Plot: Reverend Rhee (Bong Soo Han) is the charismatic leader of a powerful cult, a group that promotes love, but seems to have a much darker aspect as well. The cult recruits young heirs from wealthy families, has them sign over their inheritances, and promises them a better life. Of course, the families don’t want to see their loved ones used and indoctrinated, but Rhee is tough to fight back against. He has based the cult on a remote island and surrounded it with his private guard, highly trained martial artists ready to take down anyone who opposes Rhee. But one family wants their daughter back so badly, they hire Jim Martin (Joe Lewis), who then hand picks a small group to infiltrate the island and shut down the cult. Martin selects the best of the best, then tests them in a bold prison raid to free the group’s final member. But even with this skilled squad, can Martin face down Rhee’s impressive forces?
Entertainment Value: Force: Five might not be all that original, but it boasts a great cast and offers up some wild martial arts action. The story is well tread ground for movies of this kind, but the narrative does what it needs to do. And really, how many people watch martial arts B movies for an in depth narrative? Force: Five assembles a colorful cast and that really does a lot to ensure it entertains. Joe Lewis, Sonny Barnes, Benny Urquidez, Bong Soo Han, and action legend Richard Norton are all here, plus a number of familiar faces in smaller roles. Norton has some great lines, but for me Urquidez steals the show in this one, with his highly kinetic action and sense of humor. A movie like this needs colorful characters, so Force: Five delivers in that area in spades. The tone is never overly serious and the action is on the hokey side, but there’s a lot of really cool moments peppered throughout. So if you like martial arts cinema and appreciate a good B movie vibe, check out Force: Five.
One scene has a couple topless girls, both of whom have gorgeous racks. So quantity is low, but quality is high. There is some solid bloodshed at times, including scenes of acupuncture torture. The violence is non graphic, but we see the aftermath and the makeup work on those effects is good. The highlight for me is when one of the martial artists gets his head slammed against a wall and a big splat of blood is uncorked, just a fun moment. The violence is usually martial arts related, so expect a good amount of fights and not as much blood. Even so, the fight scenes are fun and some make good use of the props at hand. Richard Norton has some good lines here, but overall there’s not as much wacky dialogue as you might expect. The writing is often hilariously inept though, so the entertainment value is there. On the crazy side, the movie does have a good amount of odd moments. An underground maze built by the cult is home a bull that chases people around, leading to the film’s most outlandish scene. The tone overall is on the goofy side, but the movie never fully embraces the chaos.
Overall Insanity: 3/10