Blu-ray Review: RAPID FIRE

RAPID FIRE was directed by Dwight H. Little from a screenplay by Alan B. McElroy and stars Brandon Lee, Powers Boothe, Nick Mancuso, Raymond J. Barry, Tzi Ma, Kate Hodge and Tony Longo. The score is by Christopher Young.

The film that introduced Brandon Lee (son of the one and only Bruce) as an action star, Rapid Fire (1992) focuses on Jake Lo (Lee), a Los Angeles art student who unwittingly gets involved with a deadly Mafia drug distributor (the marvelous Nick Mancuso). He is then recruited by a police lieutenant (Powers Boothe) and his tough but attractive partner (Kate Hodge) to help nab both the Mafioso and his deadly associate, Kinman Tau (Tzi Ma). Directed by Dwight H. Little and jam-packed with martial arts sequences choreographed by Lee, the film also features a spectacular Christopher Young score, available on this Twilight Time release as an isolated track.

This 1992 crime-thriller follows Jake Lo (Brandon Lee), an art student who witnesses mafia gangster Antonio Serrano (Nick Mancuso) murder his Chinese rival, Carl Chang (Michael Paul Chan) at a political dinner party that he didn’t even want to be at in the first place. Jake is a witness to the deadly crime which makes him a target so he’s placed in protective custody of FBI agent Frank Stewart (Raymond J. Barry) until he can testify. It doesn’t take long for Jake to realize the FBI agent is corrupt and doesn’t have his best interest at heart.

What happens is, Jake finds himself fighting for his life against corrupt cops and sinister gangs, and even though he’s outnumbered, he shows anyone who tries to kill him that he’s not going to go down so easy. This is also where Jake makes a run for it and teams up with Lieutenant Mace Ryan (Powers Boothe) and Karla Withers (Kate Hodge) where the three of them take on the entire Italian and Chinese crime rings that are after him. They’re completely outnumbered but Jake and his new allies take out the bad guys in extreme fire fights and hand-to-hand combat until they ultimately win the battle.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, an image, a few quotes, and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inside is a booklet from Twilight Time that includes more images from the movie, some nice words about Rapid Fire by Julie Kirgo and more original artwork on the front and back. You can see the front cover of the booklet down below. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any serious issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, I has a blast revisiting Rapid Fire because it’s a movie that I hadn’t watched since renting it on pay-per-view when I was a kid. As great as those action movies are from the 80s, there’s a few that came along in the early 90s that had that same look and feel and this is one of them. This is a purist’s action movie that actually has a great story and it’s complimented by some interesting characters played just right by a talented cast. This movie served as Brandon Lee’s calling card and was put together with him in mind. Not only could he act but Lee did most of his own stunts as well as a lot of the choreography. Of course, Lee’s biggest movie would come two years later in 1994 with The Crow where he suffered his unfortunate and untimely death that left all of us heartbroken. Just think what could have been! Anyway, this is a really fun movie that’s maxed out with some exciting fight scenes and stunts, a cool story with a few twists and a fantastic cast that’s complimented by Dwight Little’s eye for action. Rapid Fire is now available on Blu-ray and has a Limited Edition run of 3,000 units.

Distributor: Twilight Time

Run Time: 95 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1) Region Free

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include an isolated music track, some audio commentary, a behind-the-scenes featurette, introducing Brandon Lee promo and the original theatrical trailer.

  • Isolated Music Track
  • Audio Commentary with Composer Christopher Young and Film Historian Nick Redman
  • Featurette (04:59)
  • Introducing: Brandon Lee (02:43)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (01:27)

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