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Bad Movie Tuesday: Only the Strong

December 21, 2010

Only the Strong (…can watch this movie)

Listen to this song to give you some mood music for the review


Michelle Pfeifer acted tough and did some karate

Edward James Olmos stood and delivered

Morgan Freeman leaned on things

Richard Dreyfuss had an opus

Danny Devito taught about books and stuff

Mark Dacascos spin kicked his way into student’s hearts.

The greatest movie about capoeira as a means of teaching self-respect ever.

Only the Strong is one of those movies that was awesome when you were 12.  The memories stay in your head and you remember the movie being totally badass. However, when you watch it 16 years later the movie is so bad you begin to wonder why you liked it in the first place. I only remembered three things about the movie.

1. FA NA NA WAY…FA NA NA WAY. Great theme song

The FA NA NA WAY part is great but the rapping around the FA NA NA WAY hurt my soul. I was rocking out to the music then the rapping just punched me square in the chest. I couldn’t find any youtube clips of the rap. As I was looking for the lyrics, I found out the song is titled “Paranaue Paranaue Parana.”… Is nothing in this world is sacred? I became even more depressed when I found out the song in Ernest Goes to Camp is “Gee, I’m glad it’s raining.” I always thought it was “Do you know its raining.”

2. An odd-looking student spin kicks a thug in the face.

This does happen! One of the 12 skinny thug students randomly spin kicks a thug into oblivion. The kid is incredibly odd-looking. I was talking to my brother about the film and 16 years later the only he remembered was that “a weird kid kicked a dude in the face.” Why that is the only thing my brother and I remember, is quite odd.

I love the capoeira. This movie makes it seem like nothing but a whole lot of spin kicks. There are probably over 500 spin kicks in this film. If you think that is an exaggeration try watching the movie.

If you want to find a movie drinking game that will get you drunk fast then this film is perfect. Every time somebody does a spin kick you drink. Even if you watched this film at X120 you would still get Krunked.

Since I was only 12 at the time, and I had yet to discover the joy of Zima (don’t judge) for three more years, so unfortunately, I had to watch this film sober.

Also, what I never caught on to is the bad guys all stand in front of something that when kicked they crash through. Bad guys go through doors, windows, car doors, car windows. They end up falling off cars, getting smooshed by cars and landing on top of cars. The man who did the fight Choreography was Frank Dux. Dux is the man who Bloodsport is based on. There is speculation that he is a fraud. I wouldn’t disagree with that. One fight scene involves one man getting spun kicked eight times in a row. Another has Dacascas spin kicking eight guys in a row.  Dux even adds himself into the film. There is a scene where Dacascos kicks a guy into a car then an overweight man grabs an iron pole and they have a very awkward steel pole fight. the large man does these odd little steel pole moves that left me wondering how Mark managed to steam roll through 30 people but was having a whole lot of trouble with this old fat guy.

The main, one-dimensional bad guy was a tough guy in ’93. Now, all I could think about is how does a Miami drug lord have so much free time? Also, I’m not into fashion or anything, but if I was in a gang and the leader wore large leather belts around his waist I would consider joining the rival gang.

3. A Jamaican runs away from a fight holding his balls. The kicker (pardon the pun)  is that nobody kicked him in the nuggets. He was just running oddly. I remember my brother and I laughing so hard at that fact.

The wafer thin mint about this film is that it wasn’t the Jamaican who was running away oddly. It was some other henchman. I remember it being the Jamaican so clearly. Maybe I went on a premature Zima-drinking binge at the time.

Sixteen years later I’ve discovered what once made this movie so cool, now has made it so bad it is good. The 12 kids once seemed tough but as one reviewer states they look like they were from the cast of “Fame.”

If I had never watched this film before it would have been perfect for bad movie Tuesday. However, now  this movie had made me reconsider whether I would ever watch Surf Ninjas, The Relic, Son in Law (for “Crawl”), Masters of the Universe or The Good Son ever again.

I’m sure whoever is reading this has to have had similar experiences. Let me know.

Also, This movie got me thinking about grunge music in the 90s. Anybody who talks about grunge being the greatest needs to listen to “snub the rooster” by Alice in Chains. After listening to this song you will be glad that Hootie and the Blowfish killed off grunge.


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