The Challenge Review
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The year is 2045, the place Germany, and the world is in chaos. Great civilizations are in ruins, and bloody civil wars, lasting thousands of years, have nearly destroyed mankind. Warlords rule with fear and violence, leaving those who want no part of it to cower in hiding or die in the streets by the fists of the powerful.

One sadistic ruler sought to learn ancient martial arts, but failed, so he had all the masters hunted down and killed, only to be defeated, himself, by the last master. The dynasty remained safe until the warlord’s children—Bosco (Christian Monz) and Kleo (Zora Holt)—grew up, sought revenge for their father’s death, and planned to rule what’s left of mankind. Those who opposed them or failed them were beaten to death.

Jonas (Mathis Landwehr) is the last surviving keeper of the secrets of an ancient martial arts dynasty, and the only hope for a band of street urchins—most of whom are deserters from Bosco’s growing army. After recovering from a near fatal gunshot wound, Jonas returns to the city to avenge his master’s death and find the ancient book that teaches the art of fighting.

  
 
While Bosco deciphers the ancient book and trains his warriors to kill without mercy, Jonas teaches those in hiding how to fight and take back what belongs to them. With the help of funny, optimistic Vinzent (Volkram Zscesche) and courageous and beautiful Marie (Sinta Weisz), Jonas also teaches them what his master taught him. And now that both sides know the secrets to fighting, strength and endurance will determine the outcome.

A good plot and great fight scenes are what saves this film from bad acting and bad one-liners—though Vinzent was pretty cute delivering them. I loved The Challenge simply for the martial arts, and I’ll probably watch it again for the same reason.

The Challenge is a pumped-up version of a futuristic Robin Hood, but Jonas doesn’t fiddle around with a bow and arrow. He uses his body and hand-to-hand combat as a lethal weapon. One thing’s for sure—stealing from the rich and giving to the poor just got a lot deadlier.

What the movie lacks in acting skills, the martial arts more than make up for it. If you like intense fight scenes, you’ll enjoy this film as much as I did. And since the DVD features include scene selections, you can go back and enjoy the martial arts again without having to engage in the whole movie.

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