman and barely gets a scratch throughout the whole movie, unrealistic I know but very entertaining..
The plot itself is the second best aspect after the action. It brings its viewers to halftime with still no apparent coherent explanation to events. It seems to be just another low-budget film that merely displays street fights. And just as the audience is about to believe that they have seen everything they need to see, the protagonist’s intention is revealed and more characters end up being relevant.
In addition, this film is different from others for the fact that it is able to maintain Bone’s mysterious quality up to the end while successfully telling a complete story.
As the film concludes, one would discover how the game of chess and Genghis Khan’s quote as recited by Bone, “I am the punishment of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you,” is used as a metaphor in the film and how it relates to the main character.
This film isn’t grand and perfect which is what’s expected from most if not all direct-to-DVD films. But for someone looking for something as close to reality, with well executed fight scenes performed by professionals then this movie right here is what they have to see. Blood and Bone is definitely is a must watch for anyone who likes martial arts movies.
Other cast include:
Michelle Belegrin as Angela Soto
Ron Yuan as Teddy D (James’ bodyguard)
Maurice Smith as Fast Hands
Ernest “The Cat” Miller as Mommy Dearest