What Not To Watch: Forced to Fight
Some movies just try too hard… and that was Forced To Fight’s biggest downfall.
Forced to Fight stars Gary Daniels. Daniels plays Shane Slavin, a former underground fighter who has since moved on, started his own auto repair business, got married and had a kid. But underground fighting runs in the family and Shane’s brother, Scotty, is a current underground fighter, who is in debt to the promoter of the fights, Danny G (played by Peter Weller) and he also refused to take a dive, further ticking off Danny G.
So Danny G has his thugs beat the tar out of Scotty. Shane steps up to help out his brother and in order to pay off the more than $60,000 that Scotty owes Danny G, Shane is forced to fight (DING!) again.
Certainly not the most original premise, but I’m here to tell you. It’s ok. They could have left it at that, let the story play out as we all expected but instead Forced to Fight decided to tinker with the formula.
- Family Drama: There is some tension between Shane and Scotty from jump street, but this only gets exacerbated as Shane gets deeper and deeper into the world of underground fighting. Shane basically becomes a jerk to everyone in his life. He berates the guy who works at his garage. He starts snapping at his wife as well and calls his son a cry baby, then “unreliable and selfish” Uncle Scotty has to smooth things over. A little bit of this family drama wouldn’t have been too bad, but there’s just too much of it. If Gary Daniels wants to show off his acting chops, I suggest he volunteer at his community theater and play Macbeth. There’s no need for Daniels to show his range (or lack thereof) and ruin what should be a simple fighting movie. Nobody ever saw Bloodsport and said they really wish there were some scenes of Frank Dux exploring how the competition affects him emotionally.
- Boring: Plain and simple this movie is boring. It was a chore to watch. The fighters and the fights really lacked. I know it is unfair to compare this movie to Bloodsport, but I’ve done it once already and I’ll do it again… the fighters in the Kumite were memorable, 3 seconds after I saw the fighters and the fights in Forced to Fight I had forgotten about them… likely because I thought I accidentally switched over to an episode of Dr. Phil.
Gary Daniels is one of those hit or miss action stars for me. Either I enjoy his work or I don’t. For example, I enjoyed Hawk’s Vengeance, I did not enjoy Forced to Fight. He’s not at Olivier Gruner level of bad and he isn’t a total charisma vacuum like David Bradley, but he’s no Michael Dudikoff either.
If you need a few more reasons not to watch this one, here you go…
- Brothers?: Why does Shane (Gary Daniels) have a British accent but his brother Scotty (Arkie Reece) does not? This is never explained. Was it really necessary that the two of them are brothers? Could it have been an old friend? Or maybe Scotty was adopted? Kind of like Tom Hagen in The Godfather. And you thought comparing it to Bloodsport was unfair!
- Annoying Couple: In one scene, where we get to see Shane make dinner at a nice restaurant uncomfortable for everyone involved. There’s a couple a table over, just being all condescending and murmuring to one another at the expense of the Slavin family. I was hoping Shane would snap and attack them… and if that happened this movie would likely not have been on my What Not To Watch list.
- Nice Hat: Shane gives his son James a Slavin Auto Repair hat and acts like it was a big deal… Dude that’s your own company, you obviously had the hats made. It’s not like it was Derek Jeter’s hat or something.