The popularity of mixed martial arts has long-since penetrated the realm of martial arts movies, and quality wise, the results have been, no pun intended, a mixed bag. The efforts of numerous filmmakers have seen the emergence of several instant classics, such as Isaac Florentine’s “Undisputed 2” and “Undisputed 3“, Donnie Yen’s “Sha Po Lang” (aka “Kill Zone“) and “Flash Point“, and Michael Jai White’s “Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown”. However, there have been an equal number of failures ranging from mediocre to outright horrible, as well, such as “Unrivaled”, “Never Surrender”, “Death Warrior” and “Cradle 2 the Grave”.
Thankfully, if the trailer is anything to go by, “Tapped Out”, the newest MMA action thriller on the horizon, appears to fall into the former category. The film (which carried the working title of simply “Tapped”) stars Canadian karate masters Cody Hackman and Nick Bateman, both of whom also produced the film from a story written by Hackman, and features action direction by accomplished stuntman Neil Davison, whose past credits include “Bulletproof Monk”, “300”, “Scott Pilgrim vs The World” and the game “Batman: Arkham Origins”.
Michael Biehn co-stars with Hackman and Bateman in a mentoring role, and Hackman’s character receives further tutelage from real-life MMA fighters Krzysztof Soszynski, Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida, and Anderson “Spider” Silva. The synopsis of the film released by Lionsgate reveals what fans can expect from the film:
“Former Karate prodigy, Michael Shaw returns to his roots when he is sentenced to community service at a rundown Karate school. When he spots the man who killed his family at a local MMA fight, he goes behind his Karate master’s back and trains harder than ever before to compete in an upcoming MMA tournament. Soon, he will go toe-to-toe in the ring with his parents’ killer and he won’t stop until the last punch knocks his opponent to the ground, leaving him Tapped Out.”
From that synopsis, “Tapped Out” seems to be channeling something of a coming of age story ala “The Karate Kid” (which Hackman sites as a major inspiration in his life) with a more hardcore revenge-themed story found in the likes of “Bloodsport” or “Kickboxer“. The film will certain hold plenty of legitimacy among MMA fans with the inclusion of real-life MMA fighters Soszynski, Machida, and Silva.
“Tapped Out” was filmed in London and will premiere there later this month. However, martial arts movie fans won’t have to wait much longer to see it. The film will be released on DVD and through Video On Demand services on May 27th. To sate your excitement for the film’s release, take a look at the trailer below!