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Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back(1995)
An outsider battles white supremacists in small-town America.
For more about Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back and the Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back Blu-ray release, see Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on February 27, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Phillip Rhee, Mark Rolston, Gina Gershon
Director: Phillip Rhee
» See full cast & crew
Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back Blu-ray Review
Not the best, but it'll do in a pinch for reasonable entertainment.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, February 27, 2013
Hatred is going to get you killed.
Some folks still see fit to prejudge -- and hate -- people based solely on the color of their skin rather than the content of their character. In truth racism exists well beyond mere white supremacist groups, but in Best of the Best 3, they're the villains of choice in a very black-and-white (no pun intended) conflict with precious few shades of gray, and rightly so in an instance like this where there's really only right or wrong and nothing in between. It's as straightforward as a story can be, with clear-cut heroes and villains but with a good little bit of dramatic content to go along with it as some characters fight for their sides and one central player wrestles with his own morality after joining up with the white supremacists. Best of the Best 3 won't be remembered for deep thematic content, novel plot lines, or even top-flight action, but it's a reasonably well made picture in its own right and one that's fairly entertaining, even if there's absolutely no real thought necessary to fully grasp everything the picture does and has to say.
The town of Liberty has descended into chaos. The local church is burned and its preacher murdered due to racial strife and the rise of a white supremacist group in the local area, a group led by "Preacher Brian" (R. Lee Ermey) and the volatile, hate-filled Donnie Hansen (Mark Rolston). The violence leaves a small child named Luther (Justin Brentley) orphaned and the community, including Margo Preston (Gina Gershon), angry and on-edge. Meanwhile, a directionless local teenager named Owen (Peter Simmons) chooses to join with the supremacists against his mother's wishes. Following the murder, an outsider named Tommy Lee (Director Phillip Rhee) wanders into town and, no sooner than he arrives, finds himself in conflict with the town's racist groups. Now, Tommy must take matters into his own hands and use violence to prevent more violence and stop the white supremacists, who are gearing up for a race war, before the entire town is destroyed.
Indeed, this is a simple as movies get, but there's really nothing wrong with "simple." It's positively linear, absolutely clear, and generally entertaining not because of any great action or drama but thanks to the ease with which one may watch it, the unambiguous themes and well-divided sides that make Best of the Best 2 one of the most straightforward movies ever made. The picture requires zero brain power on the audience's side and no emotional involvement besides simply rooting on the good guys from a distance and the safety of the theater. The picture is built around those who hate and partake in unnecessary violence but never gets too physically nasty or verbally disagreeable beyond the plot-necessary slew of racial slurs. The good characters are likable, the bad characters not so much, and the one fence-sitting character goes through a predictable but satisfying transformation by film's end. This really is basic entertainment, but even considering the lack of dramatic heft, it remains a fairly well-made picture from a technical perspective.
Best of the Best 2 is certainly no goliath of a production, but the filmmakers have done a reasonably good job in making it as good, probably, as the direct-to-video budget and completely straightforward plot allow. The film succeeds in capturing the basics of the broad emotions and actions; it's all very raw and not really all that powerful compared to something like American History X, but Best of the Best 3 aims more for simple entertainment rather than deep emotional drama. Director Phillip Rhee, who doubles down on filmmaking duty by also starring in the film, paints the picture by numbers but does so with a simple effectiveness that makes his audience love the heroes and hate the villains. The action scenes are suitably well staged, with plenty of gunplay and a few big explosions. The performances leave nothing to the imagination; like everything else about the movie, they're very cut-and-dry and often a little bit over the top, particularly on the supremacists' side. The actors convey the hate on one side and the love and understanding on the other equally well and they only enhance the verbal and physical clashes as they happen.
Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back Blu-ray, Video Quality
Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back arrives on Blu-ray with an oftentimes good, occasionally fair, and rarely poor high definition transfer. When the movie looks good, it looks quite good. Light grain overlays much of the image, giving it a fair cinematic texture. Details, then, are usually nicely accentuated, whether rural exteriors of hay and grass and trees or the usual facial lines and clothing seams. The image is quite clear, generally sharp, and only occasionally soft. Colors are even and pleasing; whether natural greens or the myriad of bright, largely balanced colors in the fair sequence, Echo Bridge's transfer provides a stable array of hues that serve the movie nicely. The final act nighttime showdown delivers honest black levels, and flesh tones are fairly even throughout. The downside is that there are times when the image can look quite pasty and a bit smoothed over. Light wear and tear is also occasionally evident, as is the stray edge halo. Nevertheless, this is a pretty nice transfer overall; it's certainly hard to complain too loudly at this price point.
Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back features a DTS-HD MA 2.0 lossless soundtrack that tries, but never does quite live up to potential for or, indeed, find the sort of immersive presentation a movie of this sort commands and a 5.1 track could provide. As it is, the track is certainly good enough to get listeners through the film with no real sonic issues, but it does nothing with any style. There's little energy to music, which does play with a decent front-end spacing but seems to struggle to do so, instead seeming to want to linger cramped up in the center. Explosions are fairly weak and uninspiring, ditto gunshots. Try as it may, the tack can't find the room-filling power and seamless lossless clarity to bring a church song from chapter three to life. There are a few moments of scattered, minimal ambience, such as at the busy fairgrounds, but otherwise the track only delivers the most straightforward and general action-crticial sound effects. Dialogue is never really problematic, perhaps a little shallow in a few spots but certainly clear and accurate enough. Overall, it's a middling sort of track that's good enough to convey only the basics with little struggle.
Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Echo Bridge's Blu-ray release of Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back contains no additional content.
Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back isn't better than all the rest, but it's a fun little Action movie that requires no thought, only eyeballs glued to the screen. It delivers simple characters inside a simple story with no gray areas; it's one of the most straightforward movies, Action or otherwise, audiences will ever come across, and there's something to be said for such a streamlined picture. It's not destined to become an all-time favorite, but chances are most Action junkies will enjoy what the film has to offer. Echo Bridge's Blu-ray release of Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back is unfortunately supplement-free, but the disc does offer fairly good video and mediocre audio. Normally that would lead to a recommendation to rent, but at this price point it's hard to pass on what amounts to a simply fun little movie.
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