This movie isn’t on the list, and it’s not typically grouped with the classics but Mark Dacascos’ Martial Arts abilities are right up there – so after a recommendation from a Facebook fan I thought I’d check out 1997’s ‘Drive’.
Toby Wong, played by Mark Dacascos, is on the run from a group of men. Only he is far more powerful – he is a prototype enhanced human with a ‘Bio-Enhine’ implanted in his body that increases his strength and reaction time. An implant that was designed to create the perfect assassin.
The men are sent from the company who installed these enhancements to capture him, not kill him – as they need the technology kept safe. He manages to find his way to America where he meets an African American man and takes him hostage.
While being taken hostage, Malik Brody is told to Drive Toby to LA where he will split the money being given to him for selling the technology within his body. After some disagreement the two eventually become friends and continue on their mission fighting off (quite laughable) assassins following them, until eventually facing a newer & more powerfully enhanced human who’s mission is to kill Toby.
Pure 90’s Action Movie
If you spent a chunk of your childhood in the 90’s (as I did) watching action movies like this will remind you of some of the cheaper ones, both in a good and bad way. The acting and story aren’t amazing and I can’t help but laugh at some of the things that happen in this film. As the movie slowly becomes action/comedy the humor has it’s funny points and it horrendous points. But the funniest parts are just the short comings of the movie. For example Mark Dacascos has a sort of Michael Jackson voice sometimes in this film, which when he tries to tough talk doesn’t quite work.
But the pace is constant, they’re never far from danger and the ‘bad guys’ just keep on coming, so you’re never far away from some action.
This movie has one saving grace – incredible Martial Arts by Mark Dacascos!
Mark Dacascos’ Martial Arts Ability
The excitement and physical ability of Mark Dacascos absolutely makes this movie. While the guys he fights aren’t all that convincing in the fight scenes, as soon as Dacascos’ character starts to move you can’t help but be watch in awe – his physical ability is right up there with the very best of the genre.
While his acting may not be his best sometimes in this film he has the look and the charisma the second he starts to fight. With a history of winning several Kung Fu and Karate Championships, the skill he displays are very real.
Most of the fight scenes are very much Mark kicking the crap out of a crowd of henchmen, which is cool to watch and a trade mark of Martial Arts movies. He’s very light, moving and jumping around like crazy. Combine this with some awesome camera angles and shooting style and you’re really sold on his abilities as a supercharged prototype enhanced human.
His fights are very acrobatic blended with some wing chun style hand work and some amazing kicks, while demonstrating an excellent use of weapons. He manages to spring into action flawlessly fighting off all of his attackers, quite often in an extremely flashy and jaw dropping fashion. I think without Mark Dacascos, this movie would have been pretty damn oridinary.
Watch this movie for some of the best action you’ll see in a movie! Not the storyline.
Worth Checking out?
I don’t have a hell of a lot to say about this movie, if you absolutely must watch a movie with a deep storyline – you won’t like this. But if you like to see fantastic Martial Arts ability that is fast paced and just a pleasure to watch, you can’t go past Mark Dacascos’ fight scenes in this film. It’s a shame the rest of the movie couldn’t match the level of his martial arts performance, but I still recommend it – This movie is a classic!
I can only find it on Region 1 and 2 DVD, so you may need to go region free if you want to check out this movie anywhere else.