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Ok, first of all, I would be a bit 'apprehensive' myself about the former Power Rangers director, Koichi Sakamoto, directing this martial arts epic from the off-start. However, as we're introduced to Johnny Yong Bosch (as seen above) portraying a former Yakuza assassin known as 'Jack Ellis/Hiroki' trying to escape from his own tortured past of crime and murder, we are guaranteed from the off-set a performance which is both compelling and incredible to watch. Therefore, I felt compelled to put to print, my feelings on the 2008 action/thriller Broken Path which hasn't received a lot of commercial attention or critical review to my surprise; but is one satisfying kick-ass movie, which will keep you entertained to the very bitter end.
We're invited, firstly to witness the despicable act of Yakuza members snatching away a child, which is barely out of his infancy, from his mother's arms. A terrible way to recruit new members into their ranks; but it's revealed this is how our hero became a part of their so-called family. This tragedy shapes the atmosphere of the rest of the movie, and characters within, as most of the members did not choose this way of life; but were conditioned to become highly-trained killers who are merciless in their approach. Not only this, but from a young age, they are conditioned to believe that their 'family' comes first above all else. It's this blind loyalty that drives Jack's relentless pursuers throughout the movie; to enact cold-blooded revenge upon him, and his loved ones, for leaving the Yakuza to start a family of his own.
The main story begins by introducing us to Jack and his wife hosting a house warming at their new home, in what I think is Texas, but I could be wrong. Immediately, we get the sense that the couple feels out of place and awkward, as newcomers often do, but it's emphasised even more against the desolate background of their new country home. Despite this, both Jack and Lisa are getting prepared to spend the summer settling in; while their daughter Maddie goes off to summer camp. Sounds pretty ideal right? Wrong, my friend, so wrong.
After this initial breather, things become sinister and dark fast, as Jack awakes from a nightmare to entirely new one; that awaits him in the form of his former Yakuza associates. They've obviously tracked him down; and begin a mass onslaught of brutal attacks against him and his wife. They're out for bloody revenge; and relentlessly pursue the couple throughout their own property, in order to deal it.
Fight scene after fight scene, blow after blow dealt, and punishment after cruel punishment in the damning Texas heat; endured by our lead and his wife makes for a satisfying, if slightly sadistic, slew of entertainment to follow. The Yakuza members are given cartoonish appearances, but take sick pleasure in tormenting the couple, throughout each deadly encounter. Each fight scene sheds a little more light on Jack's dark past, his connection to his assailants (one in particular to look out for called 'Yoshi' portrayed by the great Daniel Southworth), and his extensive training makes him more than capable of defending himself in a tight corner.
Overall, the martial arts, stunts and choreography performed were very entertaining and expertly implemented throughout the revenge/action flick. I particularly loved seeing Johnny Yong Bosch and Daniel Southworth; as an unbeatable tag team performing moves together in synchronization and timing to best their enemies every time; and it's these moments that are worthy of some of the best action I've seen on screen to date.
So if you're an action fanatic and are out for a taste of blood, then check out this hidden gem; guaranteed to bring a satisfying end to a tumultuous tide of brutal fist fights and bloody revenge to follow.