DOA: Dead Or Alive (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner13/09/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

Part Charlie's Angels, part Enter the Dragon, this is a hugely enjoyable action flick with appealing performances and terrific fight sequences.

What's it all about?
Based on the popular video game DOA stars Jaime Pressly (from My Name Is Earl) as pro-wrestling superstar Tina), Devon Aoki (from Sin City) as ninja princess Kasumi and Holly Valance as sexy master thief Christie, three beautiful women who are recruited to fight in the ultimate secret martial arts tournament, Dead Or Alive.

At least two of the women have ulterior motives (Kasumi's investigating the disappearance of her brother (Collin Chou) and Christie plans to steal the prize money with her accomplice Max, played by Matthew Marsden) but differences aside, all three of them have to team up to uncover the tournament's sinister secret, masterminded by Dr Victor Donovan (Eric Roberts).

The Good
The fight scenes are terrific fun thanks to exciting and frequently inventive direction by fight choreographer Corey Yuen (who made The Transporter). They're also staged in unusual locations, such as a hotel suite, a raft or a rain-swept beach.

The film is sharply edited and Yuen is careful to ensure that there's always more than one thing happening at once, even if it means intercutting a plot-related fight scene with a beach volleyball game between the female leads.

The Great
The three leads make a fantastic team and there's also great support from a host of colourful characters, including rollerblading Helena (Sarah Carter) and purple-haired assassin Ayane (Natassia Malthe).

DOA delivers beautifully on its obvious hook of beautiful women kicking ass (heightened by the fact that the actresses are clearly doing the fighting themselves, thanks to exhaustive training), but it's also surprisingly faithful to the game itself, which should please gaming fans.

Worth seeing?
If you're a 15 year old boy, this stands every chance of becoming your favourite film in the entire world. At the very least it's the best movie adaptation of a video game so far. Recommended.

Film Trailer

DOA: Dead Or Alive (12A)
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Content updated: 24/09/2018 10:49

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