While listening to The Joe Rohan Experience with Khalil Rountree, my ears perked up when I heard Rountree mention he was in a movie featuring him, Anderson Silva, Rampage Jackson and more called Lord of the Streets. “Hey” I thought, “That sounds like something I should review.” Well, I watched it to review it. It was…a tough watch to say the least. But I will not say to not watch this movie. I do believe I’m supporting Rountree, Silva and more despite the movie quality. More on this later. First, let’s review the movie.
Lord of the Streets is an underground martial arts movie similar to Never Back Down: Revolt that we recently reviewed. This has a bit different spin and, admittedly, I thought this was just going to be a rehash of that movie at first. But it does have stark differences.
Khalil Rountree’s Damon Stone is in jail for a crime and Jason Dyson, played by Treach, discovers him in a prison-MMA outreach program. After a bit of a scuffle broke out, Treach saw how good Rountree was, albeit raw in skills. Dyson’s child is kidnapped by a very mean, very mob-influenced Rampage Jackson. His henchman, played by Anderson Silva, enforces his decrees and is just the stereotypical bad guy. To get his daughter free from Jackson Treach gets Rountree out of prison and has to fight five fighters in one night to free Treach’s daughter and himself from his prison sentence.
Lord of the Streets: The Good
Lord of the Streets may have some of MMA’s biggest names and Treach as the lead, but the movie itself leans to not much good. Some of the movie, however, is gleaming. Director Jared Cohn took advantage of the skills of the MMA fighter/actors in the movie being sure to show off their skill sets as martial artists.
Another cool homage of sorts is the climax of the film where Rountree is in the cage fighting five fighters in one night. It has a tower ascension feel popularized by Bruce Lee in Game of Death. There, both Lee and Rountree have to ascend, either physically or metaphorically, a tower and face opponents with different skills that get progressively harder the more tired they become. This was either a great inspiration or a blatant copying. Either way, it works well in the story and is a modern adaptation of the trope.
Where the movie fell short
To be honest, finding the good in this movie took some time. I had to think hard about what I did enjoy from the movie. The move fell short in a good bit of what it was trying to do.
First off, the dialogue was clunky and overall not very well written. “Thank God for corruption,” Roundtree said after getting taken out of jail by Rampage Jackson’s mob ties. It sounds good on paper, but when said in the movie, it lands flat. I don’t really know if it is due to Roundtree’s delivery or the lack of buildup for the line itself.
Rampage was very mean and played a good bad guy in the movie. But his motives were simple. He’s an underground fight promoter and Treacherous owes him money, and apparently enough to kidnap his daughter. It’s kind of a stale trope at this point but it’s what sets the movie up for the next hour.
In the climax of the film, Khalil Roundtree has to fight five fighters in one night, like Game of Death as mentioned a
Lastly, the scenes in the movie aren’t very well put together. It seems like the directors and producers took a bunch of shorts and spliced them together to make an hour and a half quota for the movie. They don’t flow well from one scene to the next and sometimes it feels like we’re spending too long in the scenes we don’t need to be spending time in and not enough time where we need to be to fully flesh out the story.
Overall rating: 1.5/10
Simply put, Lord of the Streets is a very flawed movie. It’s original ideas lack originality if that even makes sense. While it pays homage to its predecessors like Game of Death, it isn’t executed properly. The dialogue isn’t good. It is quite the rough ride.
But if you’re questioning if you should watch Lord of the Streets, I suggest giving it a spin. It’s out for free on Tubi and your watch will help Anderson Silva, Khalil Rountree, AJ McKee and Rampage Jackson. Fighters need work after fighting and action movies are a way they can do that.