5 Questions: American Streetfighter
Today is Independence Day in the United States of America, so I thought I would cover a movie that would be the perfect fit for the 4th of July. During my hunt for the right movie for the USA’s most patriotic day of the year, I came across the 1992 movie American Streetfighter. This has got to be a great choice. The word “AMERICAN” is in the title.
It wasn’t long into my viewing of the movie that I began questioning my decision. And as the movie kept going, the questions kept creeping up…
1. Who better to star in a movie titled American Streetfighter than Gary Daniels!?!?
That’s right London’s own Gary Daniels is the STAR of a movie called AMERICAN Streetfighter. Now the movie also stars Ian Jacklin, but he’s NOT the American Streetfighter, he is the brother of the very English American Streetfighter. Which would lead to the bonus question of why does Jake Tanner (Gary Daniels) have a British accent but his brother Randy Tanner (Ian Jacklin) does not. Normally this is explained that the parents divorced and one brother lived in Europe with one parent while the other brother lived in the United States with the other parent, but American Streetfighter ignores that detail.
I guess none of this mattered in the international markets where all the voices were probably dubbed over anyway. But the real question here is probably why did the movie have to be called American Streetfighter if Gary Daniels was the star? I am sure the generic action movie title generator could have come up with something else.
2. What other movie in history starts with two guys trying to blow up a jukebox?
As the movie begins, a young Jake Tanner and his low life friend Ito, are out doing some grunt work for the local crime boss (who happens to be Ito’s father). They are sent to a restaurant to send a message to the owner. And nothing sends a clearer message than blowing up a restaurant’s jukebox. Jake and Ito were told the restaurant would be empty and that nobody would be hurt… but as they are leaving after setting the bomb some people go in. So now the not so bad bad guys, Jake and Ito sneak back in and disarm the bomb… but as they say no good deed goes unpunished, and soon the not so dynamic duo is being shot at and in the process Ito takes a bullet and dies. Jake knows he’s screwed so the British accented American Streetfighter moves to Hong Kong, making him even less American than ever before.
3. Could the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have beaten Bruce Lee?
Jake Tanner is enjoying great success in Hong Kong as some sort of businessman, but he gets word from back home that his younger brother Randy is in trouble, so Jake packs his things and returns to the United States for the first time in more than 10 years. When he gets home he finds out his brother is competing in an underground fighting ring. He also finds out that the girlfriend he left behind Rose (Tracy Dali) is now the single mother of a… wait for it… 10 year old son named Billy.
Some how for most of the movie, Jake is completely oblivious to the obvious. It doesn’t take Maury Povich to figure out that Billy is Jake’s son. Clueless Jake does feel bad that Billy’s dad abandoned him, so he spends some time with him. During one of their conversations Billy, a huge TMNT fan, makes the bold statement that even Bruce Lee couldn’t defeat the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I believe Bruce Lee could defeat the Turtles, despite the odds being stacked against him. But what I still can’t believe is how did Jake Tanner not figure out that Billy was his kid?
4. What was with the extreme backlighting of the ring announcer?
I know that Gerald Okamura, who plays crime boss Ogawa is the main villain of the film. And he does some pretty villainous things, like kill people and then use their dead bodies to smuggle contraband in and out of the country. But to me the most hated guy in the film was the ring announcer. This guy was a total douche bag and I wanted so badly for someone to kick him in the face repeatedly. And why did they backlight him the way they did?!
5. What other movie in history ends with two guys fighting in a funeral home?
American Streetfighter made some bold choices. The final fight between Jake and Ogawa in the funeral home in front of (SPOILER ALERT) the open casket of Jake’s deceased brother Randy may have been the boldest choice of them all… well maybe the boldest choice would be if the casket got knocked over during the skirmish and Randy’s dead body fell out, but none the less I have never seen a sword fight break out in a funeral home until I watched American Streetfighter.