One of the current purveyors of the DTV MMA onslaught is director Daniel Zirilli. He got his start directing rap videos and produced BLACK SPRING BREAK: THE MOVIE (1998), which I remember angering customers back when I worked at a video store. Zirilli spent a decade producing crap that clogged video store arteries; “urban” films with titles featuring a Z in it like LATIN KINGZ (2003) done in a thug life font. He latched onto MMA’s popularity and gave the world CIRCLE OF PAIN earlier this year. You remember that one right? It is the movie that gave the world the infamous Frank Mir vs. Heath Herring parking lot fight that my friend Dave said unfolded like the opening of a gay porn scene (how he knew that I don’t know). Well, he is back with a vengeance with the MMA fighter laced LOCKED DOWN.
Bolan is quickly found guilty (no trial footage) and finds himself sent off to Blackwater prison. And – wouldn’t you know it – it is overflowing with criminals he locked up. What are the odds? At the top of the list is Anton Vargas (the slumming Vinnie Jones, looking bloated as hell), a big time crime lord. Now hold onto your hats because this might blow your mind. Vargas runs this prison and has the warden wrapped around his little finger (thanks to young hookers). Also – make sure you are seated for this one – he runs an illegal underground fight circuit where prisoners fight to the death! Whoa, where did they come up with such an original plot? This barbaric bloodsport is showcased in the film’s opening when UFC fighter Cheick Kongo (as Silas) is punched in the balls (oh sweet, sweet justice) and killed by prison pound-for-pound champ Axl (Lance “The Snake” Cartwright).
Bolan is taken to his new home (one cheap set cell block of 5 cells) and meets Irving (Dave Fennoy), his old black roommate who used to be a fighter. Damn, I wonder if he will become his trainer and offer sage advice. Leaving no cliché left unturned, Irving tells Bolan that when it comes to respect, “you got to earn it.” Amazing! Of course, Bolan gets in trouble right away with thug Colton (Rashad Evans) as Bolan put away his cousin King (Kimbo Slice) down in Florida. I’ll let Rashad’s fine acting skills explain:
Naturally, this is all building to a final showdown with Axl, with Bolan beating up UFCer Joe Doerksen (as Slick!) in the process. There is also a bit of SHAWSHANK in here as Irving plans his big escape during the final showdown. Cue the loud guitar music!
|Here it is, the film's highlight!|
|Not gonna happen!|