Rapid Fire (1992) starring Brandon Lee, Powers Boothe, Nick Mancuso, Raymond J. Barry, Kate Hodge, Tzi Ma, Tony Longo, Michael Paul Chan , D.J. Howard directed by Dwight H. Little Movie Review

Rapid Fire (1992)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Brandon Lee as Jake Lo in Rapid Fire


Jake Lo (Brandon Lee - The Crow) is a talented young Art student in California, whose life seems to be going in the right direction. That is until one night, when he witnesses a mafia gangster, Serrano (Nick Mancuso - Under Siege), murder another gangster from a rival Chinese mob. Having escaped from Serrano's men, Jake finds himself in the hands of the FBI, who want him to go to Chicago to testify against Serrano, in return for their protection. Except the FBI plan to use him as a lure and when things go wrong Jake is left to fight for his life.

Okay, so "Rapid Fire" is an action/thriller with the action coming in the form of martial arts, and the thrills, well they stayed at home. Honestly "Rapid Fire" is a very weak movie, the plot is nothing special and is riddled with holes, the majority of the performances are below par and the dialogue is cliché ridden. The only thing which shines in it is Brandon Lee, not only just for his amazing martial art skills, but also because his performance is head and shoulders above everyone else's and that's not too hard in this movie. In my opinion, I think the writer had looked at several other popular martial arts based action thrillers, chopped them up and tried to make a new movie out of his favourite pieces, he wouldn't be the first do this and wont be the last. The story line just doesn't work and feels very disjointed, making "Rapid Fire" run at a very uncomfortable pace.

Powers Boothe as Mace Ryan in Rapid Fire

In the lead role of Jake Lo is Brandon Lee who although doesn't put in an award winning performance, still manages to stand out from all the other actors. Part of the joy of watching him is, of course, his martial art skills which are as impressive as his late father, Bruce Lee. The only other actor worth mentioning is Powers Boothe as Mace Ryan, the Chicago cop who befriends Jake. Too be honest his performance is not that good, but I put that down to the poor dialogue and poor direction. The rest of the cast really don't add anything to the movie, whether this is to do with a bad script, or poor dialogue, or maybe they just couldn't be bothered, they just don't seem to be involved.

"Rapid Fire" is directed by Dwight H. Little who prior to this mainly plied his trade on TV programmes, he has also directed such movies as "Murder at 1600" and "Free Willy 2". I feel that Mr. Little could have done so much more with this even with the poor plot. It seems to be as if this was a rushed affair, probably down to budget limitations, which is so often the case with martial arts movies.

What this all boils down to is that unfortunately "Rapid Fire" doesn't live up to my expectations. There are too many flaws in the plot, the acting and the dialogue to make this a really enjoyable movie. Personally I think it could have been made a lot better with another director at the helm and a bit more money spent on it. Fans of Brandon Lee will enjoy it but otherwise it is one of those movies which is worth watching if you get a chance but not necessary worth spending money on.