'Rage of Honor (Special Edition)' [Blu-ray]
(Sho Kosugi, Lewis Van Bergen, Robin Evans, et al / Blu ray / R / (1987) 2016 / Arrow Films UK)
Overview: A Japanese cop, Shiro, and his partner Ray are after a bunch of drug dealers. But they are betrayed by an insider and Ray is killed. Shiro follows the murderer, a sadistic drug lord, up to Singapore.
Blu ray Verdict: You've just got to (still) love the 80's and the films that were made, haven't you. I mean, whether they be cheesy Hollywood films or movies such as these Japanese ones, the 80's are still the 80's, which means you know the cheesy dialogue, the cheesy clothes, and the at-times cheesy acting will all be in abundance.
So, on with the show, as they say, and 'Rage of Honor' stars Martial artist Sho Kosugi in this fairly routine, but also fairly entertaining action film. He plays Shiro Tanaka, a narcotics detective whose associate Ray (Richard Wiley) is murdered by a creepy drug lord named Havlock (Lewis Van Bergen). It's only natural that he should want revenge. You see, Shiro believes in very traditional ideas of honor. It's also a given that he'll ignore the warnings of his superior and go on a corpse littered rampage of destruction!
'Rage of Honor' may be average in terms of the action/revenge genre, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have its moments. Sho has an intense presence, and even if he's rather stiff in his acting, he's anything but when it comes to the game of kicking ass. He designed the weapons himself, and is undeniably very skilled in any and all fight scenes. As you'll see from watching the movie, he's particularly fond of his throwing stars. The movie is a little rough for a while, but its globe trotting nature - moving from Singapore to Buenos Aires - gives it appreciable exotic atmosphere, and we are treated to a little bit of the sights and sounds of the city.
Things definitely pick up when Sho gets to the jungle, in search of his good friend Dick (Chip Lucia) and girlfriend Jennifer (gorgeous blonde Robin Evans). The supporting cast is okay, but mostly nondescript, although the oft smiling Van Bergen is an amusing villain, and in the tradition of the action movie will need to be "killed" more than once.
The direction by Gordon Hessler ('The Oblong Box') basically gets the job done, while that stunning South American jungle scenery is a tremendous asset. Potential viewers can note that there's enough gunfire, explosions, and violence (albeit rather bloodless violence) to keep things from ever getting really boring! This is a High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation enhanced for 16x9 TVs and come with the Special Features of:
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation from a transfer of original elements by MGM
Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Sho and Tell Part 2: The Domination brand new interview with star Sho Kosugi on Rage of Honor and the later stages of his film career
Sho Kosugi Trailer Gallery: Enter the Ninja (1981), Revenge of the Ninja (1983), Pray for Death (1985) and Rage of Honor (1987)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
PLUS, the first pressing includes a collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film and an extract from Kosugi's upcoming book!