March 14, 2024


2022 / 85 min
Review by Mr. Bonnie😼

Tak Sakaguchi is evidently a big deal in his home country of Japan. On this side of the pond, he’s probably most known for the cult film, Versus, but the only thing I remember him from is Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1. Boasting a 77-minute fight scene, it was gimmicky, monotonous junk that played more like a live-action first-person video game than a movie.

The good news is One-Percent Warrior is better than that, with an actual story that begins pretty cleverly. Tak plays a thinly veiled version of himself as Takuma Toshiro, an action star who once made a classic film, but his obsession with “authentic” action & fighting has since made him almost impossible to work with. 10 years later, he has trouble even landing roles as an extra.

Mr. Badwrench
So with apprentice & only fan Akira (Kohei Fukuyama) in tow, Takuma decides to put together a real action movie with some financial backing. But the action becomes very real when he and his crew arrive at the shooting location - an abandoned factory on a remote island - at the same time as two warring Yakuza clans. Seeing this as an opportunity to show off his skills in a real situation, Takuma goes to work while Akira films it all.

It’s more-or-less at this point that One-Percent Warrior turns into an extended brawl, allowing Sakaguchi ample opportunities to demonstrate his formidable fighting abilities. But however impressive, a little of this goes a long way. The action grows increasingly repetitious and at no point is the outcome ever in question. 

It’s ultimately the meta aspects of the film that work best, along with Sakaguchi's apparent willingness to poke fun at himself. Hence, the early scenes tend to be more engaging. The rest of One-Percent Warrior should keep hardcore fight fans amused.

MAKING-OF FEATURETTE - At 25 minutes, it's much more substantial than the usual promos included by Well Go.

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