Bullet Points: Final Impact
Looking back at 2015, I had the pleasure of watching a number of quality action films that starred Lorenzo Lamas. Mask of Death, Midnight Man and Snake Eater showcased the talent and skills that kept Lorenzo in demand in the 1990’s and beyond.
2015 also afforded me the opportunity to rediscover an old favorite in Michael Worth. Worth may not be as well known as some of his contemporaries in the action genre, but watching movies like Fists of Iron and To Be the Best were a reminder of the type of quality action entertainment Worth was providing fans around the globe. Michael Worth is one of the more under appreciated action stars in my estimation.
When I stumbled upon the movie Final Impact and saw that the film featured both Lorenzo Lamas and Michael Worth, I thought I was dreaming. This is the direct to video action movie equivalent of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. I will let you decide who is the chocolate and who is the peanut butter in this analogy.
- Never Meet Your Heroes: It has been said a person should never meet their hero, because once you do, they won’t be your hero anymore. When Danny Davis (Michael Worth), the Ohio Light Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion, seeks out Nick Taylor (Lorenzo Lamas), a former World Champion Kickboxer and a man Danny idolized and has patterned himself after, he was setting himself up for a rude awakening. The clean cut Midwestern finds himself in a bar owned by Nick Taylor. The bar features women’s oil wrestling (the 90’s version of the 80’s mud wrestling craze), kickboxing matches and the usual activities you’d find at a club that serves adult beverages. The look on Danny’s face would make you think he just stepped into the Mos Eisley Cantina. When he enters Nick Taylor’s office, his experience gets even worse. Nick was not the man that a young Danny Davis idolized, now he was just a club owner more concerned with turning a profit than being a proud representative of the sport of kickboxing. Nick is also extremely arrogant and he seemed amused that he destroyed the lofty vision that Danny had of him. But wait…
- Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Something about Danny must have struck a chord with Nick, because after being a complete douche bag to him, he offers Danny a chance to show him what he can do in the ring against one of the guys who competes regularly at his club, that guy was played by none other than Gary Daniels. Danny knocks out Nick’s Club Fighter (he is not credited with an actual name) and very confidently proclaims that he is invincible. Nick is impressed but later that evening he teaches Danny a tough lesson by having some goons attack Danny by the ice machine at his motel. This relationship is off to a rocky start to say the least.
- One Hand Washes The Other: Nick offers to train Danny for a shot at the world championship… but he has ulterior motives. The reigning champion is Jake Gerrard, he’s the guy who beat Nick for the title and even took Nick’s lady Roxy away from him. Roxy is played by Mimi Lesseos of Pushed to the Limit fame. A chance to get revenge on the guy who took everything away from him is huge motivation for Nick to train Danny and allow Danny to achieve his dream of being world champion. And now for a little action movie math… trainer + trainee + big fight on the horizon = TRAINING MONTAGE!
- Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover: Having read my review up to this point, you probably think you’ve figured out the rest of the plot and know exactly where this story is going. I thought so too while I was watching it. But to its credit, Final Impact shakes things up a bit and while some of the things I thought would happen happened, others took me by surprise and it really turned Final Impact from your average, run of the mill, 90’s direct to video actioner into something more memorable.
Final Impact is a must see for any fan of Lorenzo Lamas, Michael Worth or kickboxing action movies. Final Impact was one of the many films being churned out by the PM Entertainment Group in the 1990’s and I can honestly say that Final Impact is the best of the PM bunch, at least of the ones I’ve seen and I’ve seen quite a few in my day.
Now for a few final Final Impact Bullet Points…
- Art Imitates Life: Lorenzo Lamas’ love interest in the film, Maggie, is played by none other than Kathleen Kinmont, his real life wife at the time. The two also worked together on Lorenzo’s successful syndicated action adventure series, Renegade.
- This Isn’t Cinemax: The opening credits had me thinking I had selected a soft core classic from the Skinemax library and not a movie about kickboxing. Rest assured your attention will be grabbed instantly when you watch this movie.
- There’s Always Room For More: I mentioned the training montage earlier, but it never hurts to have more than one montage. And since the big fight takes place in Las Vegas it was the perfect backdrop for a gambling montage!
- More Like First Impact: Michael Worth’s role as the “Flying Dutchman” Danny Davis in Final Impact was his first acting gig ever, fortunately for Michael and his fans it was not his last.