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December 03, 2022, 01:29:51 PM
688337 Posts in 52019 Topics by 7322 Members
Latest Member: Irene10C22 Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  The Liberator (2017) « previous next »
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Author Topic: The Liberator (2017)  (Read 283 times)
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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Occidentali's Karma

« on: September 23, 2022, 04:29:01 PM »

Indie action from Essex. Some guy (The Liberator) must find some antique artifact in less than a few hours.

Local production with a mostly local cast (they look like they did auditions in a pub), directed by and starring Ben Lettieri. This isn't exactly a vanity project, this is more about Lettieri showing his love and appreciation for martial arts. Apparently Lettieri is a martial artist himself and this is his first movie.

The plot is dumb, acting is mostly bad. None of the actors display cinematic star qualities or have any kind of memorable onscreen presence, except for Robster Le Monster, a bodybuilder turned wrestler. But then again, most wrestlers stand out by default.

Lettieri plays the battered hero, but his character is as interesting as stale beer. He has bad hair in some scenes and he has a glass chin. He never dominates any of the fights or his opponents and he never really kicks ass in a traditional way. He's not tormented by dark secrets, he doesn't appear to be impaired and he certainly is not the underdog type (he is actually taller than most of the cast) yet he takes a beating in every fight and sometime needs help to make it through a fight. He also looses two fights and taps out of a friendly sparring session because his sparring partner was better. He always seem to struggle with only one opponent, so it comes to no surprise that he is overwhelmed when facing three lame goons at once. They kick the s**t out of him. What kind of martial artists can't handle three GOONS? Dear lord. Anyway, he bleeds a lot (in one scene he pukes a gallon of blood for no reason) and is bruised a lot. I assume they did this to show that Lettieri's character is just a normal bloke. Whatever the intention, it makes him a "hero" no one really cares about. How do you even root for somebody like that?

Some of the fights are flawed in its, for a lack of better word, continuity? but the choreography itself is very well done, if that makes any kind of sense. Six choreographers worked on the film and they use different martial arts styles and techniques for every fight, but they also pick and choose which hit or punch all of sudden is effective or not. For example when the Liberator fights the main bad guy for the first time he super slow-mo kicks him in the head, with the bad guy flying out of frame. It's the 1 million dollar Chuck Norris kick but bad guy is pretty much unfazed by Lettieri's best effort. In the final fight the Liberator kicks the same guy in the head with a casual stuntman demo kick and the bad guy is wrecked. Most of the time Lettieri is lacking punch power when really needed yet he is able to knock out a random bad guy with a single punch in another scene. Plenty of inconsistant fight logic right there.

Every fight is designed the same way; bad guy beats up hero, hero beats and defeats bad guy. It was done like this so each has a chance to show their different styles. Noble idea but boring because you already know the outcome so there are no surprises. For what it's worth, The Liberator was nominated twice for best action sequence and best choreography at the Action on Film International Film Festival 2015.

The Liberator is a bad movie with good fights, which makes it a good bad movie of sort, but only if you are a fan of martial arts. The bad stuff was mildly entertaining but there are plenty of moments for mocking. The intentional humor did not deliver, like most of the movie, and they tried really hard to push diversity as in fighting techniques and opponents. The fact that this is a local production and most likely the first and so far only martial arts movie to come from Essex doesn't make it special. It only proves that there are good and bad local movies.

This feels like it came out 20 years too late though, it feels dated but not in a cool retro / vintage kind of way. Matter of fact there is nothing cool about The Liberator. No cool characters, no cool lines, no cool music. The film is also totally unsexy even though there is a sex scene. No shirtless fights either.
It is the kind of movie you would have found at the DVD bargain bin section. At least it was shot on actual film (I think), so visually it doesn't look cheap.

According to IMDb The Liberator was shot in 2015 but not released until 2017. It had a theatrical run in the U.S. and UK. It was released to DVD in the UK, which is the only physical media release worldwide.

Trivia: Actress Emily Wyatt from Essex is listed at IMDb as the currently most popular person who was in The Liberator, followed by stuntman Nick Khan.

btw that line from the poster is incorrect. There's about 30 minutes of action, and twice the talk.
There is another poster that says "Big Trouble in Little... England?" I don't even know why they made that reference. It's just a misleading attention grabber.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2022, 04:16:46 AM by claws » Logged

Is it October yet?
Crazy Poor Asian Valley Girl
Dedicated Viewer

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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2022, 03:36:15 PM »

I need to check this movie out
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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Posts: 7622

Occidentali's Karma

« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2022, 11:15:43 AM »

I need to check this movie out

Maybe you'll get more out of this than I did. It is available on YouTube.

Is it October yet?
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