D.O.A: Dead or Alive – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

Director

Corey Yuen

Cast

Jaime Pressly………. Tina Armstrong
Devon Aoki………. Kasumi
Holly Valance………. Christie Allen
Sarah Carter………. Helena Douglas
Natassia Malthe………. Ayane
Kane Kosugi………. Ryu Hayabusa
Matthew Marsden………. Max
Eric Roberts………. Donovan
Steve Howey………. Weatherby
Brian J. White………. Zack
Kevin Nash………. Bass Armstrong
Collin Chou………. Hayate
Derek Boyer………. Bayman
Silvio Simac………. Leon
Fang Liu………. Gen Fu

The Movie

When it comes to films with video games as their source material, the cycle tends to go from being horrible to merely bad. Most suffer from changing their source material radically to try and appeal to the masses or by trying to appeal to their most ardent fans only. Then there are some that choose the middle route like D.O.A: Dead or Alive, which fails on any number of levels.

D.O.A follows the adventures of Tina Armstong (Jaime Pressly) and her entrance into a fighting tournament of the same name. Donovan (80s icon Eric Roberts) has plans to use the tournament to harvest the traits of the perfect warrior in order to raise an army. It’s a ninety-minute spectacle of martial arts and scantily dressed women that’s perfect window dressing but horrid entertainment.

And on a purely visual level, this movie succeeds on any number of levels. It has plenty of good martial arts fights to go with plenty of good-looking, fit women in any number of skimpy outfits. It looks nice and is interesting for 90 minutes at least because of the eye candy. But ultimately it’s nothing that hasn’t been seen before. Corey Yuen seems to think that switching outfits on his actresses gives them some depth; they look great but ultimately the film is weak because it doesn’t do anything but go for the quick hit.

The film’s cast hasn’t been chosen for their acting abilities, either. Jaime Pressly is one of the reasons why My Name Is Earl is a hit but it’s disappointing to see her in a role that takes away her natural comedic ability for a more action-esque role. The things that endear her as an actress are taken away, including her impeccable comedic timing, and instead she’s given a character that it’s completely against her strengths. She looks good in the action, but other than that she isn’t given much.

Unfortunately the film doesn’t have much to it besides the visuals. Its plot, if one could call it that, revolves around inane ways to work itself into action. It takes all the bad qualities of either Charlie’s Angels film with the tone from Enter the Dragon and makes a loud, boring mess of it all. The film itself doesn’t contain enough of things like character development, plot or a coherent focus to the proceedings. It’s all sizzle and no steak.

A/V QUALITY CONTROL

Presented in a Dolby Digital format with a widescreen presentation, the film has a great presentation. It looks great and has a sound that utilizes the entire system.

The Extras

East meets West: Behind the action of D.O.A is a typical EPK style feature about the movie. Nothing about the film is really said outside of the typical “everything is wonderful” sort of stuff.

The film’s Theatrical Trailer is included as well.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for D.O.A: Dead or Alive
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE MOVIE

3.0
THE VIDEO

8.5
THE AUDIO

8.5
THE EXTRAS

2.5
REPLAY VALUE

2.5
OVERALL
3.0
(NOT AN AVERAGE)

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