Friday, 30 March 2018

Fight Valley (2016)

Tori Coro is a tough young woman, looking to make her mark - and the money to get out of her violent neighbourhood - in underground street fights.  When she turns up dead, her privileged and generally rather clueless sister Windsor sets out to find who killed Tori.  This will bring her in contact with Tori's friends - the self-proclaimed "Knockaround Girls" - and enemies, all of whom are frankly more than Windsor is ready to handle, right now.  Only if she can get the help of renowned local fighter Jab might she be able to survive the experience.

My word, this film is a mess.  I mean, I expect bad acting from low budget affairs that have MMA fighters in major roles (Miesha Tate, Holly Holm and Cris Cyborg all feature), and of course I'm not surprised by bad dialogue either.  But Fight Valley bravely if unwisely bucks all kinds of structural expectations of its narrative.  For instance, for the first fifteen minutes of the film, Tori appears to be our protagonist.  But after a couple of fight sequences and rather gratuitous lesbian sex scene, she's killed off camera, and her far less likeable sister takes centre stage.  Then there's the ending, which ... well, let's just say +1 point for trying something really out of the ordinary with martial arts / revenge flick, but -100 points for executing it so badly.

Fight Valley's ambitions far exceed its reach.  I can admire it for what it aspires to be, and even take a moment to commend Cabrina Collesides, who is almost alone in the cast in seeming to understand what this acting thing actually is, but I certainly can't recommend it as a film anyone ought to watch.

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