5 Questions: To Be the Best
After the positive response to my review of Fists of Iron, including Michael Worth himself sharing the review with his fans on social media, I was already anticipating watching another Michael Worth flick and sharing my thoughts and opinions with all of you on Bulletproof Action.
The Michael Worth movie I selected was the 1993 film, To Be the Best. The movie not only stars Worth, but several familiar faces from the action genre including Martin Kove (The Karate Kid, Rambo: First Blood Part II and Shootfighter: Fight to the Death), Steven Vincent Leigh (Sword of Honor and Deadly Bet) and Vince Murdocco (Ring of Fire and Kickboxer 2: The Road Back).
To Be the Best is about the Kulhane family of kickboxers. There’s Eric (Michael Worth), his older brother Sam (Phillip Troy Linger) and their dad/coach Rick (Martin Kove). The Kulhane brothers qualify to represent the USA in an international kickboxing championship being held in Las Vegas. The movie is filled with great fighting action, two romantic subplots and your usual criminal activity. To Be the Best may not have broke any new ground, but I enjoyed the movie from start to finish.
Still, the movie did have me asking some questions…
1. Can you think of a better way to immediately grab the attention of your audience than having the star of your movie tied to a helicopter?
When the movie begins we see Eric Kulhane about to compete in an illegal street fight in Vegas, he is approached by a fat gangster type guy and asked to take a dive in the fight. Kulhane refuses telling “Dough Boy” that he doesn’t go down for nobody. Next thing you know Eric is dangling from a helicopter that is flying above the bright lights of Las Vegas. The helicopter ends up crashing into a hotel and only a shard of glass saves Eric from becoming a victim of an exploding helicopter.
Can you name another kickboxing movie with a beginning like that?
2. Why does Martin Kove have a gun in this international version of the To Be the Best DVD cover?
At no point does Martin Kove have a gun in the actual movie, yet there he is clear as day with a gun in his hand on this DVD cover.
I wonder if one of the reasons many countries aren’t huge fans of the USA is because of false advertising like this. Some guy in Dusseldorf picks up a copy of To Be the Best, clearly expecting the type of awesome action movies that the States are known for and in this case to see Martin Kove shoot somebody with an automatic rifle and then he watches the movie and there is no Martin Kove gun action. Even though To Be the Best is a good movie, Hans is left feeling like the victim of the ol’ bait and switch.
A more accurate depiction, if they insisted Martin Kove have something in his hand on the cover, would have been Kove with a drink in his hand. Bottoms up!
3. What other action movie would have the guts to include a bowling montage?
I have seen a lot of action movies in my day. And because of that I have seen a lot of montages.
The most frequent montage you’ll find in an action movie is the training montage. There’s also the climbing the ladder to the championship fight montage and sometimes they’ll even throw in the date montage to show an action hero interacting with his love interest in the film.
But To Be the Best was really striving to be the best damn kickboxing movie it could be so they put in a bowling montage! How unique is that? I can tell you I didn’t see it coming.
And they go one better and actually have a brawl between Team USA and Team Thailand break out in the bowling alley! I loved it.
4. How gullible is Brittney Powell’s character Cheryl?
I totally get that Cheryl was at her wit’s end in regards to her hot head boyfriend Eric, especially after a fight erupted at their Vegas wedding just before the two were about to become Mr. and Mrs. Eric Kulhane. But to not detect some ulterior motive from Jack Rodgers (Alex Cord) means this woman had to be blinded by frustration and rage or she simply wasn’t all that intelligent. She certainly fed into a lot of blonde stereotypes, but she was hot and she could throw a pretty mean punch, the other thing she had going for her over the other major female character in the movie… she had a name!!!
5. What is that woman’s name?
While Eric’s romantic life is on the rocks, his older brother Sam falls for the sister of Steven Vincent Leigh’s character Hong Do. Hong Do’s sister is played by Helen Miya and she is credited as Sam’s Thai Crush. C’mon movie! You couldn’t give this woman a name?? There’s a bunch of options. You could have called her Helen, you could have even called her Miya if you couldn’t come up with one. She already came to the set with two that would work! Imagine if Romeo & Juliet was titled, Romeo & Romeo’s Capulet Crush?!?!