Movie Review – DOA: Dead or Alive

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I thought I’d break the reviewing ice with a real doozie. Yup, the 2006 box office smash (as in it fell down and smashed itself into the floor) DOA: Dead or Alive. Why? Why not? I doubt there are many reviews of this one floating around out on the Net.

To start off, for those who were wondering (all none of you), yes this is based off of the DOA video game series. And yes, it even includes an homage to that underrated masterpiece Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. Which, sadly, was not that Xtreme. Annnnnnyway, back to the movie…

We start off with intros to three of our main heroines. Devin Aoki as Kasumi the Ninja Princess, Jaime Pressley as Tina the former wrestler (and current Xtremely hot bikini babe), and Holly Valance as Christie the thief with no clothes. The intros show us all what true badasses they are, with them kicking the asses of everyone in their way before getting their invitations to DOA. The invitations, by the way, as odd little knife/throwing star thingies with little screens in the middle that pop up the invitation part. We never see where they come from… they just seem to fly in out of nowhere, knowing exactly where the girls in question will be. Which is amazing, since two out of the three didn’t really know where they would be themselves. Had to be ninjas. Oh, we also get semi-intros to other characters related to these three, but we don’t see them getting their flying knife invites. The ninjas must’ve just sent them an e-vite and saved the money on the knives for the main characters. or maybe an invitation on Facebook. That would be efficient.

After that, we pick up on a plane taking all of the fighters to the DOA tournament. Very politely, a video is shown introducing them (and us) to said tournament. You’d think they would’ve wanted to know this before they jumped on the strange private jet to wherever, but hey, maybe that’s just me. I don’t hang out with enough ninjas to know how they work. We also get a quick intro to our fourth main character, Helena played by Sarah Carter. We learn much more about her later. Most of the recognizable characters from the game are present on the plane, though very few get named. Oh, and then they have to jump out of the plane. Hope everyone has been trained in skydiving, because this is your stop! *shove*

Once on the ground, we get a little team-building exercise with our main three, forcing them to work together to get to the compound on time, because otherwise they would be DQ’d immediately. Which would make this an extremely short movie. Oddly enough, a ninja assassin after one of the girls somehow knew exactly where they were going, because she gets there ahead of them. Those ninjas sure are handy! They really do know where you’re going before you do!

What follows are your standard high-speed fight scenes mashed all together that we should all expect by now from these tournament-style movies. Zip zoom bang, we’re down to characters with speaking roles! So long, fodder! In the midst of this, we get a semi-intro to our bad guy, played by Eric Roberts. They don’t come right out and say “This is the bad guy,” but hey… it’s Eric Roberts.

And with that, I shall quit describing the actual plot of the movie. I don’t want to give away anything really good about this true masterpiece of modern cinema, after all. Spoilers, sweetie!

I hope you don’t think from my comments above that I didn’t like this movie. I did. It was great fun. Not a deep. thought-provoking movie, but definitely a fun action flick with a few mega-hotties thrown in for good measure. Jaime Pressley in particular looks smokin’ hot in this one. The ass-kicking is plentiful, and the gratuitous bikini shots are nice, though definitely not Xtreme. One of my personal favorite bits was Big Sexy Kevin Nash playing Tina’s dad, Bass Armstrong. He kicked major ass as his character, really showing that he’s got some acting chops. No, not DeNiro level stuff, but definitely better than, say, a certain Hulkster in Mr. Nanny. Okay, that’s not saying much, but trust me, he was great in his role.

Yeah, there were a few plot holes here and there, but really, who is watching this movie to think? It’s a great popcorn flick, and deserves better than it’s gotten. It’s probably in the cheap section of your local video store (if you still use that sort of thing) or it’s available via Netflix (not streaming, though, which sucks). If you’ve got a buck or two to waste, or free spot in your queue, I highly recommend just giving this a try. It’s a good evening of brainless fun, which is something I think we all need a lot more of.

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