San Francisco Hapkido master Jino Kang has been putting himself on the radar of martial arts action stars to look out for, and he has demonstrated expertise in Fist 2 Fist 2: Weapon of Choice. Directed and choreographed by Kang, Weapon of Choice is an in-name-only sequel to 2011’s Fist 2 Fist and is an explosive, award-winning, indie action film that inarguably showcases some of Jino Kang’s best work.
Heading the cast is Jino Kang as the main character Jack Lee, a retired but highly skilled assassin. Kelly Lou Dennis is Jamie Lee, Jack Lee’s niece. Katherine Celio portrays officer Ashlie “Ash” Jordan, who assists Jack in finding Jamie. Jake Lyall is Jack’s brother-in-law and Jamie’s father, Harry Mason. For our lineup of baddies, we have Douglas Olsson as crime boss Michael Banducci. Artem Mishin and Robert Parham play Banducci’s henchmen Don Orloff and ‘The Machine’ respectively.
Back when he was a lethal assassin Jack Lee helped his deceased brother-in-law Harry Mason save Mason’s daughter, now called Jamie, from notorious crime boss and Mason’s employer Michael Banducci. Having retired since then, Jack settles down in the San Francisco Bay Area to raise Jamie as his own. Six years later, it is revealed that Mason is still alive, and notorious crime boss Banducci kidnaps Jamie as payback against Mason. With the assistance of officer Ash Jordan, Jack must come out of retirement to rescue Jamie from Banducci.
As the main character Jack Lee, Jino Kang is a master of all trades when it comes to the fighting arts. With that being said, if you want to see a certain category of combat, whether it’s striking, grappling, weapons, etc., then chances are, “Weapon of Choice” is going to give it to you in abundance.
Jack Lee marks his first appearance in the beginning of the film as he starts a fray against a gang at a restaurant. With a muscular body and impressive combat prowess, Jino Kang unleashes his blend of a Donnie Yen and Steven Seagal by throwing a flurry of punches and kicks, showing off some solid BJJ ground game and subduing his foes with locks that cause bones to crunch. Jino also disarms knife wielders here, not to mention that it’s quite obvious from the way Jino brandishes his knife that he has way better knife skills than any of the lackeys who go toe-to-toe with him.
You don’t see much of Jack Lee in action after the beginning act, as much of the fighting goes into the hands of the supporting cast, such as Kelly Lou Dennis and Katherine Celio, but at the same time, it assures that the rest of the cast isn’t underused, which is a mistake most high-budget movies are guilty of. Also, it’s good to see what Kelly can do as Jack Lee’s niece, as she’s seen fighting blindfolded, and even showcases some nice BJJ skills passed on from her adroit uncle.
In an explosive finale Jino. uses a variety of weapons, which fully befits the title Fist 2 Fist, Weapon of Choice! With every opponent or set of opponents Kang faces, the intensity dials up a notch. He starts with using his own fists, later utilising firearms, a spear and finally a sword in a series of epic blade/sword battles that offer frenetic, sizzling action-packed moments in the final fight demonstrating Kang’s swordsmanship to the fullest.
To say that Fist 2 Fist: 2 – Weapon of Choice presents the basic gist of Jino Kang’s combat skills is an understatement. Now the acting may be unconvincing, but you’ve got to recognise that this film showcases the authenticity of Kang’s talent and that with him there is always a weapon of choice, whether it’d be fists, kicks, grappling, ground fighting, guns, knives or swords, this guy can do it; more Jino Kang please!
- Robert Parham appeared in “Under Siege” alongside Steven Seagal as an uncredited sailor.
- Kelly Lou Dennis starred in the 2016 horror-action indie film “Vampariah”.
- The writer of this review, Jeffrey Hu, is confirmed to star in Jino Kang’s short “Kid Fury” episode 2 as a fighter. Several of Hu’s friends happen to be Kang’s students. Kang is close to Jeffrey Hu’s original instructor, Grandmaster Bill Dewart.
Film Rating: 7/10
- “Tell your boss what happened here today. Make nothing up. Leave nothing out. My part of the deal is done.” – Jino Kang (as Jack Lee)
- “In my line, whether you live or die depends on your weapon of choice.” – Jino Kang (as Jack Lee)
- “Toshiro’s our cash cow. I’ve been trying to make this deal with him forever. But now I finally got the sweetener that’s going to close it — our beautiful little honey pot. It’s gonna look like just another legitimate real estate deal, but what he’s getting is my entire operation, my life’s work. For a cool million Benjamins.” – Douglas Olsson (as crime boss Michael Banducci)