Max Havoc: Curse of the Dragon (2004)

Max Havoc (Mickey Hardt) is an ex-kickboxer turned photographer who protects two attractive sisters from the Yakuza led by David Carradine. Seems that one of the sisters bought a jade dragon from dealer Richard Roundtree and after numerous awkward moments, Max Havoc saves the day but doesn’t save the film. As far as narrative flow goes, Max Havoc:Curse Of The Dragon is possibly Pyun’s most chaotic movie ever made. (And I saw Nemesis 1-3, Bloodmatch and Deceit) The problem with Max Havoc is that it only provides occasional laughter. From laughably overblown suspense sequences that involve hostage taking, getting run over by a row-boat, getting cut up in a limo and much much more. However Pyun actually makes the biggest mistake by hardly giving us any dumb moments and basically the movie is mostly dulls-ville. There is some controversy over how this movie was made, but I for one am indifferent to such matters. Sure it’s not right but i’m not here to discuss politics and my neutral observations are simple; Max Havoc is a terrible movie with only a few (unintentionally) hilarious moments to keep you from shutting it off. Among the unintentionally hilarious moments is how Pyun pays direct “homage” to Cyborg (itself a masterpiece compared to this) in that Pyun shows pointless flashbacks for no other reason but to stretch out the running time. In this case we watch Max Havoc deliver a jumping punch which is then followed by David Carradine looking mean into the camera and smoking his cigarette and showing his rings. Also the ending makes no sense and the impression here is given that the movie wasn’t even indeed finished. Max Havoc:Curse Of The Dragon is so incompetently edited that fight sequences are literally scrapped before the confrontation ends! Also the story is so over the map it’s impossible to follow it coherently and finally the movie features acting so terrible that it sometimes borders on surreality. David Carradine and Richard Roundtree look (rightfully) embarrassed, Carmen Electra is not in it much and newcomer Mickey Hardt is so bad that he makes other Pyun leads (a list that includes Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sasha Mitchell, Michael Dudikoff,Gary Daniels, Steven Seagal and (shudder) Olivier Gruner) seem like master thespians. Seriously where did they find this guy? Still the main question is whether Max Havoc:Curse Of The Dragon works as a guilty pleasure style movie, and sadly the answer is no. There are a few laughs to be had but mainly we watch Mickey Hardt snap photos for like forty minutes before anything happens and this in itself is a tragedy because without dumb action, Max Havoc:Curse Of The Dragon is just painful to watch.

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