Sunday, September 22, 2013

DOA: Dead or Alive (2006)

DOA: Dead or Alive"D.O.A.: Dead or Alive" as everyone knows is based on the Video game franchise of the same name. This film was released in mid-2006 in Asia before in the U.S. possibly because of the larger market for video game inspired movies. For this reason, I managed to own the region-3 Asian release (image by S. L. Bledsoe in Amazon) even before the movie hit U.S. theaters. Directed by Corey Yuen (Transporter, So Close) an acclaimed Martial arts choreographer, (although Corey's not as renowned as the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping) D.O.A. looks promising. After all, Jet Li quoted Corey Yuen In Black Belt magazine as "..if I need something fresh, I go to Corey Yuen."

A tournament called D.O.A. is being held in a remote Island by a man named Donovan (Eric Roberts). Three beautiful but lethal women are invited to compete. Tina (Jaime Pressley), Kasumi (Devon Aoki), and Christie (Holly Valance). Each of the three female leads have their own motivation and has their own baggage to carry. Once there, they must battle their way up the fighter rankings through a bunch of other seasoned fighters to reach the finals. Once in the final phase, the women uncover a hidden "sinister" secret that is the true reason for the competition. Aided by Helena (hottie Sarah Carter) and Hayabusa (Kane Kosuji), they must either join forces or perish...

Since the movie is based on the video game, expect something with a simple plot with scantily-clad women engaging in fisticuffs and, ahem, volleyball (which is a nice touch, there is a game called "D.O.A. Beach Volleyball"). What can we expect? The game itself is renowned for its hard-hitting fights and titillation factor ("bouncing b--bs" and skimpy outfits) so the film just exploits those factors.

It is fairly obvious that Corey Yuen has a limited budget to work with. Still, he manages to pull off an accelerated fast-paced action film that is both hard-hitting and visually stylish. While the plot is lacking and with almost no decent character development, Corey goes for the throat with a lot of mano-o-mano fights and as much "PG-13" brutality(no blood) he can spare to compensate for the lackluster plot. The extensive fight choreography is the true "lure" of the film. The film is based on a video game so reality is out the door.

D.O.A. remains true to its roots (gimmicks), as there is enough tease (but not explicit) to make a male(like me) excited, shots of a few tanned skin and sexy curves to satisfy the raw sex appeal of the games. While it does have its goofy moments, (the nerdy guy is so annoying), there is enough action to divert our attention that it does avoid the screenplay from becoming "cheesy" nor "campy". Eric Roberts is definitely miscast as the bad guy, he didn't have the "raw appeal" for a baddie. Wrestler Kevin Nash even makes an appearance as Tina's wrestler Dad. The film is short, and the ending gives you a little tease of the possibility of a sequel.

Since I am 90% certain that the U.S. release will have the same transfer, I will give you my take on the dvd quality...

VIDEO/AUDIO: Anamorphic widescreen. The PQ is excellent. Colors are vibrant, clean and extremely sharp. Black levels are solid and strong when needed. 5.1 Dolby digital/DTS-ES English track. The DTS track is the way to go if your equipped since it is very powerful and crisp. The 5.1 Dolby isn't too shabby either.


Corey Yuen made every effort to bring the video game to life. "D.O.A." is a hyper-accelerated-kinetic stylish action film that gets the fight sequences (for a Hollywood film) just right and that's the best anyone can hope for given its source material. Its' a video game with hot chicks, what can we expect?

RECOMMENDED! For fans of the game and the action genre, a good rental for everybody else. (3 ½ stars)

After reading all the 1 star reviews on Netflix, I still watched the trailer. Then I found out the director of the Transporter did this movie too. So....I just had to check it out.

It was fun.

I'm not going to own it, but it was fun and much better than Ultraviolet.

Fast action.

Acrobatic martial arts.

Gorgeous girls all around (so much better looking than the Charlie's Angels trio and they had Sarah Carter who I just loved when I first saw her in the tv show Smallville)

Eric Roberts as a bad guy on the tv show Heroes and a bad guy here. He's perfect for those types of roles.

Great sets that get smashed to pieces

Lots and lots of fighting that is so unrealistic you laugh at the silliness of it, but love it at the same time

If it wasn't for all the scantly clad bodies and sexual themes, this no-blood fight movie would have been rated PG.

Yes, everyone who gets slashed by a sword just falls down with no blood. No effort went into any type of makeup work on the main characters after taking several punches in the face. Oh, well, we like our female leads looking pretty throughout I guess.

It was a movie where you turn your brain off, laugh out loud a couple of times and enjoy the scenery and action. Pure fun, but not an oscar winner by any stretch of the imagination.

You want a quality, thinking person's movie watch The Fountain or Children of Men.

You want a zone out for a bit with the type of movie that isn't another bad effects B-horror film, then get this.

Buy DOA: Dead or Alive (2006) Now

I might be in the minority here, but great martial arts choreography + hot babes + campy storyline = good times to me. This was a must have if you enjoy martial arts flicks, and can find a sense of humor. A lot of people also didn't like Kung Fu Hustle, which I thought was brilliant.

Read Best Reviews of DOA: Dead or Alive (2006) Here

I've read a lot of reviews both good and bad about this movie, but none ever seem to give it the credit it deserves. Yes, it has a single-laced plotline, but being based off a video game of the same nature, that's to be expected. But the fighting sequences were excellent, the one-liner's and side-arm comments were hilarious, and even if you didn't enjoy anything else of the movie, the five main girls who are out-of-this-world gorgeous should have been enough for most [male] viewers to sit back and enjoy. I give this movie five stars because I took it for what it was and knew somewhat of what I was getting into after watching other video game-based movies like "Super Mario Bros.", both "Resident Evil"s, "BloodRayne", and both "Laura Croft: Tomb Raider"s movies. I actually got more than I expected, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Want DOA: Dead or Alive (2006) Discount?

Video game to film adaptations rarely work as you no doubt already know. Chances are if you've seen any previews of the Dead or Alive movie, you most likely laughed at how ridiculous it looked. Well, guess what? Here it is on DVD, and it's surprisingly not the terrible waste of film that many (including me) thought it would be. Sure, it's nothing remotely great in the least, and even laughable in some spots, but as a whole, Dead or Alive is a fun and entertaining guilty pleasure that does it's job well. A martial arts tournament is being held on a remote island, with many of the competitors being in the form of some incredibly hot babes (Holly Valance, Jamie Pressly, Devon Aoki, Sarah Carter, Natassia Malthe), who soon learn that there is more going on than it seems. The action is good (courtesy of Transporter director Corey Yuen) and the movie delivers plenty of eye candy, no matter how inane or non-sensical the events that unfold turn out to be. That aside, the film manages to pay some delightful homage to it's source material (volleyball anyone?), and while it's not always faithful to it, it's still a fun ride regardless. Also featuring Eric Roberts, former wrestling star Kevin Nash, Matthew Marsden, Brian J. White (who looks exactly like Zack from the game) and look for Mortal Kombat star Robin Shou as the Pirate Leader.

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