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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rocky for Zen Enthusiasts
The best thing to do is not to read any reviews for this film, go into it blind and you will be richly rewarded.
So, in effect, stop reading now!!!!
Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Mike Terry, a ju-jitsu instructor in a struggling martial arts practice, where a turn of events occurs that tumbles him into whole new situations, both good, bad and tragic.
Whatever the...
Published on 18 July 2008 by N. Cannon

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 stars or 4?
First of all: it's by David Mamet, so it can't be a cheap story with a cheap script. Second, it's about fighting and martial arts, which makes it even stranger and more intriguing, since you don't usually link David Mamet to stuff like that. The surprise lies in the fact that this mix works: Redbelt is a story that stays focused on characters and on a certain approach to...
Published 17 months ago by Elleppi


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rocky for Zen Enthusiasts, 18 July 2008
By 
N. Cannon (UK, London) - See all my reviews
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The best thing to do is not to read any reviews for this film, go into it blind and you will be richly rewarded.
So, in effect, stop reading now!!!!
Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Mike Terry, a ju-jitsu instructor in a struggling martial arts practice, where a turn of events occurs that tumbles him into whole new situations, both good, bad and tragic.
Whatever the world throws at him, Mike tries to do the honourable thing, an ancient notion, sometimes at odds with the modern money chasing world.
I was very pleasantly surprised by Redbelt, the many twists and turns are rarely telegraphed as per much of the current hollywood fare, the soundtrack too doesn't give the game away with bombast and fanfare either, leaving the actual acting and story to do the storytelling on it's own for once.
Chiwetel, is ably supported thru this movie by Tim Allen, playing it straight, Emily Mortimer, Alice Braga, and a host of lesser known, but very able actors.
I won't give the game away, just see this film and enjoy the ride.
Honour is restored.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Martial Artists MUST get this film!, 15 Jan 2010
By 
M. Huxley (Liverpool, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Redbelt [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
I will not reveal any of the plot here, and others have talked about the basics, so I will just say that this is very obviously a film made, and heavily influenced by, real martial artists. Their is action in it, not like in a traditional action film, but the fights are well done and very technical. Martial Artists will get a kick out of seeing some very well executed Ju Jitsu and Judo techniques on the mats. But above and beyond that is the message the film delivers, about honour, decency, courage, responsibility, loyalty. All the things that Martial Arts asks of it's practitioners. It does not preach to the viewer, but it makes you think. And that is this films strength.

Absolutely amazing, a must buy. Especially at the price.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little known gem, 2 Dec 2010
By 
PB (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Redbelt [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
I watched this film purely because Chiwetel Ejiofor stars. Ejiofor's performance in "Dirty Pretty Things" was superb and I have been keen to see another silky, powerful performance from him. Sadly, many of his more recent efforts, while achieving commercial success, have not shown off his acting chops. Thankfully, Redbelt does. Redbelt is a very accomplished film. If I have a criticism, I would say that it is not particularly "cinematic." However, that is not to say that you shouldn't seek it out. If you like David Mamet's gritty cop shows, this has a similar feel and multi-layered storyline.

The film deals with the fundamental tenets of all true martial arts and compares them to the temptations of big business - here, movies, pro MMA fights and to an extent, fashion. Ejiofor's character is a warrior, but the story is about finding a way to prevail in seemingly impossible circumstances, the whole time struggling to maintain his integrity, and that of the art he has dedicated himself to. Not all of his fights are physical and this is where the film scores for me. While some other reviewers have criticised the story for lacking credibility, I felt that the story more than carried itself. All effects had a plausible cause and the snowballing problems could be real enough.

Additionally, those who have criticised the fights might be well versed in chop socky films (nothing wrong with that!), but Redbelt does a fine job of showing off Jiu Jitsu. Moreover, Ejiofor's fights are far more entertaining than anything I have seen from Steven Siegal - a bona fide Jiu Jitsu martial artist. Jiu Jitsu doesn't have the "wow!" factor of kung fu, but if you appreciate the skill of close quarters grappling, Redbelt has some excellent scenes.

While many Hong Kong Kung Fu films from the past tried to communicate the principles of martial arts, few survived the translation process. The stripped back approach Mamet has chosen for Redbelt, along with the West Coast setting, really help to put the principles into a setting that will be easier to understand for Western audiences. Although there were some highly predictable set pieces to the film, I would say that it represents it genre very well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Need sub-titles?, 29 Dec 2009
By 
flyinghyphen "flyinghyphen" (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Redbelt [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Sub-titles are: English for the Hard of Hearing, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, Hindi, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great film!, 2 April 2009
By 
kevin ward (bradford, england) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Redbelt [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
This is a great film! Its not all about mindless violence and beatings but yet it builds to a very climatic and satisfying ending. The story has many twists and turns,only one of which i managed to see, and is brilliantly acted with the few fights scenes in it realisticly done with great effect. If your after gung-ho stuff don't bother as this film offers something almost new to the genre, genuine honour and respect that with the ending, plot twists and great story will leave you feeling very entertained after watching it, enough so that i sat down to write this reveiew. buy it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly under-rated film!, 21 April 2009
By 
Miss K (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Redbelt [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
This is one of those films that flies under the radar and I only stumbled upon it by chance. Great ensemble cast with an endearing good guy that's so-nice-it-hurts at the centre of it all!

The film revolves around a down-to-earth, kind-hearted jiu jitsu teacher who owns an unprofitable training academy. We follow him as he encounters various problems...

It's best not to know TOO much about the film because it will surprise you with its twists and reveals. Themes explored include honour, corruption, courage, truth and moral responsibility. It does seem on the face of it to be a film for the boys but it's really not - there's certainly action but really it's a quiet cerebral kind of film filled with dialogue, drama and moral sentiment. There's a tiny echo of 'Rocky' and elements of 'The Karate Kid' and even 'The Last Samurai' but I think mostly you'll love this film if you've enjoyed something like 'The Air I Breathe'

There are some enjoyable cast & crew interviews on the DVD and you are also provided with an interesting film commentary and a documentary covering the background of jiu jitsu - it's also nice to see that the Director is so passionate about the sport. I'm in my mid-twenties and female and I was amazed with this film - it's entertaining and unexpected! Definitely worth watching!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 3 Mar 2014
By 
V. A. Millett "vinceabdulazeem" (Croydon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Redbelt [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
I've watched this film before starting to train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and afterwards. You certainly don't need to understand the art or its background to enjoy this film but if you do you'll get even more out of it. It is not an action film as such and the story, like all good stories, is about the people rather than what happens. Essentially it's like an old classic samurai film - lone warrior has moral choices to make. Will he choose easy but wrong or hard but right? The fight scenes are very well executed and it's worth watching the extras to see who all the supporting actors are, particularly the martial artists. It's an impressive lineup! Our lead actor does an amazing job of looking thoroughly convincing with only a short period of jiu jitsu training prior to filming.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A film made for real martial artists, 3 Sep 2013
This review is from: Redbelt [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Let me start this review by saying that if you a looking for some mincey rocky type film, or some chop suey jacky chan or bruce lee film - this is not for you, but if you are a true film fan who enjoys realism, great drama & great (realistic) action then look no further. True martial artists will also enjoy this film, as it portrays all the inner and outer battles which martial art instructors face in everyday life and also the types of people who train in martial arts for very different reasons - i believe that this is a complete first in the martial arts genre - everyone keeps blabbing on about 'Warrior' - two brothers fighting for some cash who have to fight each other, boohoohoo.
This film is so much deeper than Warrior and very few people know this film exists. Quite quickly into the film you realise that the main character is a man of great principle who genuinely cares about his art and students much more than money and that martial arts is so much more than beating people up like bruce lee. If you have ever trained properly in martial arts, you realise that people attain many different things from training and martial arts actually change people's entire lives and outlooks on life - very few films portray this side of the arts.
The fight scenes are all 'realistic' there are no 'triple jumping back front side spinning kicks' which knock out fifty guys in one go.
This is a genuinely complete film and if you like films like Warrior, this film will blow you away.
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3.0 out of 5 stars 3 stars or 4?, 17 May 2013
By 
Elleppi (Rome, Italy) - See all my reviews
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First of all: it's by David Mamet, so it can't be a cheap story with a cheap script. Second, it's about fighting and martial arts, which makes it even stranger and more intriguing, since you don't usually link David Mamet to stuff like that. The surprise lies in the fact that this mix works: Redbelt is a story that stays focused on characters and on a certain approach to life, so it's not a Van Damme-like film, but a true, genuine, even simple but very human story about someone trying to make through the day and through life, who bases his redemption on what he really can do, which is fighting, but with a reluctant attitude that makes him look fragile, realistic and makes you want to emphatized with him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Martial-Drama, 19 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Redbelt [DVD] [2009] (DVD)
Firstly, the reason why people are freaking out about this film is because it has a realist (and more of a) story than we're used to seeing when we watch a martial arts film. In fact, I think this film invents a new genre "Martial-Drama". Not since Rocky has a film dealt with both genres so good. I could go on, but other people have already done that so just check it out.
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Redbelt [DVD] [2009]
Redbelt [DVD] [2009] by David Mamet (DVD - 2009)
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