Dead or Alive is a film that is so exploitative and atrociously bad, that somehow it ended up being a whole lot of fun. However to view this as a fun film, it must be viewed as intended: With brain switched off, and ol' Mr McDong taking control of your functions for 80 minutes. Yes, this may be a film with a predominantly female cast, but ladies need not turn up to watch this, cause they probably won't enjoy it, unless their sexual barometer is registering the opposite end from "hetero." This film is total gratuity in every regard, from the scantily clad, sexy ladies, to the barrage of testosterone pumping action. This is hot chicks doing high kicks! So with that, and having this the pre-conceived idea when I bought my ticket, I knew I'd enjoy it. Hell the film was marketed right. It's about a video game and has the subtlety of said game, which is in the button bashing, short attention span of the games spectrum. It's a simple movie for a simple movie going experience. IF anyone goes into this film and comes out having not enjoyed it, then they SHOULD have known better! I think only those who want to see this kind of film, who are in the mood, will watch, and they'll get a kick out of it like me. Critics will despise it cause it represents a film they have to watch, but probably don't want to.
So DOA is essentially a non-interactive video game, an FMV if you will. It's got an awful script, mediocre acting, and all the efforts of the filmmakers have gone into perfectly capturing, glistening, bouncing boobies amongst the martial arts mayhem. The plot essentially is nothing more than little set-ups to all the fights, taking place at a secret fighting tournament set up by Eric Roberts, in grade-A scenery chewing mode. Roberts to me is a tragic waste of talent, who in the early 80's looked a great prospect and to some, me included, has more talent than his over-rated sister Julia (who now of course takes all the plaudits). Roberts is consigned to doing DTV movies now, or TV movies and on the rare occasion he appears back in the multiplexes, it's in another B-movie that usually is awful. However at least Eric is enjoying himself here, relishing his return (somewhat) to the limelight. or to put it another way, to remind people Julia wasn't an only child! The rest of the main cast, who register any interest, are the hot ladies. There's the rather bizarre, yet strikingly attractive looking Devon Aoki and then there's also Holly Valance, Sarah Carter and Natassia Malthe too. However it's Jaime Pressley who steals the show, not only with her performance, that delivers the most laughs (intentional ones that is), but also she has a bod to die for and considering some stiff competition from Valances sculpted physique in particular, that's no mean feat.
Overall though this film will go down as a classic bad movie. The filmmakers never intended making anything beyond what they deliver. This is bad, it's cheesy and it's forgettable. But it's outrageously fun while it lasts and it most certainly requires the wearing of loose fitting underwear to allow for Sgt Schlong to stand to attention every now and again. I feel guilty having enjoyed it, but I had a good idea of the film that would be delivered and it was delivered as I imagined. ***