Specific fans of actor and martial artist Phillip Rhee may know him from a pre-Best Of The Best list of films like LA Streetfighters and Furious. However, it was through the aforementioned 1989 Bob Radler-directed martial arts tournamant drama in which he rose to fame along with brother, fellow actor and martial artist Simon Rhee, eventually leading to a theatrical sequel in 1992 before two more home releases 1995 and 1998.
That was seventeen years ago, and it’s only recently that the Rhee
brothers are now reinvigorating their base with the latest martial arts family drama, Underdog Kids
, which arrives on Digital HD this Friday before a July 7
DVD and Blu-Ray release through Anchor Bay. That said, the former Rhee
recently spoke to The Action Elite
‘s own David J. Moore about the new film in which Rhee
‘s return to the screen also debuts him as a director.
The film itself sees Rhee as a washed-up former MMA champion and his newfound calling as the replacement martial arts coach for a group of community center kids a week ahead of an upcoming tournament. It is peculiar that the film itself takes a few cues from Rhee’s 1989 classic, so it’s reasonable that Moore’s inquiry would include asking why the film simply wasn’t called “Best Of The Best 5”, to which Rhee responded with THIS exciting gem:
Because we’re going to reboot Best of the Best. You’re the first one to know. We’re going to reboot the whole franchise with a new cast. I have things… I’m going to bring in elements that nobody has ever seen before. I will produce the picture.
Action fans often harangue and languish in agony over remakes and reboots, and on many occasions it’s for good reason. In contrast, some remakes and reboots actually do the fair bit of work needed in refreshing a particular film property for its base, and considering the warm reception Rhee has received from the niche over Underdog Kids, I think it’s fair to say a Best Of The Best reboot would be solid, especially with him producing with said elements in mind, whatever they may be.
Best Of The Best is an absolute classic with the Rhee brothers lending some of the most memorable martial arts action ever seen on the screen. For this, it’s pleasing to see such a project revived and bringing the genre back to its roots, and I expect nothing less than another fan favorite to come.
Simon‘s own career in film remains on-going as well through respective stunt credits on projects like HBO’s newly-premiered second season of True Detective, as well as the upcoming CBS adapted pilot, Rush Hour, and the July 1 release of Terminator: Genisys.
Stay tuned for more info!
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Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.