Plot: A madman named Kane (Pat Morita) has decided to have some fun, but his brand of fun involves danger and even death. He has sent out a band of assassins, charged to murder a group of secret agents. As he has tired of having his plans foiled and his business lose income, he figures this will free up his lifestyle. The agents will have trouble ruining his plots with his assassins on their trails, especially if the targets are eliminated. Of course, Kane isn’t satisfied with just sending his killers to hunt them down, instead he needs to make the prospect more interesting. As such, he alerts two beautiful agents of his plans and in the process, thinks he can prove once and for all just how much of an evil genius he is. But he doesn’t count on the agents being so damn smart and on top of things, as his assassin squads fail from the start. The two agents soon meet up with others and before long, Kane has to track all them all. This leads to problems he never imagined and by turn, his attempts to knock them off fall short. But as the agents travel from place to place, Kane is somehow able to track them from his lush homestead. This allows him to dispatch additional teams of assassins, to put more pressure on the agents. His high end weapons and numerous assassins are poised, but is that even enough to stop these lethal beauties?
Entertainment Value: Pat Morita engineering a large scale hunt with beautiful women as the targets, while Erik Estrada glistens in the spotlight? Do or Die sounds too good to be true, but thanks to the cinematic greatness of Andy Sidaris, the movie delivers on that premise and more. If you are familiar with Sidaris’ brand of bullets, bombs, and babes, then you know about what to expect here, but the formula has plenty room for new twists and colorful, outlandish antics. I think this sticks close to what Sidaris was best known for, but the fun cast and ridiculous elements ensure it stands out, even as it retains appeal to that built in audience. Morita is great fun as our villain, while a cadre of bad ass women run the show, with Dona Speir, Pandora Peaks, and Cynthia Brimhall front and center. And to me, Estrada makes any movie better and he is a good fit for this kind of over the top action picture. The action scenes are fun and run with the usual Sidaris kind of mayhem, including some dirt bike set pieces and a jet ski chase, with some explosions and gun battles thrown in. Perhaps not as flashy or outlandish as some of Sidaris’ movies, but Do or Die packs in a good deal of action and of course, tropical atmosphere to soak in. So for fans of Sidaris or b movie action cinema in general, this one is well recommended.
This is an Andy Sidaris movie, so of course there’s some naked flesh involved. A number of topless scenes are uncorked here and while the sexual elements are never graphic, there is frequent cheesecake on showcase. A couple of the more memorable nudity laced scenes include an erotic massage and a romantic waterfall excursion, adding some class to this wild adventure. There is ample action in Do or Die, but not a lot in terms of splashy bloodshed or gore. Some bullet wounds yield some red stuff, but for the most part, the violence here is not graphic in nature. But there are some ninjas, so be prepared for that! The dialogue isn’t as colorful or outrageous as of Sidaris’ pictures, but there is still some good stuff here. Morita has some fun lines as he hams it up, while there is also tough guy talk, cheesy one liners, and remorse over duck violence. The cast is mostly enthusiastic and that helps kick the dialogue up a little bit as well. On the insanity scale, again Do or Die might not reach the level of Hard Ticket to Hawaii, but it puts some wild stuff on display. The movie opens with the promise of a posthumous charitable donation, then a promise of elaborate murder, which is always fun. We also have a country hoedown, awkward fake cooking, some model plane enthusiasts, and of course, some of the worst Cajun accents you’ll ever hear. This is all on top of the general cheese coated b movie elements Sidaris is known for.
Overall Insanity: 4/10
The Disc: Do or Die arrives on Blu-ray from Mill Creek Entertainment, in a new 4k restoration that looks quite impressive. The movie has some inherent issues due to the lower budget roots of the production, but I think the print is mostly clean here and is a vast improvement over older versions. The colors start off on the hot side, but even out as the movie rolls on and contrast seems accurate throughout. I found detail to be rock solid, though not eye popping in terms of subtle, fine detail. In the end, the best looking version of Do or Die I’ve seen. A nice assortment of extras has been carried over, such as audio comments from Andy Sidaris and producer Arlene Sidaris, an introduction from Sidaris and Julie Strain, a behind the scenes featurette, and the film’s trailer.