Even with his silly, slicked back eighties cop hair, Raymond J. Barry is easily the best actor in Rapid Fire. His first appearance is delightful, as it washes away some of the film’s already very bad taste.
Rapid Fire is an action movie without any good action. Director Little’s terrible with actors and composition, but he also has a lousy crew. Ric Waite’s photography, while mildly competent, looks like he’s shooting the picture through bathwater. Gib Jaffe’s editing loses characters and he can’t figure out how to edit star Brandon Lee’s fight scenes. It’s okay, I guess, since Little can’t figure out how to shoot them. If the draw of Rapid Fire is supposed to be Lee’s martial arts abilities, actually showing them as something other than editing tricks would be helpful.
Besides Barry, only Tzi Ma makes any good acting impression… but it might be because Ma starts out opposite Nick Mancuso. Either Little told Mancuso to do a Sonny Corleone impression or Mancuso came up with it himself. Every moment Mancuso is on screen, whether playing with his hair or staring off into space, sears the reasoning parts of the brain. It’s laughably bad.
As for Lee? He’s not very good. It’s partially Little’s direction–and a lot of it is Alan B. McElroy’s terrible script–but he’s still not good.
Speaking of McElroy, he works numerous Chinese epithet to show Rapid Fire is socially conscious.
It’s an awful movie.
And Christopher Young’s smooth jazz score doesn’t help.
Directed by Dwight H. Little; screenplay by Alan B. McElroy, based on a story by Cindy Cirile and McElroy; director of photography, Ric Waite; edited by Gib Jaffe; music by Christopher Young; production designer, Ron Foreman; produced by Robert Lawrence; released by 20th Century Fox.
Starring Brandon Lee (Jake Lo), Powers Boothe (Mace Ryan), Nick Mancuso (Antonio Serrano), Raymond J. Barry (Agent Frank Stewart), Kate Hodge (Karla Withers), Tzi Ma (Kinman Tau), Tony Longo (Brunner), Michael Paul Chan (Carl Chang), Dustin Nguyen (Paul Yang), Brigitta Stenberg (Rosalyn), Basil Wallace (Agent Wesley) and Al Leong (Minh).