Blind Fury Movie Review
Rutger Hauer is a great actor. But he has appeared in some truly terrible films. Blind Fury - an Americanised version of the Japanese Zatoichi series of movies - is one such film.
The premise is that Nick Parker (Hauer) is blinded while fighting in Vietnam. As so often happens in this situation, he is taken in by a Vietnamese village who teach him, not only to rely on his hearing alone, but also the art of blind swordfighting - evidently a common skill in Vietnam.
We then jump forward twenty years to find Frank Devereaux in trouble with crooked casino owner and wannabe drug dealer, MacCready. MacCready wants Devereaux to run his new designer drugs operation and forces Devereaux to comply by threatening his ex-wife and son.
By sheer coincidence, as this is happening, Parker is knocking on Lynn Devereaux's door. Parker explains that he is an old friend of Devereaux and Lynn lets him in and gives him a cup of tea while she explains that she and Frank are no longer together. This also gives us a chance to meet Deveraux's annoying kid, Billy (Brandon Call), and means that Parker is around when a pair of crooked cops, along with a character going by the name of Slag, turn up to try to kidnap Lynn and Billy.
So Parker and his amazing swordstick save the day and send the cops to the great precinct in the sky. Slag, being a Major Villain escapes so he can harass Parker until the Climactic Battle at the end of the film.
Unfortunately, Parker doesn't entirely save the day and Lynn Devereaux gets shot and fatally wounded during the battle. In her dying breath she makes Parker promise to take Billy to his father…
So Parker and Billy set off to Reno, Nevada to find Devereaux. There is an attempt to build an uncle/nephew relationship during this journey, but it doesn't really gel and instead we have a series of comic set-pieces interspersed with action sequences as Slag and his various unsavoury cohorts attempt to intercept Parker and the kid and take them to McCready in Reno… the direction they're already headed in.
At the start of this review, I called Blind Fury a truly terrible film. This isn't entirely fair. For a start, it has Ruger Hauer in it - and he does pretty much carry the entire film, bringing and enjoyable wry humour to the character of Parker. The fight scenes are well choreographed and the stunts are impressive - especially the all too well telegraphed Jacuzzi of Death scene (trust me, you have to see this!)
On the downside, I found the premise a little too far fetched for me to be able to buy into it. The plot was entirely predictable - with the next stunt or action sequence being telegraphed well in advance. As for kids in films… they have to be damn good to avoid just being annoying. Billy is annoying - so much so that even with all that he is going through in this film, I still had no sympathy for him.
Review by Paul Pritchard