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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably the Best of its Day
The first "Best of the Best" never got a chance at the British box office. However, as a video release it did quite well from what I recall. Sadly this reputation was short-lived in Britain by its highly criticised sequel, which did make it to the big screen.
The 90's were a very cynical time and at the time of Best of Best's release martial arts cinema was in its...
Published on 25 Mar 2003 by Mr. J. C. Clubb

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting fight scences, hilariously bad acting++SPOILER ALERT
My abiding memory of this film will always be the coach. He was the only member of the cast I knew of by name, yet he was hilariously bad, First off, what kind of coach wears a suit, and can't actually do a single move himself? But worst of all, was the horribly over-dramatic delivery of his terrible lines.

That said, I thought the fight scenes were pretty well...
Published on 16 Feb 2012 by Apple-eater


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably the Best of its Day, 25 Mar 2003
By 
Mr. J. C. Clubb "byshee" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Best Of The Best [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
The first "Best of the Best" never got a chance at the British box office. However, as a video release it did quite well from what I recall. Sadly this reputation was short-lived in Britain by its highly criticised sequel, which did make it to the big screen.
The 90's were a very cynical time and at the time of Best of Best's release martial arts cinema was in its the kickboxer-craze. In retrospect this was one of the worst times as far style in the genre goes, as kickboxing does not possess the asthetic quality of most styles. This was where Best of the Best stood out and at the time was probably my favourite film bar none. It provided good characterisation, good actors such as Eric Roberts, James Earl Jones, Sally Kirkland, Christopher Penn et al and good martial artists. The dominant style in the film is Taekwondo, performed by great Korean exponents of the style. Phillip Rhee, who was involved in the production of the film, had a solid background in both Taekwondo and Hapkido (the latter you don't see displayed until Best of the Best 2) and plays off superbly against Simon Rhee in the film's climax.
No need to go into plot details here as you will have got the idea from the other reviewers. The film should be credited for making some very obvious breaks from the action mould at the time. There is a strong attempt at a storyline, which, although a little cheesey by today's standards, had a different type of ending to most martial arts films of its day. The "sensei" of the film is a strong female character!
Before Marc Dacascos showed the western world that it was possible to have a great martial artist and serious actor in the same package, Best of the Best lead the way. The sequel, although inferior, is also worth checking for a change in direction of the "Bloodsport" style films.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Please, Stop Crying!!, 3 Aug 2002
By 
Shaun (Hailsham, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Best Of The Best [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
This film is actually pretty cool and worth watching, if not buying at it's budget price. There are some real good martial arts skills put together in this film making it one of the best if not 'the best of the best' of martial arts films of the century.
The film is basically about an injured martial artist, who was once a champion called Alex Grady (Eric Roberts) who comes back from his injury to perform for the US national martial arts team to take on the ferocious Korean team in a final tournament. This takes them a lot of training and it always seems as if the Koreans are one step ahead. Anyway, Roberts teams up with Philip Ree (who acts well and has some real talent) and 3 others for the national team.
The film as it's dramatic points, but one thing- Eric Roberts just kept on crying throughout the film, he cried for his son, his job, his shoulder, his partner and for the Koreans! Please, stop crying!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best Of The Best!, 4 Aug 2005
This review is from: Best Of The Best [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
Over the years i have seen many martial arts movies from all over the world, and when 'The Best Of The Best' was recommended to me i decided to give it ago, and i am very glad now that i did. Its a great little film with plenty of well choreographed and entertaining fight scenes and some good acting too, so theres not much to complain about.
A martial arts tornament is held in USA to decide who will be selected to go over to Korea and fight a team of Korean's in contest that is held every three years. The five picked for the American team are: Alex Grady, Tommy Lee, Virgil, Travis Brickley, and Sonny and must commit themselves to three months of intensive training lead by Coach Couzo and Wade, a woman hired to mentally prepare them for combat. Eventually they arrive in Korea and see their opponents 'in the flesh' for the first time.
The main cast are generally good throughout the film, showing both acting ability and of course plenty of high kicks and fast punches, with Eric Roberts as Alex, Philip Rhee as Tommy, John Dye as Virgil, Christopher Penn as Travis, and David Agresta as Sonny. And lets not forget one of if not the biggest star of the film, James Earl Jones as the strict Coach Couzo, and the lovely Sally Kirkland as the mind trainer Wade.
There are two things that i liked most about this film. Firstly was that there was plenty of training, not just continual fight scenes where the American team always win. The training makes the film seem that much more realistic as it shows that the coach, trainers and the guys themselves know that unless they do train hard for three months then they don't really stand much of a chance. The second thing is the fight scenes themselves, which were very entertaiing stuff, especially the fighting with the Korean's at the end of the film, and the bar room brawl.
Overall, 'The Best Of The Best' really does live up to its name in being up there with the best of martial arts films. Its certainly one of the best that i have seen and i'm sure when you watch it you will agree with me. One small let down with the DVD was that there were no extras, which is a shame but for now the film is enough on its own. If you are a fan of martial arts films or just want a good film with a few punch-ups then i would highly recommend this film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its all in the Title, 17 May 2006
By 
S. Johnson "seanjohnson9" (Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Best Of The Best [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
If, like me, you are a fan of the late 80's early 90's Matrial Arts Bonanza that brought the likes of "The Karate Kid", "Bloodsport" and "American Ninja" you will love this gem. Best of the Best boasts the weighty talents of James Earl Jones as the strict, bellowing Coach Couzo and Eric Roberts as the "tough pro given one last shot". We are also introduced to the excellent Philip Rhee playing "Tommy Lee" the jewel in Team USA's crown and a young Christopher Penn trying to convince us all he knows Tai Kwon-Do. The story is simplicity itself - Team USA takes on the all conquering Team Korea in its own back yard, lead by the fearsome unbeaten champion Dae Haan (played by Rhee's real life brother Simon).

This is textbook boys own stuff. A disjointed batch of has beens and never will be's, becoming a team of world beaters and the strongest "team" around. Its all here - Training Montage's aplenty and a great climatic tournament scene. Excellent martial arts throughout - especially Phillip Rhee's final destruction of Dae Haan.

Switch the DVD on, brain off, and enjoy.

This is quality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Best of the Best, 12 July 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Best Of The Best [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
A 'must see' film for any combat/action fan! It follows the fortunes of an American Karate team as they are selected and trained to compete against Team Korea. This, of course, paves the way to some excellent training and fighting scenes. Watch out for loads of awesome Tae Kwon-Do action from Tommy Lee (Phillip Rhee) and the Team Korea opponents. Behind the action there is also a solid story that connects the characters lives to the competition in such a way that you're even more behind the under-dog American team when it comes to competition time.
All in all a great 'fight scene' packed film that will make you want to get the sequel on your next shopping trip.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS THE ONE, 16 April 2008
By 
Stephen R. Marsh "Steve Marsh" (Cheshire UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Best Of The Best [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
my title says it all.
If you only ever buy one Martial arts film make da## sure it's this one.
A lot of Martial arts films are a joke and do nothing to promote a particular art or the students. Impossible leaps into trees or from walls etc we have all seen them.
This film is however believable. Believable in that proper techniques are employed.
As a Karateka and also having in the past studied and graded in both Judo and aikido. I was grateful for a film that showed Martial Arts in a good light.
Here we have a group, brought together to compete against Korea.
They are trained hard and moulded into the American karate team.
I enjoyed watching both the training and the fight scenes.
The story is good with good characters.
I have watched this film numerous times and still enjoy it.
I think it will appeal to both Martial artists and action movie fans.

Go get the film.

Steve Marsh
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5.0 out of 5 stars wow wow and double wow, 21 Feb 2006
By 
Mr. N. Wildman "nickwildman2" (Beds, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Best Of The Best [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
I think the title of this review shows what I think of this film!
I first saw this years ago when it was a relatively unknown film and I am very glad to see that it has become a cult classic since then. This film has got everything you could want, if you're looking for a feel good film, a bit of drama, action etc. Even if you're not a fan of these genres, it is worth watching purely to appreciate the level of martial arts ability displayed. The fact that only one member of the american team is actually a martial artist makes no difference. Eric Roberts does a stirling job for a non-martial artist. The Rhee brothers are just astonishing.
Buy this film if not for the pleasure of watching the overall film, to watch the fantastic kicking ability of Simon and Philip Rhee.
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4.0 out of 5 stars NOT BAD AT ALL................................., 9 Sep 2008
By 
Saturnicus "Saturnicus" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Best Of The Best [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
Nearly twenty years old.
Not much of a story, but the matches are very good indeed. James Earl Jones plays the coach of a team setting out to take on five of Korea's best in a sort of mixture of martial arts.
There are loads of emotional, weepy and thoroughly soppy moments, but nevertheless it is a film that maintains ones interest throughout.
The Koreans are a joy to watch. I certainly would not have wanted to go up against them.
A very good effort.
A must-see for any fan of tae kwon do.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 10 July 2014
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This review is from: Best Of The Best [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
Very good film seen before
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5.0 out of 5 stars fab, 18 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Best Of The Best [DVD] [1990] (DVD)
my partner has been after this film for ages he loves it fast delivery got her just in time for fathers day
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Best Of The Best [DVD] [1990]
Best Of The Best [DVD] [1990] by Robert Radler (DVD - 2002)
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