In the 1990s, two superstars ruled the Asian martial arts movie market: Jackie Chan and Jet Li. While the former revolutionized the modern action extravaganza with blockbusters like Rumble in the Bronx, the latter scored box-office gold by resurrecting the “ponytail classics” with epics like Once Upon a Time in China. Occasionally, Jet Li snuck in a contemporary movie or two, including the item on our menu this month: The Enforcer, a film that’s mildly enjoyable despite its syrupy script and cartoonlike fight choreography. With this 1995 production getting a DVD re-release by Dragon Dynasty, I’m reminded of why Jet Li stuck to mostly costumed fare: His martial acrobatics appear unrealistic in modern settings. In China, Jet Li became a national champion in wushu, a mix of traditional kung fu and gymnastics. He was a natural at wielding the staff, the chain whip and other ancient weapons in exhibitions. His shift to movies with contemporary settings in the 1990s, however, was not as natural, and it shows in The Enforcer. Jet Li stars as an undercover police officer from mainland China whose assignment to infiltrate a Hong Kong-based gang strains his relationship with his dying wife and martial artist son. This role was a good change for Jet Li, giving him a chance to smoke cigarettes, play a flawed character and develop rapport with a child. No amount of change can hide the fact that Jet Li doesn’t look as comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt as he does in a changshan outfit and queue pigtail—at least on-screen. In The Enforcer, he looks awkward with a gun, holding it like an alien artifact rather than an extension of his arsenal. And even when he picks up a pair of police batons, he doesn’t wield them like tonfa or kali sticks; he swings them around like blunt broadswords. It doesn’t help much that director Corey Yuen (The Transporter) got so caught up in the wushu wire-work fad of the 1990s that he forgot about a thing called gravity. In some scenes, there are so many wire stunts that Jet Li might as well have put on a cape and flown above his enemies. In another example, Jet Li wraps a rope around his son (Tse Mui) and proceeds to whip the boy through the air like a yo-yo to take out an army of thugs. I laughed at the fight’s absurdity, something akin to Peter Griffin’s brawls with the giant chicken in Family Guy. Together, Corey Yuen and Jet Li have made some good movies, such as The Legend of Fong Sai Yuk, but in The Enforcer, their over-the-top fight choreography completely removed me emotionally from the story. Thankfully, there are a handful of bright spots, such as Jet Li’s epic battle against three high-kicking gangsters (including former Hong Kong muay Thai champ Ken Lo). By 1990s standards, The Enforcer was a box-office success. By today’s standards, it’s more of a fun turn-off-your-brain-and-turn-up-the-volume movie. It has noteworthy bonus materials, but there are two glaring omissions (no Jet Li interview or original Cantonese soundtrack). It does include exclusive interviews with Tse Mui, Ken Lo and producer/writer Wong Jing, as well as audio commentary by Asian cinema expert Bey Logan. Ken Lo and Wong Jing’s interviews provide loads of insider information, from tidbits about Jet Li’s personality (he’s a pretty quiet dude) to the fact that The Enforcer wasn’t meant to be a martial arts movie (Wong Jing saw it as a dramatic action piece). In one featurette, Tse Mui remembers how the leading man offered “comments” on his wushu forms. “Maybe I shouldn’t say comments,” Tse Mui says with a smile. “They were more like lectures.” Maybe someone should have lectured Jet Li and Corey Yuen about the law of gravity in action scenes.
The long-awaited meeting between ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano "Mikinho" Moraes and ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson took center stage and had a shocking conclusion.
Five other bouts helped fill out ONE's primetime debut in the United States.
Need a recap of what went down at ONE on TNT I? Here is what you missed from the latest edition of ONE Championship action.
Main Event: Adriano Moraes vs. Demetrious Johnson
Adriano Moraes 🇧🇷 SHOCKS THE WORLD, becoming the first man to finish Demetrious Johnson! @adrianomkmoraes #WeAreONE… https://t.co/JVSVwKC973— ONE Championship (@ONE Championship)1617850288.0
Moraes Winner by Knockout
Round 2 - 2:24
For the first time in a 14 year career, Johnson was finished. The jaw-dropping knockout came in the second round as Moraes successfully defended the ONE Flyweight World Championship.
The Brazilian clipped Johnson with a right uppercut that staggered "Mighty Mouse" and put him on the mat. As Moraes followed up, "Mikinho" delivered a short knee to the face that put an end to Johnson's title bid. Moraes' stunning finish of the all-time great made him the top flyweight on the planet.
Rodtang Jitmuangnon vs. Danial Williams
Rodtang Winner by Unanimous Decision
Following the title tilt, Rodtang "The Iron Man" Jitmuangnon put on a show as he welcomed Daniel "Mini T" Williams to ONE. The Aussie proved to be a game opponent and gave Rodtang a run for his money, but in the end it was a clear-cut decision for the Thai star. The exciting matchup was a great showcase for ONE Super Series, Rodtang, and Williams as well.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Iuri Lapicus
Lapicus Winner by Disqualification
The opening bout did not go as expected. The potential best match of the night ended early after illegal blows to the back of the head from Alvarez were called by the referee. Alvarez was shown a red card and Lapicus was given the victory. However, fans can likely expect a rematch as nothing was settled in this contender's matchup.
Tyler McGuire vs. Raimond Magomedaliev
Magomedaliev Winner by Unanimous Decision
Dagestani Raimond Magomedaliev put in an excellent 15 minutes against Tyler McGuire to make a solid case to be the welterweight division's top contender. The American pushed forward for 15 minutes, but Magomedaliev had the answers every step of the way to earn a unanimous decision.
Enriko Kehl vs. Chingiz AllazovKehl Winner by Split DecisionEnriko Kehl and Chingiz Allzov met again, but this time it was inside the ONE Circle. The longtime kickboxing rivals showed how closely matched they were in an exciting back-and-forth banger. After nine solid minutes, Kehl got two of the three judges to see it his way to grab the narrow victory.
Oumar Kane vs. Patrick Schmid
Kane Winner by TKO
"Reug Reug" Oumar Kane continued his ascent as the next African star with a first-round mauling of Patrick "The Big Swiss" Schmid. The Senegalese grappler got to show-off his developing striking before taking the match to the ground and ending the bout with strikes.
BONUS: Johnson Speaks after Loss to Moraes
- Demetrious Johnson: Anatomy of the GOAT - Black Belt Magazine ›
- ONE On TNT I Press Conference & Faceoffs Highlights - Black Belt ... ›
The European Taekwondo Championships wrapped up on Sunday in Sofia, Bulgaria with Russia dominating the men's categories while Great Britain reigned on the women's side. The British nabbed three titles in the women's events lead by two-time Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones who took her third European championship capturing the 57 kg division with a 20-5 victory over Turkey's Hatice Kübra İlgün. Jones will seek to become the first British woman to win individual gold at three different Olympics when she competes at this year's Tokyo games.
The Russian men also earned three titles lead by 2017 world champion Maksim Khramtsov, who garnered his second European crown at 80 kg.
One of those bouts features ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Janet "JT" Todd continuing her pursuit of two-sport dominance against Anne "Ninja" Line Hogstad in a Muay Thai contest.
The two top-ranked Muay Thai contenders each have their own hopes and dreams for the gold, but if Todd can capture it, she will be the second-ever two-sport atomweight World Champion. She is chasing history to cement her legacy as the best atomweight striker in the world.
But Hogstad will not be one to lay down for her bid.
Fans should expect three rounds of elite striking with a furious pace. The output will be high from two aggressive competitors who will not back down with such high stakes on one of the biggest events of the year.
And you can get primed for the bout with a look at how they made their way to this momentous occasion.
In this video from ONE, see how both women have performed on the global stage to get to this crucial point of being entrusted to perform in primetime. Who will come away with a potential title shot at ONE on TNT II?
Janet Todd vs. Anne Line Hogstad | Road To ONE On TNT II
Watch the main card on TNT or the Watch TNT app at 10 p.m. EST at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST. The West Coast can watch the main card on TNT on a delay at 10 p.m. PST.
The event will also be available on Bleacher Report and the B/R app at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST. Fans will need to log in with their cable subscription credentials.
Prelims will be aired on the B/R App, B/R Live, Bleacher Report, B/R Live YouTube, and B/R MMA Twitter at 8:30 p.m. EST/5:30 p.m. PST.